About Illuminating Objects

Illuminating Objects is a programme that enables postgraduate students to work with pieces from The Courtauld Gallery’s Sculpture and Decorative Arts collections. Since 2012, we have collaborated with interns from a range of backgrounds and institutions in and around London. Each has brought their unique interests and talents to the table, carrying out research on their chosen object before devising innovative ways to display it to the public, both on the gallery floor and online.  While The Courtauld Gallery was temporarily closed for a major refurbishment programme, from 2018 to 2021, we were in partnership with The Science Museum in London. Displaying the objects in The Science Museum illuminated the scientific ideas, techniques and contexts that informed the objects’ creation. Displaying the objects in The Science Museum illuminates the scientific ideas, techniques and contexts that have informed the objects’ creation. 

people looking at a museum display while object is being installed

So far we have attracted postgraduate students specialised in anthropology, fashion, product design and engineering, graphic design, theology, science communication and comparative literature, and we are always looking to expand our disciplinary horizons. You can join our interns on their journey of discovery as they tackle its challenges and reap its rewards, through the Illuminating Objects blog.

Our partner institutions have been Central Saint Martins, Goldsmiths, the Royal College of Art (RCA), the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), King’s College London, the University of Kent, Canterbury, Imperial College London, Roehampton University and University College London.