A Surgeon’s Kit from Iran

by Isabella Cullen

Walking around the Islamic Middle East department, gleaming lacquerware immediately draws the eye. Particularly elaborate is one painted surgical kit, dating from c.1820-40, which probably originates from Isfahan, Iran. The artefact is illuminated by its reddish-brown varnished cover, created with the papier-mache technique typical of Islamic lacquerware. Unlike the European method of applying lacquer to wood, Islamic artists typically pasted together sheets of paper to form a thick smooth surface, which was then painted in watercolour before the layer of varnish was applied.

Lacquerware was hugely popular in Iran towards the end of the Safavid Dynasty (1501-1722) and into the period of Qajar rule (1785-1925). The rule of Fath ‘Ali Shah saw a fondness in the royal court for this lacquering technique, used in artwork from the period which drew from the iconography of the last imperial dynasty in Persia – the Sassanid dynasty (224 – 651). Fath ‘Ali commissioned lacquerware pieces to establish his reign, hanging multiple lacquered portraits of himself in his royal estates and sending them as diplomatic offerings to kings overseas. The rule of his successor Muhammad Shah saw an even more concerted shift towards small lacquer paintings of the monarch to commemorate his royal authority.

This surgeon’s kit contains two drawers full of tools of extraordinary shapes, mostly made of steel, though some are of bone or mother-of-pearl and others inlaid with gold. Painted on the cover, framed by a delicate floral border, are the Holy Family along with accompanying figures. Though art of the Safavid period most commonly depicted nature and intricate patterns, this Islamic illustration of human figures and Christian iconography is not particularly unusual. The 1800s saw the conspicuous influence on Islamic artists of Christian European art entering Iran, with images of St Peter and the Holy Family, for instance, found among surviving artworks. This shift was often marked by portraits with attention to perspective and shading, rather than geometric shapes, as well as by biblical subject matter. The cross-cultural interaction was even represented in the dress and artistic representation of Muhammad Shah: the ruler introduced weapons from Europe into the Iranian arsenal and came to be depicted in European-style dress, with a military frock coat and blue sash coupled with his royal jewels and the Asian fleece ‘astrakhan’ cap.

The European influence on its subject matter links this surgeon’s kit to Isfahani painter Najaf ‘Ali. A prominent artist, active from around 1815-85, his artworks often depicted the Holy Family and could have included this delicate piece. Najaf ‘Ali’s handiwork would account for the European-style figures in this image, with Mary wearing the blue material characteristic of her representation in Renaissance art. She holds on her lap the baby Jesus, clad in swaddling cloth and the scene is dominated by the swathes of red fabric in which the surrounding figures are wrapped. The women’s hair is elaborately tied, their faces round and big-eyed in a style inherited from the art of the Zand dynasty (1750-94).
The illustration on the surgeon’s kit seems consistent with confirmed artworks by Najaf ‘Ali, such as this lacquer qalamdan (pen box) pictured, signed by the creator during the Qajar period at around 1855-56. Its central panel shows a Christian saint clothed in black, surrounded by depictions of the Khaju Bridge and the Ali Qapu Palace in Isfahan and patterned with floral motifs. The landscapes pictured possibly allude to the tale of the shaikh San’an and the maiden, a story from Attar’s Conference of the Birds. According to legend, San’an journeyed to Greece where he fell in love with a Christian maiden. Having converted to Christianity at her instigation, he burned the Quran and tended to the pigs, in rejection of his former faith. Eventually he returned to Islamic practice after the desperate prayers of his followers and having felt the true love of god. This formed the subject for many Iranian art pieces at the time, yet here is combined with the image of a Christian figure in a combination of European and Islamic influences which can be observed also in the beautiful surgeon’s kit.

