RMN’23 – Food for Thought

Image credit: The Museum of English Rural Life/University of Reading

The Rural Museums Network’s autumn Rural Voices seminar series continued with the chance to hear from three curators who have developed prominent food-themed temporary exhibitions.

This session was hosted by Guy Baxter, archivist at the University of Reading and the Museum of English Rural Life.

Katherine Bridges is a curator at the Food Museum in East Anglia.

She was involved in the ‘Meat The Future’ research exhibition, created by Oxford University Museum of Natural History, adapting it for re-presentation at the Food Museum.

Katherine discussed how she approached merging loan materials with local collections, and the wider challenge of becoming a dedicated centre of expertise on food.

Marianne Templeton is a Project Curator and Collections Registrar at Wellcome Collection. She co-curated ‘Milk’, a major exhibition developed by Wellcome as part of their prominent programme.

Marianne shared her experiences of working with contemporary creative responses and the focus on decolonial and critical narratives, as well as the challenge of working with a range of media including films, artwork, archival documents, photographs, and objects.

Rupert Cole is the Curator of Scientific Instruments at the Science Museum, London.

He is currently developing ‘Future of Food’, a major food-related exhibition that will explore the challenges of using the past to look to the future.

He addressed the ever-problematic complexities of explaining new science and technology, contextualising it socially and culturally.

Guy Baxter has led the archive service at the University of Reading – including The Museum of English Rural Life (MERL) archive – since 2008, achieving UK Accredited status and contributing to several interdisciplinary projects across stewardship, access, research and engagement.

He convenes the department’s working groups on Income Generation and Digital and is a member of the Research Libraries UK working group for the Digital Shift. Guy has long-term professional and research interests in copyright and compliance, cross-domain and interdisciplinary working and in image collection management.

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