We have put together an Object Analysis form to help students engage with the collection. The form can be downloaded below for use or the content can be viewed below:
Use this process to unearth a wealth of information by systematically analysing an object to reveal cultural and historical information. It can be used as an individual study process or as a group exercise.
- Why do you visit a museum or gallery?
- Is there a difference between seeing an object in a book or on a computer screen and seeing the actual object in a museum or gallery?
- Why have you chosen this particular object? Does it evoke personal memories?
Use your knowledge of design, social and cultural history and available resources to determine the following:
- Its function
- Likely date of manufacture and when it was in common use.
- How was it made and what is it made from? Consider its size, weight, portability, ergonomics.
- Find advertisements or other promotional material for this or similar contemporary objects.
- Has it won any awards and can it be attributed to a particular designer or manufacturer?
- Appeal of the item. Consider its desirability/aesthetic appeal
- Significance. Did the production of this item mark any significant developments in design, technology or changes in social or political attitudes? - Use library, museum and online resources to put the item in its relevant contexts.
- What has been written about this item? - reviews, articles, books.
Write a detailed description of the appearance of the object without stating its purpose. Share your description with other students and ask them to draw what is described and/or decide on its purpose.