DOctoral researcher, Birmingham City University
In the eighteenth- and early nineteenth-centuries the manufactured luxury items produced in Birmingham were often referred to as curiosities and the manufactories that produced them as cabinets of curiosity.
Historians have identified a ‘culture of curiosity’ in this period, and Jenni Dixon’s research, funded by Birmingham City University, investigates how the manufacture of Birmingham’s luxury goods acted within and upon this culture. It focuses on how print disseminated aspects of the culture of curiosity to manufacturers and how this was interpreted in the design and production of the goods made. It explores how printing and print culture were used to promote these items to the curious consumer. It also investigates modes of display and architectural design that were utilised to sell these goods within spaces of consumption, and the associated printed publicity. The research aims to transform perceptions of Birmingham’s art and design heritage.