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Museum & Study Collection: past exhibitions

Human Resources - Drawing and the Gift

7 September - 30 October

Taking the theme of Paperwork from the Human Resources exhibition, the Museum & Study Collection has dedicated a window to a single project: The Drawing and the Gift. In January 2020 the Museum & Study Collection decided to repurpose a duplicate collection of 19th-century reproduction prints, each Stage 1 student on the XD pathway was gifted a print to do with what they would, making connections across time in response to another’s line or mark.

person with knitted head mask/sculpture on head
Cindy Sarah, FAD Plus, CCW

Foundation Plus: Co-Create

Students from CCW FAD Plus and CSM FAD Plus collaborated on a two-week project where they 'co-created' unique pieces in response to an object from the CSM Museum and Study Collection and/ or the Chelsea Library Archive. A selection of the work is on show in the CSM Museum windows until mid-September.

double exposure
Textures of the Current by Yiheng Cui, Claire Kleinman, Elisa Motta, Daniel Rey, and Shengjia Zhang


5–27 July 2022

Reassemblages is a collection of collaborative responses to the British Artists' Film and Video Study Collection by MA Fine Art and MRes Art: Moving Image students.

Inspired by material in the collection these imaginative new works produce new associations, meanings, and resonances.

painting of a flower pot
Raksha Patel

Goddesses of King's Cross

11 February – 29 April 2022

This exhibition was a new commission from artist and Central Saint Martins graduate Raksha Patel. Documenting the artist’s response to botanical drawings in the Central Saint Martins Museum & Study Collection. Centring on a painting of the Tulsi or Holy Basil plant that is revered and sacred in parts of South Asia. Watch the slideshow of work from the show.

duotone collage
Mohammad Namazi, Acts of Translation

Mohammad Namazi: Acts of Translation

15 November 2021 – 28 January 2022

Exploring the context of immersion within a group of collections, materials and references, Acts of Translation connects a series of components that resonate with aspects of the experience when an artist intervenes with an archive.

close up of museum window

Co-Create 2021

1 August – 10 September 2021

Each year the Foundation Plus course works with the Museum & Study Collection in a challenging project designed to mix up working styles and promote student partnerships. Working in mixed discipline pairs for seven days, students share skills and approaches. Each pair is given an object from the Museum & Study Collection to base their collaboration on, and each year the students come up with inventive interpretations of museum artefacts.

Flower wreath with text reading ‘The People’s Champion’.
Mitch Vowels, alum of BA Fine Art at Chelsea College of Art, The People's Champion

Behind the Glass by Boys Don't Cry

10 May – 11 June 2021

Behind the Glass was a project exploring mental health by Boys Don’t Cry in collaboration with the Museum & Study Collection. Launching in Mental Health Awareness Week, the exhibition showcased new work created around the theme of male mental health, inspired by the artworks and stories in the Museum & Study Collection.

cover of trash magazine

Big conversations…with the class of 2019

15 October 2020 – 31 January 2021

Every year the Museum & Study Collection works with the Deans to select a body of work from the annual graduate shows. Throughout the selection process, it became clear that our students are very motivated by social justice, anti-racism and the climate emergency, all looming large in their collective imagination.

screenshots of open publications of old camerawork issues

MA Culture, Criticism, and Curation 2020

Three projects from the MA CCC students of 2020 showcased three group projects: Embodying the Character, Echoes of Nature and Silence in the streets.

sketches of games

Carson & Miller - Games of Picking and Choosing

11 November 2019 – 5 January 2020

This exhibition was a culmination of Carson & Miller’s games, played using artefacts from the Museum & Study Collection as a starting point and played with staff and creatives from Outpost. Games of Picking and Choosing included A Book-Making Game - producing a limited edition artists’ book, played by Outpost’s creatives using objects and materials from the Museum & Study Collection. You can download a free version of A Book-Making Game [1.2MB PDF] and make it yourself.

Black and white photograph of three folded shirts on a concrete background
Co-create - Saphire Wang and Anna Naldini (Credit: Saphire Wang and Anna Naldini)

Co-Create Foundation Plus

1 August – 25 October 2019

This project by Foundation Plus and Museum & Study Collection was focused on sustainability with young students engaging seriously with a big topic, each student pair was given an artefact from the Museum to respond to, an object that already had some link to the theme of sustainability to inspire them. Visiting the Library and Materials Collection to view relevant texts, the students selected visual references to inform their concepts. Through tutorials, workshops and crits, the projects were developed and the final outcomes photographed for display in the window.

a charcoal sketch of a woman in a dress

A Century of Drawing the Body

28 February – 3 April 2019

Life drawing was seen as an anachronism by the end of the twentieth century, synonymous with an old-fashioned skills-based approach that art schools were trying to escape. Despite this, the body remained a compelling subject matter for artists and designers. This exhibition explored how manifestations of the body have changed over time, see the highlights on Twitter and Instagram.

fashion illustration

Elizabeth Suter: Sharp Lines and Swift Sketches

8 February – 2 June 2019

Elizabeth Suter was a well-known illustrator, fashion journalist and eventually, Head of Fashion at the College from 1953–1977. Her illustrations shown in this exhibition were largely drawn from memory, as sketching was prohibited at fashion shows during the time. Suter always elegantly captured the movement of the catwalk with her fast and confident style.

