The Catherine Moody Archive – Week One

Over the summer of 2011 two Art History students; Holly Lambeth-Fradgeley and Hannah Fisher will be working with Worcester City Museum and Art Gallery on an archive relating to the late Catherine Moody. Ms Moody, who passed away recently, was a Malvern artist who was long known to the Museum. Holly and Hannah will document their progress as a blog as they get to know both the archive and the artist.

13/7/2011 – First day on the new project: cataloguing a collection of ephemera relating to the local artist Catherine Moody.

Catherine was the daughter of the artist Victor Hume Moody and succeeded him as Head of the Malvern School of Art after his retirement in 1962. She studied at the college, as well as the Royal College of Art and Birmingham College of Art. She was a respected artist, poet and writer and also taught at the Manchester School of Art.

She worked tirelessly producing and promoting art in general, with special attention to her father’s work which she greatly admired. She was a prominent member of the Malvern social and academic scene. She held salons and symposia on art, philosophy, architecture and environmental issues. She was full of character, with many friends and acquaintances whom all have fond memories of her.

Catherine passed away last year, and though most of her possessions were auctioned at Phillip Serrell a few made their way to an agricultural auction in Ledbury where Garston Phillips, Collections Officer at Worcester City Art Gallery and Museum, came across them, luckily recognising their significance and rescuing them!

Since that serendipitous day the boxes have lain untouched in the Museum’s store, we now have the task of cataloguing the items, making suggestions for the permanent collection and eventually making a display in the gallery.

The first day was spent creating an inventory system on the computer then beginning to input the information about all the photos, newspaper cuttings, correspondence and hundreds of slides!

Another stroke of serendipity as it turned out another of the volunteers knew Catherine, and I myself have contacts and links to the Malvern School of Art (now South Worcestershire College). With this in mind we would love to collect memories and possibly more ephemera from her old friends to add to the display.

Blog written by Holly Lambeth-Fradgley: currently on a gap year and going to study History of Art and Design (Contemporary Art History) at Manchester Metropolitan University in September 2011.

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