Maria Chiara Scuderi


I am a practice-based PhD researcher interested in the international circulation of material culture, and partiularly basketry, in the early 20th century exhibition histories. My current project relates to the Dryad 'Handicrafts' collection at Leicester Museum and Art Gallery as a global movement of 'arts and crafts' in the mechanised world. The collection is extremely diverse in manufacture and global in scope, and comes from ex British colonies in Africa, Asia and the Pacific, as well as from Eastern Europe. It was purchased by Harry Peach of Leicester between 1918 and 1936 in missionary exhibitions, Empire expositions, international shows, and from his substantial network of relationships of field collectors. The rationale of the collection was educational: to provide good examples of ‘handicrafts’ from the world for the local School of Art, and to develop practice-based education by circulating the objects and related instructional leaflets with diagrams in classes around Britain. With this end, the idea was to improve the educational system in the country, encouraging the formation of a new generation of designers capable to consider objects of foreign cultures in raw materials for a better national trade. 

  • Basketry
  • Cane (Basketry)
  • Living Willow
  • Natural Fibres
  • Recycled Materials
  • Rush (Basketry)
  • Skeined Willow (Basketry)
  • Splint Wood / Oak
  • Straw
  • Willow (Basketry)