For more information on the Surgeon’s Kit see http://jameelcentre.ashmolean.org/object/EA1955.1.2

 

 
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Satan/Mephistopheles (1833)- a drawing

Satan/Mephistopheles, by Jean-Jacques Feuchère (1807–52).

blog post and drawing by Freddie Davies

“Among all the angels and demons, there is one figure that incontestably merits particular attention”. Such were the words of the Paris Salon when they encountered Feuchère’s striking rendition of hell’s ruler. Encapsulated within his wings, his chin placed thoughtfully upon his hand, Satan comes across as a rather lonely figure. His brow lies furrowed as he gazes at nothing in particular. Feuchère demonstrates a certain empathy towards the devil’s predicament. He is at once both brooding and wistful; infernal but oddly relatable. As such Feuchère depicts the essentially human identity of Satan: a flawed, emotional being designated as the Adversary but doomed never to actually prevail.

Depicted as ponderous, and perhaps even melancholy, the most immediate feature of the piece is its intriguing resemblance to Auguste Rodin’s celebrated sculpture the Thinker. However, Rodin’s first conception of The Thinker was not until 1880, 46 years after Feuchère’s piece was exhibited at the Paris Salon in 1834. It is therefore considered a precursor, and casts a refreshing context over The Thinker, a statue so prominent in popular culture. The resemblance was highlighted in the 1980 exhibition The Romantics to Rodin: French Nineteenth-Century Sculpture from North American Collections in 1980, which used Feuchère as the cover illustration and Rodin’s Thinker upon the back.

 Drawing by Freddie Davies on the left, on the right, the bronze of Satan/Mephistopheles, by Jean-Jacques Feuchère

 

The sculpture also bears the name Mephistopheles, who was originally a demon in German folklore. He is the demon who accepts the wager of Faust’s soul in return for an abundance of knowledge and power. Evidently the harvest of souls is not as fulfilling as it could be, and the sculpture renders him as dissatisfied with his lot as Faust himself. Once again this identifies him as a rather human character, particularly with this notion of longing and unfulfillment. Mark Antokolsky, the Russian sculptor, rendered his own interpretation of Mephistopheles in 1884, in a similar seated, pensive position, but without the demonic wings, horns and spines. Starkly different to Feuchère’s dark, rich bronze, Antokolsky utilizes a pure white marble in a kind of neoclassical style, immediately likening the demon to the famously Greek pantheon of gods. Satan, always a hit with the crowds, was a popular theme for the imagination of artists in the 19th century, influenced by the common inspirations of Goethe and Dante. Perhaps the romantics were smitten with sympathy for the demon and his association with the pitfalls of passion and emotion, rather than the tiresome virtues of reason asserted by the Enlightenment.

Lord Jeffrey Archer donated the piece – 80cm high – in 2016, in a move to reduce his tax bill by the hefty sum of approximately £48,000. Perhaps Satan broods at the realisation that he is no longer revered and dreaded as the king of hell, but has become no more than a welcome tax break for the English aristocracy.

Find this sculpture in the newly refurbished Gallery 65. More information on the object http://www.ashmolean.org/news/acquisitions/index.php?id=381

 

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Student View – Raphael’s Drawings in the Ashmolean’s Print Room

by Holly Kelsey

Walking into the print room in the Ashmolean I was first struck by the room itself – the friendly, musty smell from the old books lining the walls; drawers enticingly entitled ‘Turner’ or ‘Ruskin’; the small semicircle of chairs sitting in front of a table. Our group of twelve were here leaning in around a table as part of an afternoon of exclusive viewings of the drawings of Raphael, led by Western Art curator Dr Angelamaria Aceto and the Ashmolean Student Creative Board. Raphael is best known as an exemplar of Renaissance innovation, famous for his images of the Madonna and his compositions in the Vatican. Often, the focus is on his paintings, with the vast array of drawings he produced being seen as a tributary of his artistic efforts, a teaching tool for his students, or most commonly as preparatory sketches existing only to be replicated in oils. Angelamaria’s emphasis however, and a key motivation for a forthcoming exhibition in the Ashmolean this summer, is to resituate these drawings and consider them as revelatory works of art in their own right.

