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Ephemera Events & Exhibitions

  • Ephemera Society Fairs 2017

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  • Sunday · 4 June · 3 December
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  • Holiday Inn London Bloomsbury
  • Coram Street
  • London WC1N 1HT
  • United Kingdom
  • All are welcome · Entry £3 · 11am - 4pm
  • Members from 10am with membership cards
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Enquiries:

 

Merry Christmas! A History of Glasgow School of Art Christmas Cards

Until 21 December 2016

The Glasgow School of Art staff and students have celebrated Christmas since the School’s opening, producing Christmas balls, theatre productions, fairs and cards to send to each other.

Image of Christmas card for 1960

The Archives and Collections present a selection of these materials including photographs, ephemera and Christmas cards made by GSA staff and students. The selection of cards and archival items spans over 60 years of the School’s history and features the work of many GSA staff and graduates.

More details

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  • The Glasgow School of Art
  • Reid Ground Floor
  • Corridor, Reid Building,
  • Glasow G3 6RF
  • United Kingdom
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Image: 1960 by Mark Severin. © Glasgow School of Art

 

250 Years of Jigsaws

15 December 2016 - April 2017

A new exhibition celebrating 250 years of the jigsaw puzzle, the largest of its kind ever shown, will open at The Museum of Brands, Packaging and Advertising.

The jigsaws in the exhibition reflect the social history of Britain over the past 250 years, celebrating royal occasions and exhibitions, new forms of transport and technology, wars and battles, film stars and radio personalities, television programmes and pop stars. The exhibition features 250 jigsaws dating back to 1766 when the earliest ‘dissected puzzles’ (as they were known) - were made by mapmakers as educational aids for children of the upper classes.

Image of jigsaw

Initially, jigsaw puzzles were hand made from wood and only the rich could afford them. It was during the early 20th century that cardboard jigsaws were introduced making them more affordable. As there was rationing of card in the Second World War jigsaws became smaller and the card thinner, but they were seen as moral boosters for the nation.

When in the early 20th century the more economic cardboard jigsaw began to take over from wooden ones, it wasn’t long before promotional examples made their appearance amongst an increasing variety of advertising gimmicks. A further hundred examples of this marketing medium are also on display.

More details

  • Museum of Brands
  • 111-117 Lancaster Road
  • Notting Hill
  • London W11 1QT
  • United Kingdom
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Image: Grocer's Shop teaching jigsaw - "Teaches spelling of many household words"

 

Radical Voices

January 16 - March 2017

Image of magazine cover

The Oxford English Dictionary defines radical as ‘advocating thorough and far-reaching political or social reform… characterized by independence of or departure from what is usual or traditional’.

In Great Britain, the word has the further association with the late eighteenth - and early nineteenth-century’s Liberal Party’s stance on reform of society and Parliament.

The collections of Senate House Library include collections of those who defined themselves as radical in the specific late eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century British sense, as well as those who more generally advocated for societal improvements through reform. Senate House Library has organically developed into a hub for collections of radical voices of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

The collections not only sheds light on enormously influential but subsequently neglected figures, campaigns and organisations, but also on the University’s own institutional history, and potential futures.

More details about this free exhibition and associated events.

  • Senate House Library
  • University of London
  • Malet Street
  • London WC1E 7HU
  • United Kingdom
  • Senate House Library
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Image: Copyright © Senate House Library

 

Season's Greetings: Victorian Christmas cards

Until 5 January 2017

A small display of Christmas cards from the V&A's collection will explore the origins of the Christmas card and show some highlights from its Victorian heyday. The display will include the 'first Christmas card' commissioned by Henry Cole and designed by the artists John Callcott Horsley.

Image of first commercial Christmas card

One thousand copies were published by Joseph Cundall, the mid 19th century children’s and illustrations publisher, and sold in 1843, at Felix Summerly’s Home Treasury Office at 12 Old Bond Street, London, England for six pence each coloured.

