Rethinking Disability Representation in Museums and Galleries
Initiated and managed by RCMG, Rethinking Disability Representation in Museums and Galleries (RDR) was a large scale, experimental project which developed new approaches to the interpretation of disability and the representation of disabled people’s lives and experiences in museums and galleries in the UK. It aimed to develop politically aware approaches to interpretation drawing on the social model of disability.
Working with nine partner museums the project resulted in exhibitions, displays and educational programmes which offered to visitors, and to society more broadly, alternative (non-prejudiced) ways of thinking about disability. RDR was funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, the National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts (NESTA), with contributions from the University of Leicester and the nine partner museums.
The nine projects were:
- Talking about... Disability and Art, Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery
- Life Beyond the Label, Colchester Castle Museum
- Lives in Motion, Glasgow Museum of Transport
- Conflict and Disability, Imperial War Museum London
- I stand corrected?, Northampton Museum and Art Gallery
- Behind the shadow of Merrick, Royal London Hospital Archives and Museum
- Daniel Lambert: an ‘exalted and convivial mind’, Stamford Museum
- One in Four, Tyne and Wear Museums
- A Whitby Fisherman’s Life: ‘Stumper’ Dryden through the lens of Frank Meadows Sutcliffe, Whitby Museum
Rethinking Disability Representation in Museums and Galleries reports and reflects on RDR. It is available in alternative formats on request from RCMG.
- Rethinking Disability Representation in Museums and Galleries (2008)
- Word version, Rethinking Disability Representation in Museums and Galleries (2008)
Copies of Rethinking Disability Representation in Museums and Galleries are available from RCMG. The publication is free but there will be a cost for postage and packing. Please contact RCMG@le.ac.uk for details.
Behind the Shadow of Merrick is a ten minute film made for the Royal London Hospital Archives and Museum by Film maker David Hevey in collaboration with Archivist Jonathan Evans. The film uses objects, documents and stories related to Joseph Merrick (more widely known as the 'Elephant Man') to examine issues and issues surrounding disability both in the past and present day.
The film Behind the Shadow of Merrick is available as a DVD from RCMG. Please contact RCMG@le.ac.uk for details.
Two project updates shared the outcomes and learning experiences of the project.