BA Curating and Art History – 2nd-year Placements (2021-22)

Beverley Art Gallery | Castle Howard | Fairfax House | Ferens Art Gallery | Kiplin Hall | Lotherton Hall | National Railway Museum | St Mary’s Church, Beverley | The Beacon Museum, Whitehaven | Thirsk Hall Sculpture Garden | University of York Art Collection | York Museums Trust

Second-year students studying Curating and Art History undertook placements with institutions from the arts and heritage sector, both in York and farther afield, during 2021–22.

In York, two students were placed at Fairfax Housethree at the National Railway Museum; and two with York Museums Trust. Two had a joint placement with the University of York Art Collection and Beverley Art Gallery. Farther afield, students carried out their placements at the Beacon Museum, Whitehaven;  Castle HowardFerens Art GalleryKiplin HallLotherton HallSt Mary's Church, Beverley; and Thirsk Hall Sculpture Garden

The students gained valuable insight and carried out a variety of work, relevant to their host institutions. They contributed to projects, exhibitions and research, and learned how to handle and catalogue objects.

At Thirsk Hall Sculpture Garden, James Lewis worked on archival material for the exhibition of a selection of Austin Wright's sculptures and works on paper held at the Willoughby Gerrish gallery in London, from 11 May to 10 June 2022.

Evie Andrews and Hazel Erwee at Fairfax House worked on the cataloguing and care of new acquisitions, including the possibly daunting task of cleaning a set of Georgian glasses. After completing their placements, both Evie and Hazel were offered employment at Fairfax House.

left: back view of two women cleaning Georgian glassware; right, one working on

Students Evie Andrews and Hazel Erwee on placement at Fairfax House: left, cleaning Georgian glassware; and right, cataloguing a print by Nathaniel Buck (active 1724–59) of a view of Sheffield (Photos courtesy of Fairfax House)

For two placements at historic houses, the Platinum Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II was the springboard for projects that students worked on:

Holly Hammond wrote an article for the Castle Howard blog about her experience supporting the Curatorial Team at Castle Howard in creating their temporary exhibition Crown Jewels & Coronets: Royal History at Castle Howard;

Imogen Hayden worked on a project to create a family trail in celebration of the Platinum Jubilee. Under her guidance, a small team of volunteers created felt cupcakes that featured in the trail.  As Imogen explained, 'The cupcakes are a symbol of celebration and will be placed around the museum near objects of interest on the trail, acting like bread crumbs (or cake crumbs in this case!) leading visitors around the house. Labels on the cakes will ask questions and prompt visitors to explore the collections on display more closely'. Imogen and the trail were featured in the Yorkshire Post and a Historic Houses news item, and she was a guest on the Preserve Cast podcast, discussing the Jubilee celebrations at Kiplin Hall.


L to r: women crafting round a table; and a felted cup cake

Imogen Hayden at Kiplin Hall: left, with volunteers making the felted cup cakes; and right, one of the cup cakes in situ on the trail



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