15 May 2011

Signing off!

It is with sadness that we must announce that this is our last blog post - our project is coming to an end.

We have really enjoyed writing these blog posts, and we hope that you have enjoyed reading them.

It doesn't have to end here, however: remember you can find our page on the Geffrye website, and play with our interactive map of the world and watch our digital story, A Short History of Tea in English Homes.

Also, our The World at Home display begins this Tuesday (17th) and will remain in the cases in the Twentieth Century Galleries at the Geffrye for the next few weeks. You will also be able to view a version of the display panels online. Find out how to get to the Geffrye here (PS it's free!).

We have also catered for the Museum's younger visitors: a special Sam the Dog trail is soon to be installed, which explores the international connections of some of the Geffrye's objects on display in the period rooms. The 'feely box' (in which you have to guess what objects are by feeling them rather than seeing them) has also been refreshed with new objects with an international twist.

Our project has been part of a much larger Stories of the World project, which is itself part of the Cultural Olympiad. The Geffrye is in the process of developing their main Stories of the World project for 2010, so what this space. In the meantime, there are loads of Stories of the World projects going on in museums all over London and the rest of the country. See the Facebook page to find one near you.

We would like to say a huge thankyou to everyone who has followed us over the last couple of months! We would also like to thank the Geffrye for allowing us to go behind-the-scenes at the museum, and the MLA for funding our project. We hope you enjoy the results!

Goodbye from The World at Home!

12 May 2011

A Very Strange Photoshoot

Since December, our Concourse Case Team have been hard at work developing a display which will be installed in the basement level of the Twentieth Century Galleries at the Geffrye on 17th May. Each team member has chosen an object - one from each of the Geffrye's 11 period rooms - and researched its connections with the wider world.

As part of their display panels, each team member will appear in a photograph with their chosen object. Back in March, photographer Em Fitzgerald took the team's photographs, and the Web Resources Team snuck along behind the scenes to see how it was all going.

As you'll see, this was not quite a conventional photoshoot, but we're not giving away exactly what was going on - you'll just have to come and see the display for yourself from next Tuesday!

Don't forget to come and along from next week and see the finished product and find out what on earth was going on!

Also - for those who haven't found it yet, we now have our own page on the Geffrye website, from which you can access our interactive map of the world.

9 May 2011

Mystery Object No. 5 - the Solution

 This pretty little thing is actually a lipstick case!
(c) Geffrye Museum, London

As the clue we posted gave away, it was made in the US. The text reading 'Exotic 2' is the shade of lipstick it was made to hold.

This particular lipstick was made between 1920 and 1960, but lipstick was used far earlier than that. It's thought that people started wearing lipstick as long ago as 5000 years. It's thought that ancient Mesopotamian women invented it by crushing semi-precious jewels, and it was very popular among Ancient Egyptians: Cleopatra wore lipstick made from crushed insects!

Lipstick wasn't used in England until much later, when Queen Elizabeth I first made it popular for upper class women in the 1500s. But it wasn't until 1884 that the first 'modern' lipstick was sold in Paris, made from deer tallow, castor oil and beeswax, and sold wrapped up in silk paper.

At first, all make-up had to be stored in small containers like pots and dishes - you can see many of these in museum collections of ancient objects - but this did make them quite tricky to use. The 'push up' lipstick everyone knows today and which makes lipstick much easier to use wasn't invented until the 1920s and 30s,  which is when manufacturers started producing make-up in many different shades. That was when objects like this one arrived - perfect pretty cases for telling your different shades apart!

You can read more about this particular lipstick case here.
Congratulations to anyone who guessed right on this or any of our other mystery objects - personally, I think some of them were quite tough!

6 May 2011

Mystery Object No. 5 - Something Silver

Yes that’s right, Mystery Object hasn’t gone away! This will, however, be our last instalment as our project is drawing to a close very soon – we’re very sad about this!

Anyway, here’s your last mystery object:
(c) Geffrye Museum, London

Simple question: what do you think was kept in this object?

And of course we’ll give you a clue - you get an extra picture this time!

(c) Geffrye Museum, London

Post your answers in the blog comments or via our Twitter feed.

You can check whether you got it right on Monday.

3 May 2011

Your Favourite Mugs

A little while ago, we asked you to send us photos of your favourite mug and tell us why that's the mug you go for when you need that all-important reviving, comforting cup of tea.

To finish off our 'Two Weeks of Tea', we're going to show you some of our favourites:

Thankyou to Rafi-Lopez for this Mexican mug given as a gift to a French lady who since living in England has adopted the custom of afternoon tea at 4pm. Excellent stuff.

Nicaragua: Defend the Gains of the Revolution

Another very international mug here from mais_oui, although this time it's also a very political one. It was one of many sold in the 1980s to raise money to support Nicaragua's FSLN (Sandinista National Liberation Front), a revolutionary party who seized power, only to be toppled by Regan's administration. Along with the politics, mais_oui tells us that it is also a familiar object from her childhood, combining 'domesticity and global politics'.

Macalester History Dept mug

This is clearly a well-loved and well-used mug, a little bashed about but loved nonetheless. mmbrook8 tells us that it is from her undergraduate college, which she likes to have a little reminder of wherever she goes. The mug is an excellent way to do this. And functional too - what more could you want?

This is a very intriguing contribution from lolamaxx. It was purchased at Dickens' World in Chatham Maritime, Kent. The mind boggles at what that might involve.

We would like to say a big thankyou to everyone who has contributed photographs, we are glad that it is not just us who views our mugs as old friends.
See everyone's contributions on our Flickr group here.

That is it for our photo events, we hope that you have enjoyed sharing some of the things which make up your homes.

Our blog will be drawing to a close soon but fear not - we have one last mystery object up our sleeve. Look out for it soon, we think it might be the most difficult yet...