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


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Published date
19 January 2018

Museum & Study Collection curator Sarah Campbell introduces I Don’t Know Her Name, But I Know Her Work, a display that questions the lack of representation of women in graphic design history.


The project responds to Poster Girls: A Century of Art and Design, the current exhibition at the London Transport Museum which features a number of alumni, many of whom are represented in our Collection.

Working with Ruth Sykes, Associate Lecturer in Graphic Design, we invited students from BA Graphic Design into the Museum to respond to works by these alumni, all professional designers in the early 20th century. The project was voluntary and I was astounded by the commitment and enthusiasm the students showed. Through weekly meetings the students learnt more about the designers and their works, discussed them in groups and developed their ideas. Although the students were unfamiliar with their names, they were aware of the work, leading to the title of the final display. The idea that these female designers have less of an contemporary identity than their male counterparts clearly touched some of the students, and the idea of self-identity and branding as a female designer came up in several of the student’ works.

The project was short, and bursting with ideas, and I was left feeling there were still discussions the students wanted to have around this topic. It’s always exhilarating to see our historic objects provide inspiration to today’s designers, and it’s a big part of what we do as a Museum & Study Collection. Because of this we’re pleased to announce that we will be extending the exhibition and adding new student work, this time responding to 2018 marking the 100th anniversary of women getting the vote. We have a selection of graphic design work about the suffrage movement which the students will be responding to, as before, and I have high hopes for their new creations. Come and see the new work in the CSM Museum Window from February 5.

The anniversary of Representation of the People Act 1918 – which allowed women over the age of 30 to vote if they were either a member or married to a member of the Local Government Register, a property owner, or a graduate voting in a University constituency – is 6 February. Keep an eye on the Museum Twitter and Instagram feeds for more about this project, and for special tweets to celebrate women getting the vote a hundred years ago.


Sarah Campbell, Curator, CSM Museum & Study Collection

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