A fascinating afternoon was spent recently visiting the archive at MODA, the Museum of Domestic Architecture http://www.moda.mdx.ac.uk/home. The staff were wonderfully friendly and helpful, thank you in particular to Sim who provided a wonderful variety of books for me to explore and lots of enthusiastic advice.
I was researching the roles and expectations of women within a domestic context through household manuals that included advise on keeping a home, caring for children, domestic crafts and behaving like a ‘proper’ lady. Throughout these publications the role of housekeeper was unequivocally assumed to be that of a women. Most of the books are now out of print but MODA allow you to take pictures and notes for your own use, which I shall no doubt refer to again and again.
I was also exploring mundane household objects as I’m interesting in altering them artistically to change their meaning. MODA hold some fascinating catalogues featuring every item a household could possibly need: from pots to pans to doorknobs – all illustrated perfectly in pen and ink with a list of sizes and information beside. All very appealing to the graphic designer in me! I was also able to get hi-res images of some of these pages, which I intend to embroider upon.
I’ll definitely need to go again, but in the meantime I have plenty to be getting on with. I’d highly recommend a visit!