  • Gallery 107, Room 108
  • Victoria and Albert Museum
  • Cromwell Road
  • London SW7 2RL
  • United Kingdom
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  • More details
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Christmas cracker box labels: Batger and Co 1930-40

Until 7 January 2017

Image of cracker box label

Christmas crackers were invented in the 1840s by the London confectioner and baker Tom Smith.

They were originally designed to contain sweets but over time printed mottoes and jokes, paper hats, toys and novelties were added.

The colourful, illustrated labels on the cracker boxes advertised their contents but also celebrated current events, new inventions and popular entertainments.

  • Victoria and Albert Museum
  • National Art Library Reading Room
  • Level 3
  • Cromwell Road
  • London SW7 2RL
  • United Kingdom
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  • More details
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Victorian Entertainments: There Will Be Fun

Until 12 February 2017

Performing pigs, magic tricks and pantomime! Roll up to celebrate some of the most popular entertainments of Victorian times performed in a variety of venues from fairground tents to musical stages.

Image of magic performance

Focusing on five colourful characters, follow their stories as this free exhibition bring the worlds they inhabited to life. These Victorian A-listers include Dan Leno, the original pantomime dame and ‘funniest man on earth’, John Nevil Maskelyne, magician and manager of ‘England’s Home of Mystery’, and the great circus showman ‘Lord’ George Sanger. Also hear of those whose fame has now faded such as Annie De Montford, a mill worker turned mesmerist, and Evanion the Royal conjuror.

Step back in time with wonderfully decorative original posters, handbills, advertisements and tickets – all glorious examples of rare ephemera – alongside contemporary film and sound recordings. Explore the Victorians’ influence on the world of entertainment today.

  • Entrance Hall
  • The British Library
  • 96 Euston Road
  • London NW1 2DB
  • United Kingdom
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  • More details
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Game Plan: Board Games Rediscovered

Until 23 April 2017

Image of snakes and ladders board game

Are you a Scrabble Champion? A wannabee Chess grandmaster? Or a Monopoly megalomaniac? Game Plan: Board Games Rediscovered will celebrate the joy, excitement and occasional frustration of playing board games.

This exhibition includes some of the most iconic, enthralling and visually striking games from the V&A’s outstanding national collection of board games. Alongside current family favourites such as Cluedo and Trivial Pursuit, and traditional games like chess, the exhibition will look at historical board games including The Game of the Goose and other beautifully designed games from the 18th and 19th centuries.

Board games are played by everyone, young and old. They have a universal appeal that transcends cultural and language barriers. They can both teach and entertain us. The playing of board games is embedded into our culture, not just the games themselves but the act of playing, the interaction with family and friends, the lessons to be learned and the fun to be had.

The exhibition will include more than 100 objects, featuring games from around the world, and explores the important role of design. Throughout the exhibition, selected games of special interest are highlighted with more detailed information on their history and influence.

  • V&A Museum of Childhood
  • Cambridge Heath Rd
  • London E2 9PA
  • United Kingdom
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  • More details
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Staging History

Until 8 January 2017

Image of Mr W.H.Payne as Volcano the Enchanter

Staging History explores how history was told on stage in Regency-era Britain.

Exploration, revolution and patriotism take centre stage, as the exhibition examines the influence of history and historical events in the writing and staging of theatre, opera and drama from 1780-1840.

The exhibition features beautiful set designs, theatrical documents and illustrations from collections held at the Bodleian and other institutions.

  • Bodleian Libraries
  • ST Lee Gallery
  • Weston Library
  • Broad Street
  • Oxford OX1 3BG
  • UK
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  • More details
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Image: Mr W.H.Payne as Volcano the Enchanter

 

You Say You Want a Revolution? Records and Rebels 1966-1970

Until 26 February 2017

Image of International Times 1968

How have the finished and unfinished revolutions of the late 1960s changed the way we live today and think about the future?

This major exhibition, at the Victoria and Albert Museum will explore the era-defining significance and impact of the late 1960s, expressed through some of the greatest music and performances of the 20th century alongside fashion, film, design and political activism.

