• Getting a Living. Getting a Life: Leonora Eyles, Employment and Agony 1925-1930

      Hackney, Fiona; Ritchie, Rachel; Hawkins, Sue; Phillips, Nicola; Kleinberg, S. Jay (Routledge, 2016)
    • Talking textiles, making value: Catalysing fashion, dress, and textiles heritage in the Midlands

      Hackney, Fiona; Bloodworth, Jo; Baines, Emily; Howard, Catherine; Anderson, Claire (Taylor & Francis, 2019-12-31)
      There are hundreds of small museums, archives, and collections in the English Midlands, United Kingdom (UK), many of which are the legacy of the region’s rich industrial heritage. A surprising number of these include dress and textiles in various forms, from the costume collection of Charles Paget-Wade at Berrington Hall (Leominster) to intricately stitched smocks made by local needlewomen in Herefordshire, and the wealth of manufacturers’ samples that comprise the silk ribbon trade archive at the Herbert Museum, Coventry. These are challenging times for many such organisations as they face cutbacks in staff and local authority funding. Yet they offer a unique and largely unexploited resource for staff, students, and researchers in art and design higher education (HE), not only for primary research but also as a catalyst for design innovation. The discussion here, which takes the format of group research practitioner interview, builds on a Knowledge Exchange event that was held December 2017 at the Fashion Lab, University of Wolverhampton (UoW). The event brought together a diverse group of fashion and textiles professionals to talk, exchange ideas, take part in object handling sessions, mind-map, and brain-storm how to catalyse connections between heritage collections and higher education and build value. With seed funding from the Museum-University Partnership Initiative (MUPI) (see National Co-ordinating Centre for Public Engagement - NCCPE 2019), the day built on a series of scoping visits to collections in the region undertaken by Professor Fiona Hackney and Dr Emily Baines. The group involved staff, students and museum professionals including those from UoW, De Montfort University (DMU), Hereford College of Arts (HCA), Nottingham Trent University (NTU), artist Ruth Singer who leads the Arts Council-funded Criminal Quilts project in association with Staffordshire Record Office (Singer 2019), and representatives from Herefordshire Museum Service, the Herbert Gallery (Coventry), Walsall Museums Service, the Lace Guild Stourbridge, and Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust. The following conversation reflects themes that emerged in the project including: the need to embed archival work and primary research in fashion and textiles curricula at all levels, the development of hubs to connect university research with museum practice, the added value of artist-led projects, and the significance of place-based textiles heritage as a catalyst for new business and sustainable design practice.
    • Woman Appeal. A New Rhetoric of Consumption: Women’s Domestic Magazines in the 1920s and 1930s

      Hackney, Fiona; Clay, Catherine; DiCenzo, Maria; Green, Barbara (Edinburgh University Press, 2017-12-31)
      When in 1926 two brothers from South Wales, William and Gomer Berry, struck a deal to acquire the entire business of the Amalgamated Press (AP), they took on the mantle of ‘Britain’s leading magazine publishing business,’ after the untimely death of AP owner and press magnate, Alfred Harmsworth (Lord Northcliffe) (Cox and Mowatt 2014: 60–3). The continued importance of magazines aimed at the female reader for the Berry’s empire was emphasised by William in his first speech as chairman, and in the coming years a host of new titles including Woman and Home, Woman’s Journal, Woman’s Companion, Wife and Home, Woman and Beauty and Home Journal were added to established staples such as Home Chat, Women’s Pictorial, Woman’s World and Woman’s Weekly. The launch of over fifty titles by AP and its rivals Newnes and Pearson, and Odhams Press, put women and their magazines at the forefront of popular publishing in the interwar years. By the end of the 1930s Odhams Press, under the direction of its dynamic managing director Julias Elias (Lord Southwood), had usurped the AP’s position with its innovative publication Woman, which brought the visual appeal of good quality colour printing to a tuppeny weekly, something that previously had only been available in expensive, high-class magazines. The interwar years witnessed expansion and consolidation, struggle and innovation as these publishing giants competed to command the lucrative market for women’s magazines.