Merit Laine (Curator of textiles, Swedish Royal Collections, and Associate Professor at Uppsala University)
From Furnishings to Collections. Changing Perceptions of Textiles in the Swedish Royal Collections, ca 1870-1930
The Swedish Royal Collections (Kungl Husgerådskammaren) is an institution within the Swedish court going back to the 16th century. Its archives are well preserved, and sources such as inventories give clear indications to the changing attitudes over time to various categories within the collections. From the 1870s, the age-old category of tapestries, always very highly regarded, was elevated to the status of 'collection' and became the subject of a lengthy scholarly catalogue. Later, the new categories Textile Collection I and Textile Collection II were created; comprising textiles of high artistic and historical value on the one hand, samples of furnishing fabrics no longer in use on the other. In this paper the new perception of the textiles reflected in these categories will be discussed in terms of mutual influences between art historical research, interior decoration, museum practices and collecting as well as the personal interests of members of the Royal family and of the staff of the Royal Collections.
Adrian Seville (independent scholar)
Four Hundred Years of Printed Board Games: building a 'representative' collection
Printed board games, particularly the simple dice games based on the 16th century Game of the Goose, form a culturally significant genre in many of the countries of Europe. Literally thousands of thematic variants have been invented, more or less closely derived from this basic game; they cover most aspects of human activity, including amusement, education, polemic, propaganda and advertising. Building a 'representative' collection of these games is not straightforward: what is meant by such a collection? What tools, techniques and procedures are involved? What research conclusions might be drawn from the collection once assembled and what are the pitfalls? These questions will be addressed in some generality, so that their relevance to other collecting genres in the field of printed images may also be explored.
Adrian Seville is an international expert on the history of printed board games, specialising in research on the cultural history of the Game of the Goose and its many variants throughout Europe from the late 16th C to the present day. This research is supported by his private collection of board games, assembled over many years.
He studied Physics at Trinity Hall, Cambridge, moving on to a PhD at the University of Edinburgh before joining the academic staff of City University, London. In mid-career, he moved into management of the university, serving as Academic Registrar from 1982 to 2001. Following early retirement, he has concentrated on the study of printed board games, lecturing on them in Europe and in America, where an exhibition of his collection is being planned for 2016 at the Grolier Club of New York.
Jonathan C.H. King (former Keeper of Anthropology, British Museum)
Sloane's Collecting - 17th Century Jamaica as Britain's window on the world
As a young physician, Sir Hans Sloane accompanied the Duke of Albemarle to Jamaica; there he collected objects and observations in all his encounters. Later at the Royal Society and as royal physician, Sloane published 50 papers and, in the 18th century, two volumes on Jamaica (1707, 1725), models for later collecting projects.
Jonathan King worked at the British Museum from 1975-2012, latterly as Keeper of Anthropology. He is a member of the Council of the Hakluyt Society and a Fellow of the Royal Anthropological Institute. He has published extensively, most recently Extreme Collecting: Challenging Practices for 21st Century Museums (conference proceedings, Oxford: Berghahn, 2012) and Turquoise: History, Science and Culture in Mexico and North America (London 2012).