Dr Joanna Weddell is a cultural and design historian of post-war Britain with interests in the role of national museums as regional state actors and the impact of travelling design exhibitions on citizens and industry.
Dr Weddell received an AHRC-funded collaborative doctorate, ‘Disseminating Design’, from the University of Brighton and the Victoria & Albert Museum, London. This research established the unique role played by the V&A Circulation Department in the collection, display and interpretation of modern objects at the V&A and in the public dissemination of design across the British Isles in the period 1947-1977. The achievements and limitations of the Department provided a vehicle for examining wider issues concerning design promotion after the Second World War, a period of reconstruction and then rising consumption. The Department was considered as a uniquely distanced but authoritative locus between state, design culture and industry with implications for the history and practice of design and its intersection with museology. The primary research contributed to ‘British Design 1948-2012: Innovation in the Modern Age’ exhibition at the V&A Museum, London, 2012.
Dr Weddell holds an MA in History of Art: Europe, Asia, America from the University of Sussex, a degree in Architecture from the University of Westminster, has previously taught History of Art & Design at the University of Brighton and lectured at the Victoria & Albert Museum.
‘The Prototype: The V&A Department of Circulation’, Re-Reading the Manual of Travelling Exhibitions, UNESCO 1953, Andreas Müller, Lydia Kähny, Sophie Lichtenberg, Aaron Werbick, eds (Leipzig: Karlsruhe University of Arts and Design/Spector Books, 2018), pp. 145-148.
‘Back in Circulation’, V&A Annual Review 2015-16, Thomas Phongsathorn, ed, (London: V&A / Cultureshock Media, 2016), pp. 18-21.
Co-editor: Design Objects and the Museum, Liz Farrelly and Joanna Weddell, eds (London: Bloomsbury Academic, 2016).
‘The Ethos of the V&A Circulation Department 1947-1960’, Design Objects and the Museum, Liz Farrelly and Joanna Weddell, eds (London: Bloomsbury Academic, 2016), pp. 15-25.
‘Room 38A and Beyond: Post-war British Design and the Circulation Department’, V&A Online Journal, 4 (2012) <http://www.vam.ac.uk/content/journals/research-journal/issue-no.-4-summer-2012/room-38aand-beyond-post-war-british-design-and-the-circulation-department>