The Attic (a name which commemorates our first physical location) is, first and foremost, a site for the research students of the School of Museum Studies at the University of Leicester: a virtual community which aims to include all students, be they campus-based and full-time, or distance-learning and overseas. But we welcome contributions from students of museum studies - and allied subject areas - from outside the School and from around the world. Here you will find a lot of serious stuff, like exhibition and research seminar reviews, conference alerts and calls for papers, but there's also some 'fluff'; the things that inspire, distract and keep us going. After all, while we may be dead serious academic types, we're human too.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Magical Realism

A whimsical and rather adorable story from Kensington Palace: taking advantage of building work on the site, curators have invited actors, artists and designers to create installations to imaginatively evoke the Palace's history. The idea is that construction has shaken the fabric of the building, and now the dimensions of past and present have magically mingled. Installations include fashion by Vivienne Westwood and Stephen Jones, as well as live-action interpretation, interactive toy soldier armies, a knitted throne, and Victorian fairy tales come to life. To my own surprise, I find this all rather delightful.

More about the Enchanted Palace exhibition
From 26 March 2010, Kensington Palace will become the Enchanted Palace in a unique multisensory exhibition combining fashion, performance, and dazzling spectacle to reveal Kensington's magnificent State Apartments in a magical new light.
In the sumptuous State Apartments, leading fashion designers Vivienne Westwood, William Tempest, Stephen Jones, Boudicca, Aminaka Wilmont and illustrator/set designer Echo Morgan will each create spectacular installations in collaboration with WILDWORKS, taking inspiration from Kensington Palace and the princesses who once lived there - Mary, Anne, Caroline, Charlotte, Victoria, Margaret and Diana.

These extraordinary contemporary designs will be displayed alongside historic items from the Royal Collection and Kensington Palace's Royal Ceremonial Dress Collection, together with two dresses worn by Diana, Princess of Wales and Princess Margaret.

The complex and mysterious world of the royal court will be opened up through spectacular installations, interactive theatre, intimate storytelling, soundscapes, haunting film projections, and a series of intriguing clues hidden throughout the historic rooms, revealing tales of love and hate, surprise and sadness, secrets and jealousy.
Each room will have a powerful story to tell about Kensington Palace's former royal residents and the life of the court - a world within a world, with its own time and rituals.

For more information on the Enchanted Palace see

Volunteer opportunity with Historic Royal Palaces at Kensington Palace, London
An exciting opportunity has arisen for volunteers to help with the evaluation of a new exhibition at Kensington Palace: The Enchanted Palace. We would like a number of volunteers to carry out face to face interviews with our visitors using a questionnaire we have prepared.
Volunteers will need to be confident in talking to visitors and recording feedback, a second language would be desirable and you must be willing to spend time standing talking to the public.

We are able to pay expenses of up to £8.00 per day on production of valid receipts and will be able to provide desk space, a computer and tea and coffee during break periods. We would also give you background to the exhibition and information about the Interpretation & Marketing Departments and our work. We would like volunteers who can be (even only for some of the days) available between April 19th and 23rd May including weekends. If you are interested in this opportunity please e-mail your CV with a short covering e-mail explaining why you think you are right for this role to Rhiannon Goddard, Interpretation Programmes Manager, by Tuesday 7th April 2010.