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‘Word Craft’ at the Yorkshire Museum

By Ellen Waters  On July 9th the Yorkshire Museum hosted ‘Word Craft’, a University of York workshop based around medieval artefacts and creative experimentation, which sought to introduce York residents to the vast and exciting medieval history that simmers beneath the city. After a tour of the museum and many of its medieval artefacts, led …

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Star Carr: New Archaeological Archives Project

Over 10,000 years ago in the Vale of Pickering stood a Mesolithic lakeside settlement, now known as Star Carr.  Over time the landscape around Star Carr changed dramatically.  Further afield sea levels rose, separating Great Britain from mainland Europe, and locally the lake in the Vale of York drained, leaving behind waterlogged peat.  For thousands of …

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PICTURES OF THE FLOATING WORLD: DISPLAYING YORK ART GALLERY’S JAPANESE PRINTS (BLOG 3)

What’s in a name?  In our collections display, ‘Pictures of the Floating World: Japanese Ukiyo-e Prints’ we celebrate the wonderful collection of Japanese prints from the Edo period (1603-1868), the majority of which were given to York Art Gallery in 1954 by J.B. Morrell.  One of the challenges in researching these prints has been …

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Unpick one of the oldest objects in our Costume and Textiles collection

Unpick one of the oldest objects in our Costume and Textiles collection

One of the oldest objects in our Costume and Textiles collection is a coif (a type of cap) made over 400 years ago. It was made in an age before sewing machines and mechanised factories, when every stitch of every garment was sewn by hand. We don’t know who made the coif, or who originally …

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Pictures of the Floating World: Displaying York Art Gallery’s Japanese Prints (Blog 2)

York Art Gallery houses an outstanding collection of over 1,100 paintings, around 14,000 works on paper and almost 120 sculptures, not to mention our Centre of Ceramic Art, which holds the largest collection of British Studio Ceramics. One of the many joys and privileges of being a curator, is delving into the stores and selecting works to share …

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Pictures of the Floating World: Displaying York Art Gallery’s Japanese Prints

This is the first in a short series of blog posts about our current display at York Art Gallery – ‘Pictures of the Floating World: Japanese Ukiyo-e Prints’. In these posts, I highlight some of the discoveries that I made during the research, and some revelations that have surfaced since putting the prints on public display. …

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Trimming the Tree – Glass and metal Christmas tree decorations

Like the Yule Log and the Christmas Tree, Christmas baubles originally came from Germany. They were first made in the town of Lauscha (Thuringia, Germany) in the 16th century. The invention of baubles is credited to a glassblower called Hans Greiner (1550-1609) who made strings of glass beads that could be hung up as decorations.  …

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‘Deck the Halls with Boughs of Holly!’ – Yorkshire Christmas Greenery

Bringing greenery indoors is one of our oldest seasonal traditions. In Europe before Christianity, people decorated their homes with greenery for festivals. We know this because important early bishops gathered to discuss whether Christians should be allowed to do this too. Some thought it was too pagan, but Pope Gregory the Great was in support. …

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The Christmas and New Year Tradition of Wassailing

For centuries, wassailing was a popular part of Christmas and New Year celebrations. The word ‘wassail’ comes from the Old Norse for ‘good health’, and wassailing generally involved drinking to peoples’ health, often while singing about it.   Special communal drinking bowls developed. These could be large like the grand sharing bowl on display in our 17 …

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Blog by Cheyann Heap, MA student in Applied Human Rights

Blog by Cheyann Heap, MA student in Applied Human Rights

York Museums Trust has partnered with the Centre for Applied Human Rights, based at the University of York, to support their work with recording lived experiences of those who have been hardest hit by the pandemic and the UK Governments response to it. Chey’s research worked with people from York’s LGBT community to …

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