  • Victoria and Albert Museum
  • Cromwell Road
  • London SW7 2RL
  • UK
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  • More details
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Image: The International Times - underground newspaper founded in London in 1966.

 

On Track: Reading's Railways, Past, Present and Future

Until 14 January 2017

Image of Isambard Kingdom Brunel

Jump on board for this incredible journey through an extraordinary story, told with stunning imagery and must-see exhibits including a selection of memorabilia gathered from local people, following an appeal for railway related souvenirs, as well as important loans from railways museums and archives. The railway has been at the heart of Reading life since 1840 when the first passenger train left for London, pulled by a steam-powered engine called Firefly.

The railway linked Reading to the rest of the world and the station soon became a place for connections, brief encounters and new arrivals! Reading's associations with significant figures in the history of the Great Western Railway including Isambard Kingdom Brunel and Sir Felix Pole feature in the exhibition, along with the long forgotten railway lines that once transported jam from the Co-op at Coley and biscuits from Huntley & Palmers

On Track traces the development and impact of Reading's railways, discovering how the station has become one of the busiest in Britain, used by nearly 20 million passengers a year. With its five new platforms and high-tech European style architecture, the new train station also gives us a glimpse of the town's future development.

  • Reading Museum
  • Blagrave Street
  • Reading RG1 1QH
  • UK
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  • More details
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Image: Portrait of Isambard Kingdom Brunel

 

London's Baking! Bakers, Cakes, Bread and Puddings from 1666

Until 1 February 2017

Image of 20th century poster for Hot cross buns

Taking its inspiration from Thomas Farriner and his bakery, the starting place of the Great Fire, this exhibition tells the story of London’s bakers and their cakes, bread and puddings from 1666 to the twentieth century. Discover recipes (to take away and bake!) for almond cakes from 1700, suet puddings from 1850 and questionable school dinner chocolate sponge traybakes from the 1970s.

The photographs, films and historical documents on display include the recently uncovered plan which shows that Farriner's bakery was actually located in Monument Street, not the infamous Pudding Lane!

The wonderful collection of J. Lyons and Co, presenting the 'experience' of afternoon tea at one of their grand Corner Houses, features alongside images of the original eighteenth century Chelsea 'Bun House' and much more besides.

  • London Metropolitan Archives
  • 40 Northampton Road
  • Clerkenwell
  • London EC1R 0HB
  • UK
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  • More details
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The Weird & The Wonderful:Entertaining Georgian Polite Society

Until 31 December 2016

Image of hand coloured print

From the pursuit of intimate pleasures to the raucous bedlam of the theatre, The Weird & The Wonderful opens a window onto the outrageous and sometimes shocking behaviour of ‘polite society’ – conducted in the name of entertainment.

Fairfax House’s major summer exhibition will look at the social scene in English towns and cities including London, delving into the tempting array of decadent activities and pleasurable pursuits catering for all tastes and predilections, sometimes challenging the notions of what ‘polite’ entertainment encompassed in the eighteenth century.

The Weird & the Wonderful also specifically uncovers the richness of Georgian York’s offerings as the social capital of the North and the place to see and be seen.

As well as exploring its lively winter season with rounds of dinners, balls, assemblies and parties, the exhibition delves into the city’s debauched diversions, including ‘polite’ society’s taste for notorious trials, visiting prisons and public hangings, the wanton pleasures available in the city’s brothels, as well as raucous activities such as cockfighting, bear baiting and street boxing.

  • Fairfax House
  • Castlegate
  • York YO1 9RN
  • UK
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  • More details
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  • Image reproduced courtesy of Look and Learn: www.lookandlearn.com/pj

 

The Camera Exposed

Until 5 March 2017

Image of 1960s photo

In the age of the mobile phone, the camera as a stand-alone device is disappearing from sight. Yet generations of photographers have captured the tools of their trade, sometimes inadvertantly as reflections or shadows, and sometimes as objects in their own right.

Every photograph in this display features at least one camera. From formal portraits to casual snapshots, still-lifes to collages, they appear as reflections or shadows, and sometimes as objects in their own right.

