The Lady Vanishes: Researching the Mary Greg Collection at Manchester City Galleries

Mitchell, Liz (2016) The Lady Vanishes: Researching the Mary Greg Collection at Manchester City Galleries. In: Museums and Galleries History Group Biennial Conference: Gendering Museum Histories, 7-8 Sep 2016, Oxford,UK. (Unpublished)

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The Mary Greg Collection at Manchester City Galleries totals over 2,000 objects, including clothing, toys and domestic objects grouped under the collective title of ‘bygones’. It forms one of a pair of collections, assembled during the late 19th and early 20th centuries by husband and wife Thomas and Mary Greg. But whereas the Thomas Greg Collection, comprising 900 items of British pottery, has long been regarded as one of Manchester’s ‘jewels in the crown’, Mary Greg and her collection of domestic life remained, for many years, almost unknown. Recent research, however, has revealed Mary Greg’s contribution to British museums to be as significant in its own right as that of her husband.
This paper discusses Mary Greg’s thirty-year relationship with Manchester City Galleries and the ways in which she negotiated boundaries of gender, class and age in relation to private/public and amateur/professional dichotomies. It considers how this relationship enabled her to contribute a lasting legacy to British museums, but at the same time rendered her increasingly invisible to documented museum history.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Keywords: gender, museums, collecting, history, art, design, objects, material culture
Faculty / Department: Faculty of Arts & Humanities > Fine and Applied Art (up to 30th April 2018)
Depositing User: Liz Mitchell
Date Deposited: 05 Mar 2018 15:03
Last Modified: 05 Mar 2018 15:03

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