Jan 29 2019

Sarah Creed, Exhibitions Curator, has recently overseen the opening of the Christiana Herringham exhibition. We recently caught up with Sarah to understand more about her role, and to understand more about the new Christiana Herringham exhibition.


1. Can you tell us a bit about yourself and your role as Exhibitions Curator?

I have joined Royal Holloway after just under 10 years working in exhibitions research and management across a variety of museums and heritage organisations including the British Museum, Dulwich Picture Gallery and Imperial War Museums.

I have joined Royal Holloway to lead on the programming and management of the temporary exhibition gallery we have within the Davison building (in between the shop and the events space on the ground floor) which hosts up to 4 temporary exhibitions a year. Topics exhibited so far include the suffrage history of the college, contemporary photography, history of computing and the Digital Forest exhibit that I know was very popular last summer.

We are aiming for the space to reflect both the ongoing research interests and research outputs of academics throughout the college, but also to engage students and staff alike as a recreational space to visit during studies and work, and I hope the space becomes a regular stop for all those visiting the campus.


2. We understand that the Christiana Herringham Exhibition opened recently (Monday 14 January), could you tell us a bit more about the exhibition?

The current exhibition is a culmination of research from PhD student Michaela Jones and our College Curator, Laura MacCulloch, who have been researching Herringham, her collection and life over the past few years. Christiana Herringham was an artist, intrepid traveller, collector and suffragist who’s personal collection of art, along with Thomas Holloway’s, forms the core of the Royal Holloway art collection.

She is seen as quite a trailblazer of her time, friends with Millicent Fawcett she was an active supporter of the suffrage movement and collected art from all over the world, as well as advocating craft and women’s education.

This is the first time in over 70 years that an exhibition has been dedicated to Lady Herringham, and brings together not only her own artwork, but also items from her personal collection.

I would highly recommend a visit, we are open 10-6pm every day, and until 8pm on Thursdays! We also have a range of talks around the exhibition, all of which can be found on our What’s On event listings.


3. What do you hope students and colleagues learn from visiting this exhibition?

I hope people learn the impact and influence Christiana had on her contemporaries and the impact she had on quite important institutions we can see still working to this day. For example, in 1903 Herringham gave £200 to establish the National Art Collections Fund. This is now knows as the Art Fund, a nationally recognised funder for the arts, and currently has over 139,000 members.

To learn some new skills of your own we are also hosting two late events throughout the exhibition  being open – the first is on Wednesday 6 February and will have an arts and crafts focus, so if you’re interested in learning a craft I’d recommend a visit! You can book into this late through the What’s On event listings also.

4. What should colleagues do if they wish to get in touch with you and your team?

If you want to get in touch with me about an exhibition proposal, general advice about exhibitions and museum displays or to get involved through volunteering, please contact me either through the exhibitions emails address – exhibitionsrhul.ac.uk or directly on my email sarah.creedrhul.ac.uk

You can also contact Ellis Huddart, Exhibitions and Archives Assistant at ellis.huddartrhul.ac.uk

I’m always happy to meet and talk exhibitions – so don’t be shy! I’m also happy to talk to anyone interested in a career in museums or galleries.


5. What do you enjoy doing outside of your work life?

In my spare time I do my other “work” so to speak, which is pottery. It isn’t work really, it’s a passion and I have been a potter for nearly 4 years, making bowls, plates, mugs and jugs amongst many other things! It accidentally took over my free time many years ago and I haven’t been able to let go of it since. I am fortunate enough to have my own studio space that I share with a number of other potters in south London, so it’s lovely to have another type of creative network.


6. What do you enjoy most about working at Royal Holloway and within Academic Services?

As it’s only my third week here, there is still so much more for me to learn about Royal Holloway and my team, but I can already say that Royal Holloway is a really friendly and exciting place to work. Every new academic or student I meet highlights yet another really exciting and engaging line of research being undertaken – it’s really struck me just how much creativity there is on campus and I’m really looking forward to harnessing some of that in the exhibition space!


7. You may have seen our latest recruitment campaign, ‘Find your why’. We are interested to find out what Royal Holloway has helped you to discover about yourself…

I would say that even in just the few short weeks of being here I have rediscovered my passion for research and researching art history in particular. To be given the time and space to conduct research is a real gift and I look forward to making the most of it.