Throughout the history of photography the camera has often made an appearance in its own image, from the glint of Eugène Atget’s camera in a Parisian shop window from the 1900s, to the camera that serves as an eye in Calum Colvin’s 1980s photograph of a painted assemblage of objects.

  • Victoria and Albert Museum
  • Cromwell Road
  • London, SW7 2RL
  • UK
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  • More details
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Fashion on the Ration: 1940s Street Style

Until 1 May 2017

Image of birthday card featuring ration books

IWM North, part of Imperial War Museums in Manchester, presents this major exhibition marking the 75th anniversary of clothes rationing in Britain.

During the Second World War British men and women had to find new ways to dress as austerity measures and the rationing of clothes took hold. They demonstrated amazing adaptability and ingenuity by adopting more casual styles and by renovating, recycling and creating their own clothes.

Bringing together 300 exhibits including clothing, accessories, photographs and film, official documents and publications, artworks, wartime letters, interviews and ephemera, some of which have never been on display before, Fashion on the Ration presents a sense of what life was like on the home front for men and women during wartime Britain.

  • IWM North
  • The Quays
  • Trafford Wharf Road
  • Manchester M17 1TZ
  • UK
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  • More details
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Black Chronicles

Until 18 December 2016

Image of black British woman

This exhibition showcases over forty photographs that present a unique snapshot of black lives and experiences in nineteenth and early twentieth-century Britain. Developed in collaboration with Autograph ABP, this intervention in three gallery spaces includes some of the earliest photographs in the Gallery’s Collection alongside recently rediscovered photographs from the Hulton Archive, a division of Getty Images.

These portraits of individuals of African and Asian heritage bear witness to Britain’s imperial history of empire and expansion. They highlight an important and complex black presence in Britain before 1948, a watershed moment when the Empire Windrush brought the first large group of Caribbean immigrants to Britain.

  • Floor 1: ROOMS 23, 31, 33
  • National Portrait Gallery
  • St Martin’s Place
  • London WC2H 0HE
  • UK
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  • More details
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  • Image: Martha Ricks by Elliott & Fry, 1892. Copyright © National Portrait Gallery

 

Town and Country

Until 31 December 2016

The Fan Museum’s twenty fifth anniversary year finishes with an unusual perspective on a fascinating theme: an exhibition of fans which depict the built environment.

Image of exhibition poster

Ivory fan with vellum leaf depicting the Covent Garden Piazza and St. Paul's Church designed by Inigo Jones (English, c. 1750)

Throughout the centuries fan leaves provided a canvas on which fan painters & printers recorded changing fashions in architecture. This exhibition brings together fans which depict both domestic and stately houses, famous architectural landmarks, bustling city squares, parks and grand hotels.

Buildings on fans are not as numerous as those which display figures or flowers, but when they do appear they tell us so much about the time when both interiors and exteriors were made; the people they belonged to and generally the human appeal, which makes fans delightful reflections of their time.

This exhibition explores the varied influences of architecture throughout history and proves once again that the greater arts are closely connected with the lesser yet infinitely more accessible Decorative Arts.

  • The Fan Museum
  • 12 Crooms Hill, Greenwich
  • London SE10 8ER
  • UK
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  • More details
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Victoria Revealed

Until 17 February 2018

Image of Queen Victoria and children

This exhibition explores the many, often surprising, aspects of Queen Victoria’s character: devoted wife, dedicated mother, devastated widow and powerful stateswoman.

Follow Victoria’s story from the room in which she spent her first moments as queen. Trace her journey from young girl to queen enthralled with a new husband, to grieving matriarch and ruler of a vast empire.

Included in the exhibition are iconic, impressive, beautiful and often deeply personal objects, from Victoria’s simple white silk wedding gown, to the dolls she made, dressed and named as a little girl.

Victoria and the people who surrounded her tell this story: excerpts from her journals, letters and reports from contemporary commentators give insight into the extraordinary life of the woman whose name defined an age.

 

 

Ephemera - minor transient documents of every day life