Artists’ Lives resource

Have you ever come across the Artists’ Lives resource from the British Library? It is a fantastic collection of aural interviews with artists where you can hear them talk about their lives, work, friendships and more.

It is a platform for British artists to create a record of their lives in their own words. The first recording was made in 1990, and is still ongoing.

If you have visited and enjoyed the Eileen Agar exhibition at Whitechapel Gallery recently, then how about listening to her talk about her life, as she was one of the first to be recorded in the 1990′s shortly before she died ? Click on this link  and you can find artists included in the A-Z by surname.

Find some more resources on Eileen Agar on the Tate website here.

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Image by Gordon Johnson from Pixabay

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Olympic design resources

If the Olympics has got you all fired up and inspired, but in an artistic rather than a running kind of way, then check out the new theme in Bloomsbury Design Library:

‘Olympic Design: Visual identity, activism and designing to define a nation‘ has free chapters and articles from across the platform  on this theme, including on such things as:

  • The history of Japanese design
  • The Tokyo 1964 Olympics
  • Design activism and resistance
  • Yusaku Kamekura graphic designer for the 1964 Olympics
  • Learn about pong and how it shaped a new gaming experience

You can access this as well as a wealth of further design related resources by logging into Bloomsbury Design Library with your university username and password through the library catalogue.

Search the library catalogue for other Olympic themed items, click here to see a list


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Image by Please Don’t sell My Artwork AS IS from Pixabay


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The School of Art, Architecture and Design Summer Show now live online!

Once again our students from the School of Art, Architecture and Design bowl us over with their creativity during another crazy year! Check out all the work they have been doing on the online platform ‘Liveness’, live until 10th July.

Disciplines represented in the LIVENESS show will include Architecture, Fashion, Fine Art, Furniture and Product, Graphic Design, Illustration, Interior Design, Jewellery, Photography and Textiles and more. There will also be a programme of live events, so be sure to have a good exploration of the site.

Alongside this, BA Photography students have on online show ‘Strange Days’ , which can also be viewed.

Congratulations to all our hard working talented students!









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London Met Arts Summer Shows online!

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Fine Art Spring show now live online

London Met School of Art, Architecture and Design BA Fine Art students, Level 4 and level 5, spring show is now live online.

Browse  the website here until  31st of May, for some fantastic work! You can ‘visit’ a 3D virtual gallery, or browse the catalogue.

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The Annual Frederick Parker Lectures

The Fredrick Parker Collection is held in our Special Collections, and is a unique resource covering over 300 years of British Furniture making and design, from 1600 to the present day. The Collection consists of over 200 chairs, together with an archive of related historical documents and artifacts and became part of the Furniture Makers’ Company in 2013. The collection is owned by the Worshipful Company of Furniture Makers (now known as The Furniture Makers) one of the livery companies of the City of London, and has been on long-term loan to London Metropolitan University since 2002.

The Annual Frederick Parker Lectures will this year be held on-line on two successive Thursdays at 6pm lasting an hour with questions, free to those that book.

March 25th: Gina Pierce ‘The Archive is Alive -Parker Knoll Furnishing Fabrics’

April 1st: Luke Honey ‘A Royal Seat – The Story of British Coronation Furniture’

Register now to attend!

A tool chest, a portrait of Frederick Parker and a chair from the collection

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International Women’s Day resources

8th March is International Women’s Day, so a great reason to promote some of the online resources you can use to discover  information about inspirational women, not just in art and design, but across other subjects. As London Met students you have access to a whole host of online resources from other subjects taught at the university that you may find useful in your research, as well as open access resources.

We have mentioned VADS before in our blog posts – a great source for images from over 300 art and design collection in the U.K. collections, free to use for education. One of the collections is the Women’s Library, and includes the Suffrage Collection.

Fashion History Timeline is a great open access resource for Fashion & Textiles, and on it you can find some information about Ann Lowe, who was a black American designer, born in 1898, and pretty much erased from textile history. Her grandmother was an enslaved dressmaker, and Ann herself faced segregation, despite designing Jackie Kennedy’s wedding dress. Art Full text also has a few articles (London Met login required) that mention her.

Hannah Höch was one of the few female members of the Dada movement in the early 20th century and forerunner of collage and photomontage. You can find some images of her work in Bridgeman Education (London Met login required), and images and articles in JSTOR (London Met login required).

With the controversial new statue by Maggie Hambling being unveiled last year, Mary Wollstonecraft, mother of feminism, has been the centre of a social media storm. To find out more about her and her work, you can find ‘The Cambridge Companion to Mary Wollstonecraft’ through Cambridge Companions database. The statue is in Newington Green, so if you’re in North London you can see it for yourself.

Sophia Louisa Jex-Blake led the campaign to secure women access to a University education when she and six other women, collectively known as the Edinburgh Seven, began studying medicine at the University of Edinburgh in 1869. She was the first practicing female doctor in Scotland, and one of the first in the wider U.K; a leading campaigner for medical education for women and was involved in founding two medical schools for women, in London and Edinburgh at a time when no other medical schools were training women. You can find a biography of her in Credo Reference.

