Talks and Curators Q&A
Part way through the day, visitors were welcomed to a talk from Dr. Lisa Stead about the project, followed by a roundtable discussion with a panel of curators and collectors and an open question and answer session with the audience.
The panel featured:
- Dr. Phil Wickham, curator of the Bill Douglas Cinema Museum;
- Rachel Nichols, volunteer collections manager at Topsham Museum;
- Shelley Tobin, Assistant Curator at the Royal Albert Memorial Museum;
- Keith Lodwick, Theatre & Screen Arts Curator at the Victoria & Albert Museum;
- and Kendra Bean, Vivien Leigh biographer and Collections Assistant at the National Science & Media Museum.
The conversation that ensued included a lively exploration of Vivien Leigh’s connection to the region, a discussion about how artefacts were preserved and maintained, why they mattered for different audiences, and how the different regional collections speak to one another. The panel took a range of interesting questions from the audience, discussing Vivien Leigh’s legacy, the need to start focusing on new aspects of her life and changing the way she is remembered, and further questions about the materials held within the South West institutions in relation to Vivien Leigh’s other archives.
Our audience was composed of fans, actors, academics, researchers and other members of the general and local public, with some attendees travelling from as far as Australia to join the event.
The talks concluded with information about the publication of Lisa Stead’s forthcoming book, Reframing Vivien Leigh: Stardom, Gender and the Archive (OUP 2020).