Emotional objects are the focus of this year's Samuel Drew Lecture in Whanganui.
The Whanganui Regional Museum holds the annual November lecture to honour its founder and first curator.
This year's lecturer, Dr Fiona McKergow, will speak on "Colonial Textile Culture: Or, How to Write History from Objects", specifically textiles that were used in the mid-19th century.
The illustrated lecture will draw on several "emotional objects" held in the museum collection. One is a hand-stitched sampler made to commemorate the deaths of two boys from diphtheria in 1866. Sewn to articulate significant loss, the sampler is also an example of how museum collections can enrich understanding of parent-child relationships in the past.
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Another is an Anglo-Indian workbox made of ivory and ebony that passed from mother to daughter through four generations, accumulating layers of memorabilia as it changed hands. This exquisitely made workbox tells of the criss-crossing of personal and imperial relationships within families.
McKergow is a public historian and former museum curator with a long-standing interest in the history of clothing and textiles.
She recently used Whanganui Regional Museum collections to study mid-19th century colonial textile culture. Her PhD investigated textiles that belonged to British women who migrated to New Zealand in the mid-19th century.
She conducted research for Anne Else's book Women Together: A History of Women's Organisations, and co-edited "Looking Flash: Clothing in Aotearoa New Zealand" with Bronwyn Labrum and Stephanie Gibson. From 1998 to 2001, she was social history curator at the Science Centre and Manawatū Museum (now Te Manawa).
• The lecture is at 5pm on Friday, November 13, at the Davis Theatre, Watt St. Wine and juice will be served. Free entry, koha appreciated.