Press release issued 4 January 2013
Shine, an exhibition of contemporary artists' responses to Victorian prints held by the University of Bristol Theatre Collection, is on display in the Collection until 28 February 2013.
Shine displays original nineteenth century tinsel prints, part of the world-renowned Raymond Mander & Joe Mitchenson Collection (M&M), donated to the University of Bristol in 2011, alongside new works created in response to them by a group of Bristol Printmakers.
During the first half of the nineteenth century, so-called 'tinsel prints' – hand coloured images, adorned with fabric and metal foil, of actors playing various roles – were highly popular. The M&M Collection contains several examples of such prints showing a number of famous performers of the period such as Edmund Kean and Maria Malibran.
For the Shine exhibition, over a dozen Bristol-based printmakers, drawn from Spike Print Studio and the University of the West of England created their own responses to these images, featuring contemporary icons such as Judy Dench, Lady Gaga and Bradley Wiggins.
Shine runs from 27 November 2012 to 28 February 2013 at the Theatre Collection, 21 Park Row BS1 5LY; admission free. For opening times, visit the Theatre Collection website.
About the M&M Collection
The M&M Collection – the result of a lifetime's collecting by actors Raymond Mander and Joe Mitchenson – contains a unique combination of artwork, designs, audio recordings, props, photography, books, costumes, artefacts and ceramics plus a vast array of archival material comprising a 'reference' collection and personal archives, totalling 2,500 archive boxes. The collection's long term future was assured in 2011 when it was relocated to the University's Theatre Collection, thus creating one of the world's largest collections dedicated to British theatre history.
About the Theatre Collection
Since its foundation in 1951, the University of Bristol Theatre Collection has expanded to become a Fully Accredited Museum and theatrical research centre. It also continues to serve its original purpose as a research resource for the members of the Department of Drama at the University of Bristol, and the Bristol community.
Its Acquisition Policy focuses on British theatre history, with particular strengths being theatre in the South West, Victorian theatre, Post-World War II theatre, Live and Performance Art, scenery and costume design and other related artwork. Its development has been dependent on the generosity of others. A large proportion of the holdings come from donations and bequests from enthusiasts and professionals who share the desire to preserve a record of theatre in Britain.
Refurbishment in 1998 improved accessibility, study and storage conditions and in 2001 the Theatre Collection was awarded full Registered Museum status by the Museums and Galleries Commission. In 2009 it was awarded full Accredited Museum status by the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council. A major cataloguing programme has computerised information of over 100,000 items. The Theatre Collection has also been involved in Backstage, a collaborative project to provide a theatre gateway on the internet, and the digitisation of images for on-line access.
From the Theatre Collection 'Shine' exhibition, 'Mrs Thomson as the Bird Girl from the Gifford Circus'; artist: Kimmy Thomson
From the Theatre Collection 'Shine' exhibition, 'Mr Brodsky'; artist: Mary Collett