The drawings housed by the Ashmolean ranked among the first acquisitions of the museum and form a cornerstone of its collections. The physical pieces of paper, lying on the table encased in protective layers, are striking as objects in themselves: seemingly delicate, yet having endured the weight of 500 years of history. Indeed, the first two sketches brought out by Angelamaria – studies of drapery – were, uniquely, unmounted – a state they are unlikely to be in again for some decades and one which only emphasised their fragility. Viewing these drawings as single sheets, away from the grandeur of a frame, provokes a more intimate relationship with them: Raphael’s mixed media use is foregrounded, his hand and pen lines are clear, a few quick yet confident strokes shape the falling of light upon the cloth. It is all too easy to picture these sheets propped in Raphael’s workroom.


The materiality of these works is also illuminating considering Raphael’s use of the paper. With a small torch, Angelamaria shows us the almost invisible grooves that lie underneath the pen or chalk etchings, nearly imperceptible guide lines that inform the works above them. In one particularly striking drawing, Raphael uses paper which previously had been marked by a compass: turning the sheet over, he utilises the faint lines and centre of the compass mark to form the central focal point and leading lines for a composition of the Resurrection. On one level, this shows Raphael as a workman and pragmatist, reusing leaves from his workshop; on another, it presents his mind as constantly working, stuck by snap inspiration to create art in dialogue with the materials he had already. In one of my favourite works, the group of us gasped as Angelamaria turned a drawing over to reveal not only further sketches of angels on the back, but also lines of Petrarchan poetry, quickly crossed through and reworked at points. Raphael’s pen shows through both his sketching and writing the connection between hand and mind, clearly portraying motion, restlessness, and intense bursts of fluid creativity.

The best was saved for last. In a realisation of a cliché I have always wanted to use, the room was silenced with awe as the final drawing was presented: a detailed study of figures who would later feature in ‘The Transfiguration’. The drawing is finished and precise, with Raphael’s technical skill shining through from the fine crosshatching to the depth of the image. Angelamaria drew our attention to Raphael’s reworking of the hands of one of the figures in order to add emotion to the gesture. This comprises a prime example of what she deems Raphael’s ‘eloquence’ – his ability to tell a story through just a few strokes. This sketch is also one of the most striking we saw because it actually surpasses the painting it was produced as a precursor to in terms of aesthetics. It has been conjectured that as ‘The Transfiguration’ was left incomplete at Raphel’s death, it may have been finished by one of his students and therefore does not display the same detail or intensity – but nonetheless, the emotional and technical dimension of the drawing in its own right shows clearly to me that these sketches were intended for more than practice.

The eye for emotion, detail, and aesthetics encapsulated in these drawings make me firmly side with Angelamaria and others who consider these works as complete, deliberate works of art rather than secondary to Raphael’s other achievements. More than simply preparatory works, then, these drawings are emblematic of Raphael’s mind, his confident technique indicating a corresponding directness of vision. It was a real privilege to have explored these drawings so intimately for an afternoon.

To view Drawings by Raphael and other artists, please contact the Western Art Print Room: waprintroom@ashmus.ox.ac.uk

Further information can be found here http://www.ashmolean.org/departments/westernart/printroom/

 

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The Secret Life of Casts

by Abbey Ellis

Why should we care about casts? Why does the Ashmolean have a gallery dedicated entirely to their display? And what actually is a cast anyway? Allow me to enlighten you. A cast is an exact replica of an ancient Greek or Roman sculpture, made from Plaster-of-Paris or silicone. The Ashmolean Museum has an extensive cast collection of casts, over 1000 in fact, one of the largest collections in any museum. These casts are very important as they are exact replicas of the ancient originals, allowing those who may not get the chance to travel across the world to examine the real sculptures to study and appreciate these ancient artworks. They are very often employed by Classical Archaeology tutors at the University of Oxford for the purpose of teaching students. In addition, these pieces of sculpture are the artistic inspirations that shaped today’s Western art. But not all of the Ashmolean’s casts are available for public viewing. Due to limited space, many are hidden away in the Lower Cast Gallery. A dedicated team of volunteers enables members of the public to access these spectacular pieces.

