DMU’s 150th anniversary exhibition moves online

by Khrista Davis

DMU is celebrating as this year marks 150 years since the beginning of the Leicester School of Art, its predecessor institution.

An exhibition was originally planned to be held inside the DMU Heritage Centre but organisers have moved it online so people can still view it during lockdown without leaving their home.

The exhibition has been curated by DMU Heritage Centre co-ordinator Elizabeth Wheelband, with Heritage assistant, Steven Peachey, and university archivist, Katharine Short.

Together they made an exhibition which discovers what sculpts Leicester including: the social transformations, hidden campus histories, campus alterations and research.

Elizabeth said: “The online exhibition was created to stand in for the main exhibition we hope to launch next year. Although we cannot monitor physical numbers, we are able to keep track of page views and the exhibition received 820 page views in its first live week.

“The original concept for celebrating 150 years of DMU as a teaching institution was created by the university’s archivist, Katharine Short.

“With her lead, a project team was put together including me and my colleague Steven, a few members of the COMMS team and a few colleagues from the university’s Events Team. We were tasked with outlining a year of activities to help celebrate and share the history of our university to students, staff, and the wider community.”

DMU’s history traces back to Leicester School of Art, founded in 1870, which soon became one of the largest art schools in the country.

Katharine added: “It’s my job as the university archivist to research and share histories of the institution using the documents in our collections.

“I have known for a while that the 150th anniversary would be in 2020 and have been planning for it since around 2017/2018. We were meant to be doing a lot of events this year but with the pandemic we ended up having to shift content online where possible.

“The articles on the library website are a mix of new research and older blog posts which I reformatted at the beginning of lockdown to look more professional and bring them into one place. The timeline was a collaboration with the Web Design team, I provided the content and they put it all together.”

For more information and to have a look at the gallery, go to https://www.dmu.ac.uk/150/gallery.aspx .

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