Research

Advancing silhouette research is an important part of the Profiles project. To achieve this we:

1) Have an in-house silhouette research team that looks for new information about the lives of artists and others involved with silhouettes. Recently, the team have been accessing British Newspaper Archive (BNA) material. This work has provided us with many exciting discoveries - new articles about known artists and published information about previously unidentified practitioners. We have assembled a database of the BNA-sourced information discovered. Over time, we hope that our in-house team and other users of this website will contribute further information about the newly discovered artists.

2) Work with partners, such as the University of Brighton's 'Silhouette Research Group' which looks specifilcally, at the material culture of silhouettes and related dress history and collaborate with other academic partners to develop material that contextualises silhouette history in relation to themes such as: family and home, social history, colonialism, conflict and war. See the University of Brighton's Silhouette Research Group outputs to date.

3) Cooperate with senior members of the Silhouette Collectors Club and silhouette professionals to bring their personal research, about specific artists and techniques, into the public domain.

4) Offer a recommended reading list about silhouettes, featuring old and new publications and articles from periodicals, etc. The core of the list is derived from recommendations provided by McKechnie and Joll but we also offer recent publications and  'links' to online media. If you have any suggested additions to the list, please forward these to nick@rth.org.uk using the subject title, SILS reading list additions

5) Enable and encourage the public to upload photographs of their silhouettes (and related meta data) to the Profiles website, to gather together a far wider collection of silhouetes than has previously been achieved. This will provide a digital archive of British silhouette heritage, protecting from complete loss in the event of disasters such as fire and flood, and it will allow experts to advance the public appreciation of silhouette history; identifying new artists and their techniques, extending understanding of artists' activities, etc. More...