This exhibition will give you a chance to ‘step inside’ medieval Chester. By questioning, handling and examining everyday objects from the West Cheshire Museum’s collections you will discover the ways Chester was a significant place connected to other parts of the globe throughout this time and beyond, creating a complex and diverse city.
Mobility of Objects Across Boundaries (MOB) is a collaborative, interdisciplinary project, funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council, which reconsiders the history of material culture in the period AD 1000-1700. It is being led by Associate Professor Katherine Wilson of the University of Chester and Associate Professor Leah Clark of the University of Oxford, who have been working in partnership with West Cheshire Museums.
MOB aims to examine, not the belongings of rich, named nobles or monarchs, but the goods used by everyday people, and to put the objects themselves at the centre of research into how material culture transformed and changed society throughout this period.
Medieval Chester Retold is one small part of this much bigger project. Some of the objects you will see in this exhibition have been included in the MOB project, and they have been chosen to prompt your curiosity. They have travelled across geographic, political, religious, linguistic, class and cultural boundaries, coming into contact with a wide range of individuals, and contributed to the dissemination and transfer of motifs, ideas, and knowledge. Travel, exploration, and trade were key features of this period, but they were also controversial and problematic, creating and enhancing inequalities, and setting into play the mobility of not only things but also people, including enslaved peoples.
You can find out more about the project using this link.