23 episodes

Museums, galleries and historic houses are treasure troves of items from the past. But how easy is it at these sites to unknowingly just walk straight past an object with an incredible story to tell? In this podcast series journalist Ploy Radford talks to the experts at different museums, galleries and historic houses about the most underrated objects in their collection, and unveils some fantastic facts.

Past Matters Ploy Radford

    • Society & Culture
    • 4.5, 2 Ratings

Museums, galleries and historic houses are treasure troves of items from the past. But how easy is it at these sites to unknowingly just walk straight past an object with an incredible story to tell? In this podcast series journalist Ploy Radford talks to the experts at different museums, galleries and historic houses about the most underrated objects in their collection, and unveils some fantastic facts.

    A pair of huia birds - The Horniman Museum & Gardens

    A pair of huia birds - The Horniman Museum & Gardens

    In this episode, host Ploy Radford talks to Jo Hatton, Keeper of the Natural History Collection at the Horniman Museum & Gardens in South London. She picked a pair of taxidermied huia birds from the collection as her underrated objects. What makes these sadly now extinct birds particularly remarkable is that they represent the most pronounced example of sexual dimorphism in bill shape of any bird species in the world. 

    So keep listening to learn more about these fascinating creatures from Jo, as well as what they tell us about emerging interest in natural history in Victorian England.

    • 27 min
    Two swords - Ipswich Museum

    Two swords - Ipswich Museum

    For this episode, host Ploy Radford revisits a museum featured in season 1 – Ipswich Museum. This time, Tim Rousham from the visitor services team at the museum discusses two pattern-welded swords from the 9th century AD. Tune in to this episode to learn more about designing beautiful and effective swords and how their shape changed over time and why. 

    You can see an image of swords on www.ployradford.com or by following Past Matters on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. 

    • 32 min
    1960s clock - Museum of the Home

    1960s clock - Museum of the Home

    Vanessa Meade, Curator of Exhibitions and Interpretations at the Museum of the Home, talks to Ploy Radford about a humble yet special 1960s clock for this episode of Past Matters. 

    You can view a picture of the clock on www.ployradford.com or by following Past Matters on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook. 

    • 18 min
    'Schooner approaching the harbour' - Compton Verney

    'Schooner approaching the harbour' - Compton Verney

    Compton Verney in Warwickshire has one of the finest collections of folk art in the UK. In this episode Director Julie Finch tells Ploy Radford why 'Schooner approaching the harbour' by Alfred Wallis, which is painted on a tea tray, is a piece of folk art that particularly resonates with her during the 2020 coronavirus pandemic lockdown. 

    You can view an image of the painting on www.ployradford.com. 

    • 19 min
    Two smocks - The MERL

    Two smocks - The MERL

    When you're asked to imagine an iconic item of clothing the humble smock probably doesn't come to mind. However, in this episode, Dr Ollie Douglas, Curator at The Museum of English Rural Life (MERL), convinces podcast host Ploy Radford as to the importance of the smock to English identity. Design, how we align stories with historical objects and ferrets all feature too. 

    As ever you can find pictures of the objects discussed on this podcast on PloyRadford.com. 

    • 41 min
    A patera - The Roman Baths, Bath

    A patera - The Roman Baths, Bath

    In this episode, Zofia Matyjaszkiewicz, who is the Collections Assistant at the Roman Baths in Bath, tells Ploy Radford why a patera - a shallow libation bowl - is her underrated object at this world-famous site. This one object sets off a whole discussion about Roman lives and passions, how design can let us date an object, and the concept of pilgrimage. 

    You can view a picture of the patera on the website PloyRadford.com. 

    • 23 min

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5
2 Ratings

2 Ratings

Johannes Virus ,

Off to a Great Start!

I just listened to the podcast about the parade sallet at the Wallace Collection. It was interesting, insightful, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I can’t wait to hear more episodes. If there’s any desire by the host, I’d love to hear a discussion of The Laughing Cavalier, also at the Wallace Collection.

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