Contested Objects: Curating Soldier Art

Holly Furneaux, Sue Prichard


Joseph Rawdon’s account of his making of a military quilt incorporates an emotional
object biography of a kind typically attached to this kind of material. He recalls
the long period of production, an investment of physical and emotional labour
of a different, but related, order to the effort of his dead colleagues, those ‘poor
fellows that fought hard for their country and fell in the struggle’, and whose then
surplus uniforms contribute to the fabric of the patchwork. In this co-authored
article we draw upon objects like that produced by Rawdon, and the narratives
that accompany them, to explore the value and challenges of curating objects
produced by soldiers in wartime. Focusing on patchwork produced by Victorian
military men, we seek to extend the understanding of trench art, in terms of
chronology and form.

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Copyright (c) 2016 Holly Furneaux, Sue Prichard

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Museum and Society

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