11 episodes

Taking a closer look at some of the most fascinating stuff inside our museums. From bits of buried treasure to iconic portraits to outlandish furniture, what do these things say about us? Each episode, we hear from a range of people who share their expertise and passion, revealing the incredible stories behind the objects we collect, curate and cherish.
Art and Stuff is published by Art Fund, the UK’s national charity for art, which raises money for museums and galleries through the National Art Pass – a neat little card that gets you free or reduced-price entry to hundreds of great cultural venues and exhibitions around the country. The podcast is produced by Whistledown.

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Art and Stuff Art Fund

    • Arts
    • 5.0 • 3 Ratings

Taking a closer look at some of the most fascinating stuff inside our museums. From bits of buried treasure to iconic portraits to outlandish furniture, what do these things say about us? Each episode, we hear from a range of people who share their expertise and passion, revealing the incredible stories behind the objects we collect, curate and cherish.
Art and Stuff is published by Art Fund, the UK’s national charity for art, which raises money for museums and galleries through the National Art Pass – a neat little card that gets you free or reduced-price entry to hundreds of great cultural venues and exhibitions around the country. The podcast is produced by Whistledown.

See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

    Lobster Telephone

    Lobster Telephone

    In this episode Ben uncovers the curious history behind a defining work of 20th-century Surrealism, Salvador Dali’s Lobster Telephone, part of the collection of National Galleries Scotland. Ben hears from curator Patrick Elliott, who reveals more about the genesis of the work and the man who commissioned it, Edward James; academic Dr Sarah Jackson, whose ‘Crossed Lines’ project examines the representation of the phone in modern literature; and finally, Jamie Ruers of the Freud Museum in London, who reveals more about the connection between Dali and Freud’s theories of the unconscious mind.
    You can see an image of Lobster Telephone at https://www.artfund.org/artandstuff

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    • 23 min
    Spirit of the Carnival

    Spirit of the Carnival

    In this episode Ben uncovers the story behind Tam Joseph’s powerful and provocative painting, Spirit of the Carnival, which offers a commentary on the ever-increasing police presence at London’s annual Notting Hill Carnival during the 70s and 80s. Ben hears from guests including Carol Thompson, curator at Wolverhampton Art Gallery; musician and chairman of the Association of Calypsonians UK, Vincent John; filmmaker and journalist Wyn Baptiste, whose father was the director of the carnival in the mid-70s; and Tam Joseph himself, who sheds light on the creation of the work.
    To see an image of Spirit of the Carnival please visit https://www.artfund.org/whats-on/art-and-stuff

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    • 27 min
    Puppet of Aloysius Parker from Thunderbirds

    Puppet of Aloysius Parker from Thunderbirds

    In this episode Ben discovers more about one of the most recognisable puppets ever to grace the screen: Aloysius Parker from Thunderbirds. Crafted by master puppeteer John Blundall, this version of Parker was never used in the show itself but was made in 2002 from his original design, and is part of the collection at Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery. Ben hears from guests including Jo-Ann Curtis, curator of history at the museum; filmmaker and writer Stephen La Rivière; broadcaster and Thunderbirds fan Samira Ahmed; puppeteer Ronnie Le Drew, perhaps best known for his performance as ‘Zippy’ in the long-running children’s TV show Rainbow; and David Graham, the man who voiced the original Parker in Gerry Anderson’s landmark series.
    You can see an image of Parker by visiting https://www.artfund.org/whats-on/art-and-stuff

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    • 24 min
    The Galloway Hoard

    The Galloway Hoard

    In this episode, Ben explores the story of one of the most significant discoveries of rare Viking-age objects ever found in Britain. The Galloway Hoard lay undisturbed for a thousand years before being unearthed by a metal detectorist in 2014. Ben learns more about this exceptional find from experts Martin Goldberg and Clare Downham, hears about the unique landscape in which the hoard was discovered from broadcaster and Galloway native Kirsty Wark, and gets an insight into the skilled craftsmanship involved in making many of the intricate metalwork pieces in the collection from Scottish jewellery designer Kathryn King.
    The Galloway Hoard is part of the collection at National Museums Scotland and was acquired with the support of Art Fund. You can see an image at https://www.artfund.org/artandstuff

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    • 27 min
    Sarah Stone's watercolour birds

    Sarah Stone's watercolour birds

    In this episode Ben Miller uncovers an incredible collection of more than 170 watercolour illustrations of exotic birds, kept at the Natural History Museum in London. Painted by the nature artist Sarah Stone in the late 18th century, these rich studies gave the public a first look at many unknown bird species from around the world. Ben hears more about the album’s origins from curator Paul Martyn Cooper, while bird expert David Lindo and nature writer Stephen Moss discuss the symbolic importance of birds to our culture. Finally, artist Kate MccGwire gives an insight into Stone’s likely working methods and also explains how birds have come to be a central part of her own artistic practice.
    You can see one of the album's exquisite illustrations by visiting https://www.artfund.org/artandstuff
    Further reading:
    Sarah Stone: Natural Curiosities from the New Worlds by Christine E. Jackson (Merrell Publishers)

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    • 22 min
    The Great Bed of Ware

    The Great Bed of Ware

    In this episode Ben explores the history of one of the grandest objects of furniture in the land, the Great Bed of Ware, part of the collection at the V&A in London. Made in the 16th century, it has been host to thousands of somnolent occupants over the years. Ben hears more about its fascinating story from curator Nick Humphrey and writer Jonathan Ruffle, while sleep experts Sasha Handley and Colin Espie share some interesting nuggets on the science of sleep and the curious nature of our bedtime habits.
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    • 23 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
3 Ratings

3 Ratings

Ms. DeRosia ,

Just delightful

A great museum podcast amongst the many museum podcasts.

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