illustration of polar bear at north pole with happy christmas message

Merry Christmas

6 December 2018 – 7 January 2019

Celebrating Christmas, the Museum & Study collection celebrate by exhibiting all Christmas related material. Cards, produced by the CSM community, show variations of Christmas from biblical scenes to digital cards.

sketch of chinese characters
Chinese Dreams by Zhiwen Tang

Creative Uncertainty

16 September – 15 November 2018

Creative Uncertainty was created in the spring of 2016, shortly before the UK referendum. The ensuing political debate created a sense of unrest and uncertainty, students from all over the world waited to hear the result of the Brexit vote and this disquiet was reflected in their work. This exhibition showed how the creative spirit engages with an uncertain world.

a woman points at a book from an archive

Claremont Transfer: Socially Engaged Practice

10 September – 10 November 2018

Banners and flags were created for this exhibition by participants from the Claremont Project during a series of workshops run by BA Textile Design and the Museum & Study Collection. Students and participants explored colour and identity influenced by material from the Museum collection as well as students work. Design can deliver positive outcomes for communities and students want their practice to have agency in this. Increasing evidence suggests taking part in creative activities, particularly in a museum environment, can help address social isolation, improve self-confidence and address mental health issues.

collage of x rays

X-Ray Archive

25 June – 31 August 2018

Encouraging the use of the archives from all six UAL colleges, X-Ray Archive brought together objects and scientific photographs. The project involved a collaboration with Dr. Ken Wilder and MA Interior Spatial Design students from Chelsea College of Arts, whose research into ways of using mobile exhibition devices led to the design of a Mobile Archive. Chelsea MA Curating students helped in the curation/installation of the exhibition. The X-ray Archive is supported by UAL Academic Developmen and Services.

text that says exploring the most widely used writing system in the world today

Roamin’ Romans

1–20 May 2018

Roamin’ Romans explored the typography, type design, typesetting and lettering crafts around the Roman letter and alphabet. Showcasing a variety of works on the evolution of the Roman letter and alphabet, with the main objective throughout to simply enjoy examining and creating letters. The project was devised and curated by Helen Ingham, CSM Specialist Letterpress Technician, with the support and advice of Phil Baines, Laura Baker, Craig Barnes, Cath Caldwell and the CSM Museum Studies Collection.

A black and white news paper clipping which shows students working in different studios
Lost & Found

Lost & Found

5–31 July 2017

A collaboration between students, staff, researchers and archivists, commissioned by the Teaching and Learning Exchange. Lost & Found questioned the surrounding myth of a golden era of arts education, collapsing distinctions between past and present. Artefacts were drawn from the Museum & Study Collection, University Archives and Special Collections Centre, and Chelsea College of Arts Library.

Two images a person holding a rose over their chest, one of the images has had its colours inverted
Invocation: Jo Ann Kaplan

Invocation: Jo Ann Kaplan

12–23 May 2017

Inspired by archive materials belonging to the Jo Ann Kaplan Archive and informed by wider research, this exhibition explored concepts of sexuality, identity and transience in relation to Kaplan’s practice. Honouring Kaplan’s life-long work as an artist and filmmaker, reflecting on the many layers and complexities that characterized her production. Curated by CSM MA Culture, Criticism and Curation students.

A black and white photograph of the inside of a studio
Loop: The Film Workshop Space since the 1960s

Loop: The Film Workshop Space since the 1960s

27 April – 8 May 2017

Referring to the idea of film as a 'work in progress', this exhibition delved into the College’s fine art archive, which spans a vast collection of documents and minutia from the 60s–‘00s. The objects found were varied, ranging from student photos and profiles, to exhibition material and institutional administrative documents. The research provided insight into the lives and work of the students, their progress and the establishment of the Film and Video course during that time.

Eduardo Paolozzi
Eduardo Paolozzi

Eduardo Paolozzi at the Central School

13 February – 16 March 2017

From 1949–1955, Eduardo Paolozzi taught textile design at the Central School of Arts and Crafts. This exhibition featured original prints produced during this time, where Paolozzi made experimental and innovative prints. Made in a richly collaborative and interdisciplinary environment, these prints were created with technician and theorist Anton Ehrenzweig, artist-photographer Nigel Henderson, artist Richard Hamilton and sculptor William Turnbull. Curated by Rosie Ram and the Museum & Study Collection, in conjunction with BA Textile Design and MA Culture Criticism and Curation.

Two illustrations side by side, one of a woman surrounded by illustrations of embroidery and the other shows a group of people wearing traditional clothes, riding horses.
I Don't Know Her Name, But I Know Her Work

I Don't Know Her Name, But I Know Her Work

15 November 2017 – 5 February 2018

A display of graphic design work by female students, staff and alumni. Students selected a piece from the Museum & Study Collection that had been designed by one of the Colleges alumni featured in the coinciding exhibition: ‘Poster Girls: A Century of Art and Design’ at the London Transport Museum. Students taking part questioned the lack of diversity and representation in graphic design history and calling for a more inclusive approach, their response was influenced by the methods and materials used in the designs, as well as the wider context. See the exhibition Instagram.

TFL weaving digital draft
Wallace Sewell

Weaving Futures

5 November 2016 – 18 February 2017

Weaving Futures was shown as part of the London Transport Museum’s Designology season and saw a host of CSM staff, students and alumni take over the museum. Co-curated by BA Textile Design’s Woven Pathway Leader, Philippa Brock.