Adding new Cast into the gallery

Adding new Cast into the gallery

 

On the volunteer-led tours of the Lower Cast Gallery, groups of up to twelve members of the public are taken down to the restricted area of the museum and introduced to three different sculptures. The volunteers, who are enrolled on an extensive training programme before being let loose with the public, talk briefly about the history of and stories behind some key pieces. Some interesting stories illustrated in cast form in the gallery include the birth of the goddess Athena, who supposedly sprang fully formed from the head of her father Zeus, the king of the gods. This story was represented on one of antiquity’s most famous buildings: the Parthenon.

Something that you may not expect to learn about casts is just how fragile they are. One small bump could cause the entire cast to topple over, even the enormous examples such as the cast of the 4th century BC Persian satrap Mausolus located in the Lower Cast Gallery, which stands at over 1m tall. This is due to the process that is used to create the casts. A cast is created by placing a mould directly onto the original ancient sculpture and then the impression left in the mould is used to make the cast. The casts are completely hollow, and often they have to be made in several pieces. These pieces are then fixed together, and if you observe some of the casts in the Ashmolean’s galleries carefully, you can see the join lines where the sculpture is fitted together. The public was recently treated to a view of the behind-the-scenes processes involved with the construction of the casts. In recent months, the Ashmolean set up a new cast in its upper gallery, a sculpture of a centaur (a half-man, half-horse) attacking a Lapith woman. The original sculptures adorned the Temple of Zeus at Olympia, the birthplace of the Olympic Games. However, it is important to remember that the casts that we see today do not appear in the form that the ancients would have recognized them. In antiquity, these sculptures were very brightly coloured, but the paint, made from natural pigments, only survives in isolated cases in the archaeological record. The clean, white casts that we know today would have looked unfinished to an ancient viewer. A reconstruction of how ancient sculptures would have really appeared can be found in the Upper Cast Gallery. A cast of the Prima Porta statue, a representation of the Roman Emperor Augustus, can be found at the top of the steps leading into the Lower Cast Gallery.

If you are interested in attending a tour of the Lower Cast Gallery, these run each Thursday and Saturday at 2pm, meeting at the entrance to the Museum.

Cast gallery 2

The treasures in the Lower Cast Gallery

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Model of a Camel

Model of a Camel, Tang Dynasty (AD 618-906)
Soft whiteware, remains of paint

by Izzy Galwey

As many historians have commented, the Tang dynasty was extraordinarily cosmopolitain era of Chinese history. Trade routes stretched away across Asia in all directions; the capital city, Kaifeng, was a bustling metropolis with citizens hailing from Persia to Indonesia. The Tang dynasty was a vast driving power behind economic networks which stretched across Eurasia.

Another notable characteristic of the Tang in comparison to many later dynasties is its focus on the North-West. Over the centuries, Chinese imperial culture followed migration patterns and shifted steadily south – to some extent, the Tang bucked this trend. Goods and ideas from Central Asia and beyond were firmly in fashion. Buddhism, polo, Tibetan wool, Sogdian whirling dances – and, of course, camels.

These beasts of burden, perfect for overland trade, would have been a relatively common sight on roads across the empire, particularly in the northern frontier areas. It’s no wonder, then, that many people elected to have sculptures of camels like this one buried with them – it’s a nod to the fact that these animals were indispensable, and an important part of everyday life.

