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Wessex Women Workshop

Objects On Tour
From November 2019 to Spring 2020 the Wessex Museums Partnership, will be working together to share their collections between the partner museums – The Salisbury Museum, Wiltshire Museum (Devizes), Poole Museum and Dorset County Museum, under the theme Wessex Women.

Each object on display will reflect an aspect of women’s work and role in society in the Wessex area and is part of an attempt to bring the histories of women to the fore of our work at the museums. At The Wiltshire Museum our Objects during this period are Iron Age pots discovered by Pioneer Archaeologist and ‘Trowelblazer’: Maud Cunnington (1869 – 1951).

Did you know that she was one of the highest profile archaeologists working in Wessex at the turn of the twentieth century? This was no mean feat in Edwardian times! Maud Cunnington was a trowel-blazer and pioneer in the field. Famous for her work on the prehistoric sites of Wiltshire, Maud led many important early excavations across the County. She was committed to bringing archaeology to a wide audience, opening up her excavations to visitors, writing popular books for children and giving public lectures. Maud was awarded with a CBE in 1948 for her services to British archaeology – the first woman archaeologist to receive the honour.

Cost: FREE, but pre-booking is essential (see below)

Before the workshop – We ask you to think in advance about work in your life and to choose an object that represents your work life to bring with you (papers, letters, and photographs as well as physical objects). We are interested in whatever work means to you and could include e.g. employment, unpaid care, parenthood, a creative pursuit. We understand and hope that this will be very different for everyone.

Please take care to choose an object you are happy to talk about in a group. We will eventually make a video recording that will be used in a temporary display.

Part 1 – You will learn more about our Wessex Women display and explore ideas around working life as a woman and what work means, has meant or might mean to you in the future. We will work with Frances Owen, a writing practitioner, who will use writing exercises to get you thinking and talking about our theme.

Part 2 – we will share our objects and what they mean to us with each other, sharing our stories and thoughts about our work and why it has been important to us. We will work together to plan a time to record these stories in the New Year. We may film some of these on the day.
Who can take part?

We are working with women only for this workshop, under the ‘Wessex Women’ theme of our Objects on Tour project. The working life of women is less documented than that of men through history and this project is seeking to draw the lives of women to the forefront of our work.

Any woman aged 18 or over can take part. If you are interested in this project please consider if there are friends or family member who might want to take part too.

Your Objects – Our Collections
We are currently delivering a range of work that uses objects that are important to members of our community as a lens through which to better understand the relevance of the museum and its collections. We have already had some wonderful, surprising and important conversations with a range of local people using this approach and we support participants to share stories, that might otherwise go unheard, in a way they confident and happy with.

If you are interested in taking part in this free workshop and share your work story email our Community Curator

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