A series of small displays focused around one object, the point of Illuminating Objects is to dust off (sometimes quite literally!) these wonderful, unexpected and largely unknown objects. Each object will remain on display for three months.


The last display was in The Courtauld Gallery from 13 June 2018. Melisa Leñero, a master’s student in Global Innovation Design at the joint programme at Royal College of Art and Imperial College London, delved into the composition of an 18th Century Venetian opalescent glass bowl. What fascinates her, is that under certain lighting conditions, they can appear reminiscent of bioluminescent organisms. 

Illuminating Objects is delivered in partnership with interns from disciplines outside of the History of Art. Their disciplinary backgrounds have included anthropology, theology and the sciences. Partnership institutions are SOAS, King’s College London, the University of Kent in Canterbury, Imperial College and University College London. Illuminating Objects has been running since 2012.

One of the challenges for the Illuminating Objects Interns is to communicate their research in the Gallery and through the possibilities offered by the website and other digital channels.

Find out more about the objects.