I’ve never actually ridden a camel, much less tried to lead one across hundreds of miles of mountain and desert, but this expressive sculpture still strikes a chord with me. For a Tang dynasty civilian seeing this sculpture, I imagine their first reaction would be a double-take — it’s a tomb sculpture, after all, quite spooky! – but after that, I think they would be struck, as we are, by the skilled craftsmanship and the expressiveness of this sculpture. The camel is laden with several heavy-looking packages, forming a textural mass almost as big as the animal itself. She is standing tall and arching her head backwards, looking slightly affronted – but not particularly surprised – at the huge load which has been placed on her back. I imagine that she is a seasoned voyager who has been in the trade for some years – still in her prime, and a valuable asset to her owner. Indeed, when I look at this camel – and other Tang sculpture, from horses to Buddhas to women playing polo – it is hard not to bring it to life in my mind.

Tang dynasty sculpture is notable for this expressiveness. With the spread of Buddhism from South and Central Asia, art styles from as far afield as modern-day Pakistan found their way into China for the first time. Travelling with monks, hired workers – and, on a less savoury note, conscripted or captive craftsmen – these motifs and techniques were enthusiastically adopted and modified by Chinese artisans. They lend sculpture of this period a flamboyance and expressiveness which caused Tang poets to compose verses in praise of the work they saw at court and elsewhere. For centuries, Tang sculptures have been highly valuable collectors’ items, in China and abroad.

For me, this sculpture enlivened the exhibition space in which it was situated. It looked like a statue that was going places; and, being a camel eager to get home, it stubbornly dragged me a little way along with it. It became a tiny window into the bustling, cosmopolitan world of the Tang; although it was probably created to be part of a burial, for me it could hardly have been more alive.

EA1956.988

Earthenware figure of a camel

Earthenware figure of a camel from China Tang Dynasty (AD 618-906) Currently on display in Gallery 28 Presented by Sir Herbert Ingram, 1956. Accession no.EA1956.988

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Artwork: Clio, Muse of History, Marble sculpture

by Elizabeth Briggs
DPhil Student, Oxford Centre for Maritime Archaeology

Medium: Graphite on paper

Subject: Clio, Muse of History, Marble sculpture

Location: Ashmolean Museum, Greek and Roman Sculpture Gallery

Notes: My favourite way to appreciate an ancient sculpture is by attempting to render the piece itself. While my graphite pencil flits across the page I am instantly engaged with the subtle interplay of dark and light, the skillful way the sculpture has rendered soft fabric in hard stone, and the timeless gestures and postures which add movement and warmth to the static material.

Clio by Elizabeth Briggs

Clio, Muse of History, Marble sculpture by Elizabeth Briggs

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Andy Warhol Exhibition Takeover

By Abbey Ellis

Over 100 students from the University of Oxford and Oxford Brookes packed the Ashmolean on 8 March 2016 for a special viewing of the current Andy Warhol exhibition, organized by the Museum’s Public Engagement Officer and the Student Creative Board.

Photo © Abbey Ellis 2016

The forecourt of the Ashmolean Museum, advertising the Andy Warhol exhibition. Photo © Abbey Ellis 2016

With free entry for all, the event was a real hit. Highlights for the student attendees included the display of Warhol’s short films, including excerpts from ‘Kiss’ and ‘Sleep’, as well as screen tests of socialite Edie Sedgwick, shot in 1965, and of Warhol’s fellow artist Marcel Duchamp. These striking screen tests, played in slow motion at 16 frames per second, vividly capture the varying emotions of the subjects: nerves and uncertainty, resignation and boredom can be read on their faces.

Andy Warhol, Screen Test: Edie Sedgwick (1965), 16mm film, black and white, silent, 4 minutes at 16 frames per second. ©2013 The Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh, PA, a museum of Carnegie Institute. All rights reserved. Still courtesy of The Andy Warhol Museum.

Andy Warhol, Screen Test: Edie Sedgwick (1965), 16mm film, black and white, silent, 4 minutes at 16 frames per second. ©2013 The Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh, PA, a museum of Carnegie Institute. All rights reserved. Still courtesy of The Andy Warhol Museum.

