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New grant to bring historical artefacts to life

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An OU academic is a co-investigator on a newly funded research project, which will bring historical artefacts to life.

Dr Leah Clark, Senior Lecturer in the OU’s Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, is co-investigator on the project: Mobility of Objects Across Boundaries 1000-1700 (MOB): Exhibiting, Handling and Teaching the Past through Everyday Objects. The project received almost £100,000 from the UK Research and Innovation Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) Follow on Funding Grant for Impact and Engagement, with a contribution from the University of Chester, which is Principal Investigator.

Over the one-year initiative, the academic partners will create a public exhibition at the Grosvenor Museum in Chester, featuring Virtual Reality, bringing to light objects that have never been exhibited before and showcasing the work of school students. The fund will also provide the opportunity to create Object Boxes with medieval and early modern artefacts from the Grosvenor’s collection to be loaned to primary and secondary schools.

Dr Clark said: “This funding will bring the past to life through a public exhibition. The exhibition will tell the stories of medieval and early modern everyday objects we still use today, such as shoes, keys and floor tiles.

“By focussing on the mobility of objects, the exhibition will also highlight how medieval Chester was connected to the larger world, such as the motif of the three hares represented on a tile that once adorned the floor of Chester cathedral. While the tile might have had a local use, walked over by the very shoes also in the exhibition, the three-hare motif actually originated in China.”

Find out more about OU research in Art History

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