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Not Just a Pretty Picture: Art as a Historical Source

18th November 2021 @ 6:15 pm 7:30 pm


About the November Forum

Presented by: Yvonne M. Cresswell

Art galleries are full of artwork appreciated for their great artistic and aesthetic qualities, but what about the local art collection? Works by local artists and of local scenes (even if considered good enough to display) are often tucked away in a side room, unloved and unappreciated. Local art collections are frequently a much underrated and underutilised historical source. This talk will look at the different ways that artwork can be used in local history research and will provide an opportunity to look beyond the ‘pretty picture’. Even really bad paintings can provide a wealth of historical information and detail that may not be found anywhere else.

Speaker: Yvonne M. Cresswell has recently retired as Curator: Social History at Manx National Heritage (the Island’s national heritage service) after 34 years, where she curated the social history collections & National Art Collection. Several years spent studying at Leicester University (historical geography, English Local History & Museum Studies) provided the perfect training for her local history work on the Isle of Man.

About Vaughan Open Research Forum

Vaughan Open Research Forum is series of talks, workshops and interactive sessions which are open to anyone who is curious and wants to find out more.

Themes for sessions relate to our core teaching topics, arts, humanities, social sciences and counselling, and also discuss adult education and co-operative issues. The Vaughan Open Research Forums take place on the second Thursday of the month.


The video conference will run from 6.15 pm – 7:30 pm. Details will be sent on the day via Eventbrite to people who have registered.

Due to social distancing measures, this session will take place via video conference. Please register below.

Not Just a Pretty Picture: Art as a Historical Source

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