Another piece that attracted a great deal of attention was one of Warhol’s especially controversial pieces, ‘Brillo Box’. In 1964, Warhol produced a series of Brillo Boxes, which imitate exactly the familiar soap pad packaging, using screen-printing and ink on wood. The Brillo Boxes have been inspiring debate since their inception, making viewers reevaluate their definition of ‘art’ and its meaning. Some would argue that Warhol’s Brillo Boxes do not qualify as art, perhaps due to their commonplace subject matter, but is art not generally expected to replicate life? This is just one of the challenging debates with which students engaged when touring the exhibition

Warhol

Find out more about the Andy Warhol Exhibition here http://www.ashmolean.org/exhibitions/andywarhol/events/

There was a great atmosphere in the exhibition space on the night and feedback received about the event has been overwhelmingly positive. If you would like to get involved with the Student Creative Board, and help to put on events such as this, we are currently recruiting new members! Click here (http://blogs.ashmolean.org/talkingobjects/join-us/) to learn more about making an application.

 

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If Ancient Egypt had Instagram…

By Luke Pepera

Today, in what has often been called the ‘social media age’, self-presentation (whether for one’s Facebook, Instagram, and/or Tinder profiles) has never been so important. Or has it? In Hierakonpolis, Egypt, archaeologists have discovered many magnificent cosmetic palettes dating to around the late fourth millennium BC.

Two such examples are the ‘Narmer Palette’, so-called after the Egyptian king Narmer who probably ordered its production, which is currently on display at the British Museum; and the Ashmolean’s own Two Dog Palette, which can be seen in Gallery 22.

Like social media profiles, palettes are a tool for both self-presentation and communication. The most intriguing question for me, therefore, concerns the audience that Narmer, and other prominent Egyptians who commissioned examples such as the Two Dog Palette, wanted to impress. Did Narmer want to impress his subjects? Or the members of his court? Was it an ex-girlfriend that he wanted to win back? The last is unlikely, but the point remains the same: one of the most exciting things about ceremonial palettes is that it gives us an understanding of how elite Egyptians wanted others to perceive them. This allows us, to some extent, into their thoughts: into the mind of an Ancient Egyptian. We build up a more personal relationship with those behind the objects.

Both the Narmer Palette and the Two Dog Palette are fairly large (the former being about 63cm high, the latter 42cm). Each was carved from a single piece of flat, grey-green siltstone. The Narmer Palette expresses the role and duties that the perfect Egyptian king should perform. On the ‘Smiting’ side of the palette, he stands poised to strike an enemy with a mace. The God Horus, in the guise of a falcon, is next to him, perched upon a set of papyrus flowers. Underneath Narmer’s feet lie two more enemies, cowering in fear. On the other side, called the ‘Serpopard’ side, after the half-serpent, half-leopard creatures near the middle, is another image of Narmer, much bigger than the subjects that accompany him. They are engaged in some sort of ceremonial procession, walking towards the beheaded enemies that lie strewn across the ground. Here, Narmer was not only presenting himself as an ultimate conqueror with supreme authority, he was also emphasizing his relationship to the Gods and to the divine realm. Those who would have seen this palette would have been impressed by both its craftsmanship and also the impressive, meaningful images themselves.

Narmer Palette Egyptian Museum, Cairo

The Narmer palette is a finely decorated plate of schist of about 64 cm high. It was found in a deposit in Hierakonpolis, a Predynastic capital located in the South of Egypt, during the excavation season of 1897/98. Its size, weight and the fact that it was decorated on both sides show that it was a ceremonial, commemorative rather than an actual cosmetic palette intended for daily use. It is a key piece in the identification of Menes, the almost legendary first king to have ruled over the whole of Egypt. Narmer Palette Egyptian Museum, Cairo

Likewise, the symbolism of the Two Dog Palette reflects the prestige of the owner, whose name is unknown. The animals, which cover both sides of the palette, could imply that the owner had control over the natural world. The circular configuration of the animal motifs around the central area on the front of the palette is also meaningful; the formality of the design is thought to have warded off evil, as malevolent forces in the Ancient Egyptian mind were associated with chaos. The shield shape could also be apotropaic, conferring protection onto the owner. The Two Dog Palette therefore seems not just to be evoking the status of the owner but also safeguarding it.

