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Since 2019 a team of archivists, creative practitioners, curators, and researchers have been exploring the life and work of the little-known artist and devote Methodist James Smetham. This seminar will introduce James Smetham and his art and provide an overview of how he and his work have been approached during this project. Paying particular attention to the public engagement events and broader ethos of knowledge exchange embedded within this project, this seminar will specifically focus on how our co-production methods have resulted in innovative approaches to Smetham’s approach to visually creating and experiencing personal and spiritual place. The seminar has been scheduled to coincide with a free exhibition of Smetham’s art at Bewdley Museum open to all between 9th September and 29th October 2023.  

This session will be co-presented by members of the collaborative team who have contributed to the Smetham Bicentenary project since 2019. This will include Lizzie Barratt, former graduate research fellow on the Smetham bicentenary project now working at the British Museum; Thomas Dobson, Peter Forsaith, and Daniel Reed from the Oxford Centre for Methodism and Church History; Sarah Middleton, independent researcher and creative practitioner; and Ruth Slatter, Lecturer in Historic Environment and Knowledge Exchange Manager from the IHR.

This session is co-hosted by the IHR’s Centre for the

History of People, Place, and Community


Oxford Brookes’ Oxford Centre for Methodism and Church History


This session has been rescheduled to the 11 October 2023.

All welcome- this seminar is free to attend, but advance registration is required.