Tuesday, 16 February 2010

National Education Archive

Last Monday I went to visit the National Education Archive which is at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park to look at part of the Legat Collection - a family of russian ballet dancers. I was particularly interested in the registers for the ballet lessons, beautiful ledgers containing the most wonderful names like Miss Baby Arafeloff , Miss Unity Peacock and Mr Puck Meyer! I am finding that what I am really drawn to in archives and museums is the way things are stored, sorted and displayed. Concealed in tissue paper, lists of items with reference numbers in old type and just the quality of the papers and the boxes that objects and documents are held within. Each box and sealed piece of tissue paper I opened, was like being a child again and discovering secrets behind closed doors, drawers and inside cases.

Its a curious collection of photos and documents, the costumes give some of the imagery a surreal feel and the portrait photos probably done for publicity and performance programmes are reminiscent of Madame Yevonde's Goddesses collection.

1 comment:

  1. I like the idea of being Miss Unity Peacock, its a shame we cant make up our own names. I would like to be Miss Divine Sunflower (I live in hope!). Having just seen the Taking Time exhibition in Edinburgh - that's what people used to do - take the time to present, document, store items. Lucky you, sounds like a great time x CA