Two Dogs Palette 1

Two Dogs Palette 2

The ‘Two Dog’ palette, Hierakonpolis, ‘Main Deposit’, Late Predynastic–Early Dynastic (about 3300–3100 BC), Egyptian Research Account excavations. AN1896-1908E.3924

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As the ‘selfies’ of their day, I am in no doubt that these palettes would have received a lot of ‘likes’.

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The Student Creative Board Goes Potty!

By Abbey Ellis

On February 9th, the Student Creative Board welcomed 28 eager participants to the Ashmolean for a clay workshop. Master potter Charlie Clarke from Little Earthquake Pots was on hand to guide students through the process of making a coil pot using air-drying clay.

Charlie demonstrated the process of rolling out clay “sausages” and stacking them one on top of the other to gradually build up the sides of the pot. Students were also shown how to fix the coils together securely using the score and slip technique, how to use tools to smooth the edges of the pot, and how to create different textures.

The participants were then given free reign to get creative, and some very innovative pieces resulted. One student carefully constructed a heart-shaped vessel for holding jewellery, and others turned their clay into elaborate pieces of sculpture.

Classical Archaeology student Jessica Ellis, who attended the class, said: “I had a great time at the clay workshop, it was a really unique opportunity and a chance to do something creative for an afternoon!”

A big thank you goes out to our fabulous instructor, Charlie Clarke, for running a fun and informative session. You can see more of Charlie’s work on her blog: http://littleearthquakepots.tumblr.com/

Thanks also to the Student Creative Board Photographer, Steve Lawson, for his images. Visit Steve’s website here: http://www.srlawson.com/#about

Click to the Student Creative Board Facebook page to see more pictures from the event: https://www.facebook.com/AshmoleanSCB

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JOIN THE ASHMOLEAN’S STUDENT CREATIVE BOARD!

What we do:
• LiveFriday event planning: the Board runs a stall or activity at each Ashmolean LiveFriday event, aiming to engage an audience of students with the museum collections. As a Board Member, you will be part of the creative process: brainstorming ideas for the stall, helping to organize the activity in the run-up to the event, and being there on the night to enjoy the fruits of your labours.
• Creative workshops: the Board also puts on independent creative events in the Museum, which in the past have included life drawing sessions and pottery workshops. Board members are encouraged to pitch any ideas that they have for future workshops at meetings, and a team from the Ashmolean will be on hand to help make them happen.
• Talking Objects blog: the Board is responsible for a lively ‘Talking Objects’ blog, which publishes student responses to pieces in the Ashmolean collections. As a Board member, you’ll be able to approve and edit blog posts submitted by other students and, working with the Public Engagement Officer, you will help to organize themed object-handling sessions in the Museum to facilitate the writing of blog posts.
Voice opinions: The Board is called upon to give the student perspective on museum matters and planning.

Who we are looking for:
Enthusiastic undergraduates (1st and 2nd year) and postgraduates from Oxford University and Oxford Brookes.

Must be:
Creative
Digital Savvy
Love museums, art, and archaeology
Organized

Time Commitments:
• Usually there are two or three Student Creative Board meetings per academic term, lasting around an hour and a half each.
• Other than these meetings, Board members can expect to spend an additional 2 / 3 hours a week on Board business, particularly in the run-up to big events such as LiveFriday.

Interested?

APPLY HERE

DEADLINE: Friday 22nd April 2016

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