How to Make the Museum of You with Rachel Morris
Thursday 22nd September 2022
Tickets include Museum Entry
"In my talk I am going to look at museums as memoirs, as places that give us a sense of Home and belonging, and as places where we go to remember our childhoods.... I am also going to ask you to bring along to this workshop something that means a lot to you from your childhood (but only if you want to; there are no obligations here)"
Have you ever wondered what to do with all the old family things that you have inherited from your childhood?
My book, ‘The Museum Makers’, began when I opened up the boxes of old family mementos under my bed. Inside were letters, photos, poems, knitting needles, a christening robe, even my favourite, childhood doll. Taken together they told the entire history of my bohemian family. Despite all the years that I had been running a museum-making company (called Metaphor), this was the first time I realised that just as museums are about making meaningful patterns out of the confusions of the world, so – in what we do with our pasts and how we try to make sense of them – we
are all museum-makers. And in this process of ‘making sense’ our childhood toys play a large part – which is why it is so hard to throw them away.
In my talk I am going to look at museums as memoirs, as places that give us a sense of Home and belonging, and as places where we go to remember our childhoods, and to make sense of them.
And I am also going to ask you to bring along to this workshop something that means a lot to you from your childhood (but only if you want to; there are no obligations here), and then to step up and introduce the object and thus be part of a discussion about how each of us can make the Museum of Ourselves. Because, if given a chance, we all of us have the ability to take our pasts and to do something creative with them.
About Rachel Morris
My book, ‘The Museum Makers’ (published by September Books and out in
paperback in September 2021) is part history of museums, part memoir of a
wayward and bohemian family, part manual of how to make a museum out of your own life.
Prior to writing my book, I was a founding director of Metaphor, a company
specialising in museum master-planning and exhibition design. My job was
Interpretation – how to bring objects alive by the stories we tell about them. Prior to this I had two novels published – ‘The Fringe Orphan’ and ‘Ella and the Mothers’ – both of which were very well reviewed. I have always loved writing. The only thing that could have enticed me away from it for twenty years was my equal love for museums. And one of the things I will say in my talk is that storytelling and museum- making have many things in common.
‘The Museum Makers’ was published by September Books, in 2020 and 2021: The reviews said:
‘A fascinating meditation on the life of objects and their power to trigger our memories’ . . .
‘The best book I have read this year ‘. . .
‘A wonderful and very personal exploration of family history’ . . .
‘Rachel Morris is the smartest storyteller I have ever met . . . ‘