A good home

Earlier this week, I went to the Design Archives at the University of Brighton, to see if they wanted Daphne Padden’s archives, or at least what we had acquired of it.

Daphne Padden cat dog armchair design

Fortunately they were not only very delightful but also decided they did want them, and these three images are just a few of the designs that are now in their safekeeping.

Daphne Padden mail rider design

With them are also all manner of other things, including rough sketches, a kind of portfolio of work (some of which I have posted here before) and much else besides.  Once they’ve been catalogued and conserved, students and researchers can go and have a look at them.

Daphne Padden flower seller design

I’m really pleased, and not just because it’s a relief to have found a good home for a collection which deserved better than just hanging round our house not being seen.  It’s also good because the sketches and collected work showed me that she had done a great deal more in her life than just design posters – and a great deal more than anyone would have expected from a woman working alone at that time (I’m thinking particularly of the Marks and Spencers designs here).  Now that story won’t be lost, it’s preserved for good, and I think that’s really important.

  • This is very altruistic of you – lets hope they call it the Quad Royal DP Archive or similar . On a completely different subject can’t help noticing the red/orange squirrel in the second picture.

  • It is a great squirrel, isn’t it. And it will be much better looked after at Brighton, too.

    I may have to go and live in the Design Archives for a month or two, though, as they have such delights as all Henrion’s archive – I saw some lovely photos of MacFisheries packaging when I was there.

  • That’s a wonderful thing to do. I hope to be looking at these posters later in the year. I’ve been looking at piles of old design magazines and thinking about selling them for pennies (probably) on eBay but perhaps I should see if an archive may not be a more useful place for them.

  • Under what collection did the MacFisheries packaging reside?

    I recently went up to the History of Advertising Trust, near Norwich, to look at some advertising Guard Books of MacFisheries press ads. Lots of repetition, as the advertising agency (Mather & Crowther) kept every single press ad over a two year period whilst Hans Schleger’s design programme was implemented.

    Not that interesting from a purely design perspective. But like the Padden bits you mention, sometimes it is the wider story, revealed by all the things you don’t normally see, that is the really interesting part.

  • I know that oxfam acquired some of her archive too. I’ll let them know what you have done – maybe, if they are not committed to selling the works – they will do the same thing

  • thanks for all the comments everyone – and Woodrow, I shall be very happy if some more things end up in archives as a result of this, as well be a few archivists too.

    mm – the Design Archive hold a fair quanitity of Schleger’s archive, and I was just leafing through an album of prints of packaging. I’d love to go to HAT one day too, there is so much material there. Did the guard books only have press ads, or do they record other media such as posters and television too? And I think it is very interesting, and also important. We do graphic design a disservice if we just treat it as a single artwork with no context at all.

    Dan, that is really interesting – I’m happy to do anything I can to help.

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