Student Led Activity – Lasting Impressions Study Day 29th June 2018


Lasting Impressions Study Day 2018

On June 29th 2018, Collaborative Doctoral Partnership (CDP) students Valentina Risdonne, Katherine Clough, Abbey Ellis, and Carolyn Alexander had the pleasure of welcoming 35 attendees to Newcastle-upon-Tyne for the first Lasting Impressions study day. The aim of the study day was to investigate the significance of historic reproductions on shaping contemporary understandings, the affordances of emerging forms of reproductions in the digital age, and to realise the full spectrum of reproduction forms and their different significances and potential roles in museums.

The day began with an opportunity to tour the first of two amazing venues, the Laing Art Gallery. Laia Anguix, a PhD researcher at the Laing Gallery, kindly offered a tour, with a special focus on the reproductions held at the venue. One of the many highlights included an introduction to a Pre-Raphaelite painting by William Hofman Hunt entitled Isabella and a Pot of Basil. Laia showed attendees many variations of the same painting, inviting discussions about the differences between the original and the copy.

Having completed the tour of the Laing Gallery, the study day began its fantastic programme of speakers, comprising students, museum professionals, and academics. Eight speakers were split across two panels, the first focusing on the role and perceptions of historic reproductions. CDP researcher Abbey Ellis kicked off the day with a fascinating paper on redefining the authenticity of archaeological plaster casts of Greek and Roman sculpture, followed by fellow CDP student Alice Tofts, who spoke about her work on interrogating a collection of photographs representing victims of Nazi persecution. Keynote speaker Chris Dorsett from the University of Northumbria rounded off the panel with a discussion of his latest thoughts on the numinous qualities of plaster cast collections.

The second panel discussed modern approaches to reproductions in museums and heritage. CDP student Carolyn Alexander presented her thoughts on authentic reproductions generated as part of her practice based project and Amelia Knowlson, another student funded by AHRC, gave a thought provoking account of her experiences working with 3D scanned and printed objects within museums.

Having enjoyed lunch at the Laing Art Gallery, attendees moved to the second location of the day, the Hatton Gallery. The Hatton Gallery played host to an informal afternoon workshop session where the attendees enjoyed hands-on experience with replicas and reproductions. As well as enjoying tours of the Hatton Gallery stores and archives with PhD researcher Melanie Stephenson and archivist Hazen Barron-Cooper, attendees were able to touch and handle 3D printed reproductions of an ancient Egyptian nose created by Lee Robert McStein, test their knowledge in a reproduction quiz and even make their own printed cyanotype to take home! Alongside all of this, posters from contributors at the British Library, the University of York, and the University of Northumbria were exhibited.

Lasting Impressions 2018 was a truly international event, attracting social media attention across three continents and speakers contributing via video link from as far afield as Croatia. The event hashtag #lastingimpressions18 gained a total of 19,700 impressions on Twitter. For more information on the event, to download the book of abstracts, and to keep up to date with the latest developments and future events visit

The event was funded by the AHRC CDP Student Led Activity Fund.

To carry on the momentum from 2018’s very successful event, the Lasting Impression team is already working to make Lasting Impression 2019 even more exciting. The words “exhibition” and “interactive” give you a flavour of what to expect! The aim is to make Lasting Impressions study days itinerant,  so the 2019 event will be taking place in a new city. Watch this space for more details! Please contact organisers Valentina Risdonne ( | and Abbey Ellis ( | if you have any questions.

Tweets from the day :


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