If you need help using any of the resources, please get in touch with your Academic Liaison Librarian.

Mary Wollstonecraft statue by Maggie Hambling,  photo © Chris H-H














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Printed Matter Virtual Book Fair

In a few days time (24th -28th February), the Printed Matters Virtual Book Fair will open  – its free to attend and you don’t need to go anywhere (registration required for the Opening programme).

The Printed Matter Book Fair exhibitors feature a wide variety of works—from zines and artists’ books to rare and out of print publications, and contemporary art editions. The virtual event will include over 400 exhibitors from 43 countries, with online programs, performances, games, and more.

There’s lots of great looking events, including the Contemporary Artists Book Conference, available from the comfort of your own home (registration required)!

You can see a list of exhibitors here.

There’s a dizzying array of other activities, from guided tours to hundreds of live and pre-recorded book launches, conversations, and other publication-focused events.

Sounds like the perfect weekend for art book and artists book lovers all round.


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Artists and Archives

South London Gallery

At time of writing The South London Gallery, along with other galleries in the UK, is closed due to the pandemic, however you can find some great information and events online around their exhibition  An archive by other means. This exhibition a invites us to consider how archives that document fraught histories can be understood in present-day contexts.

The Art Assassins (South London Gallery youth forum) explored the archival material of anthropologist Northcote W Thomas, along with artists Onyeka Igwe and Rosa-Johan Uddoh. Thomas conducted several surveys in Nigeria and Sierra Leone between 1909–1915 and amassed a huge collection of objects from the area. You can find more about the archive, [re:]-entanglements, yourself here.

They will also be hosting a panel discussion on 16th February which will will consider how colonial archives and collections can be understood in decolonial times.

Guardian article showing some images from the Northcote Thomas archive.

Gagosian Gallery 

To mark the closing of Theaster Gates’s sols exhibition ‘Black vessel’ at Gagosian New York, a conversation with him and Thelma Golden is available to watch online. The recording includes a virtual visit to the exhibition, which includes installations he has made using bound copies of ‘Ebony’ magazine  as well as Carnegie library shelves he has collected ❤️.


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image by Pexels for Pixabay

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New online library resources

London Met Libraries have been able to buy more online resources, due to the ongoing pandemic, and our physical libraries currently being closed again (January 2021).

You can find more information in our library news section, but a few highlights for Art and Design students include:

Bloomsbury Applied Visual Arts

This comprehensive resource offers instant, searchable access to books which combine visual inspiration with practical advice on idea generation, research techniques, portfolio development and more, across the main visual arts disciplines including Fashion and Textiles, Design and Illustration, Photography, Film and Media, Architecture and Interiors, and Marketing and Advertising.

Bloomsbury Design Library

A resource for students, academics and researchers in Visual Arts and Design which provides coverage of design and crafts worldwide, from 1500 BCE to the present day. This database offers cross-searchable access to a broad range of reference works, e-books, images, designer pages, and exhibition collections.

Bloomsbury Fashion Photography Archive

The Fashion Photography Archive is a fully searchable and meticulously indexed resource, containing 750,000 high-quality runway, backstage and street style images that have never before been published online. These include: international runway shows from the 1970s until 2000, including key designers such as McQueen, Gaultier, Westwood, Chalayan, Galliano and more; rare backstage and front row shots from fashion shows of the past forty years; and, street-style images from fashion cities around the world.

These are all fantastic resources to help you with your studies, please note a London Met University username and password is required to login. If you need any help using these resources, please contact the Academic Liaison Librarian for your subject.


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Studio Ghibli resources

Last Tuesday, 5th of January, marked the 80th birthday of Japanese animator, director, producer, screenwriter, author, and manga artist Hayao Miyazaki. He is the co-founder of the world-famous film and animation studio Studio Ghibli, which boasts an array of award winning films, such as Spirited Away, My Neighbor Totoro, and Princess Mononoke, to name a few.

If you are already a fan, or looking to discover more, there are various online resources for a Studio Ghibli fix!

Films online -free!

London Met Libraries subscribes to BOB (Box of Broadcasts), where you can watch on-demand from over 65 free to air channels, and since many Studio Ghibli films have been aired on Channel 4 or Film Four, you can watch them on here. Initial registration is required, then you log in with your university username and password. If you search ‘Studio Ghibli’ under Public Playlists, there are already several lists including links to the films.



Podcast that ‘leafs through the library of films’ of from Studio Ghibli with Michael Leader and Jake Cunningham


An ‘indispensable’  guide

BBC arts ad Culture guide to the films of Studio Ghibli

‘Best films’ according to Variety

Tour of the museum

Virtual tour of Studio Ghibli  museum

A rare opportunity to see inside the museum in Japan, where normally no photography or filming is allowed.

Online images to download

The studio has released some images from the films to download, however you might need to brush up on your Japanese to check the copyright. This website says they are not to be used for commercial or advertising purposes.

Totoro in the Ghibli Museum’s faux box office picture from wikimedia










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