Odds and quads: The Camberwell Collection of Applied Arts

This pinwheel windmill, intended as the centrepiece for a table, has discs set at exactly the right angle to respond to the slightest currents of air.

February 17, 2011

It is one of about 2,000 samples of tableware, domestic goods and textiles, dating from 1951 to the mid-1970s, that make up the Camberwell Collection of Applied Arts.

The collection was originally put together by the Inner London Education Authority for circulation around the capital's schools, so that the consumers of the future would learn to notice "good design" and buy the goods that would stimulate the UK's post-war economy.

In 1957, the scheme was extended to cover art appreciation more generally.

The collection was acquired in 1990 by the Camberwell College of Arts, which has now been incorporated into the University of the Arts London.

Although only a small selection of the items are on public display, other parts of the collection are regularly used by Camberwell students to help develop their conservation skills.

Send suggestions for this series on the treasures, oddities and curiosities owned by universities across the world to: matthew.reisz@tsleducation.com.

You've reached your article limit.

Register to continue

Registration is free and only takes a moment. Once registered you can read a total of 3 articles each month, plus:

  • Sign up for the editor's highlights
  • Receive World University Rankings news first
  • Get job alerts, shortlist jobs and save job searches
  • Participate in reader discussions and post comments

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Most Commented

Worried man wiping forehead
Two academics explain how to beat some of the typical anxieties associated with a doctoral degree

Felipe Fernández-Armesto takes issue with a claim that the EU has been playing the sovereignty card in Brexit negotiations

Brexit jigsaw

UCU attacks plans to cut 171 posts, but university denies Brexit 'the reason'

Kenny Dalglish

Agnes Bäker and Amanda Goodall have found that academics who are happiest at work have a head of department who is a distinguished researcher. How can such people be encouraged into management?

A group of flamingos and a Marabou stork

A right-wing philosopher in Texas tells John Gill how a minority of students can shut down debates and intimidate lecturers – and why he backs Trump