Letterpress Printers Wooden Tray

Letterpress printing is a technique of relief printing using a printing press. Many copies are produced by repeated direct impression of an inked, raised surface against sheets or a continuous roll of paper.

This was the normal form of printing text from its invention by Johannes Gutenberg in the mid-15th century until the 19th century. It remained in wide use for books and other uses until the second half of the 20th century.

Dr Lorna Robinson, Director of the Rumble Museum donated this item to the Living Museum. She said: "Reading and books have been one of the greatest loves of my life from a very early age, and I think this artefact is both beautiful (I love the little cubby holes!) and preserves part of the history of the printing tradition. I also chose it because books and printing are a defining part of the history and way of life of the city of Oxford".


Ethiopian Christian Art

The story of King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba, a traditional subject of Ethiopian art, appears in this rendition by Janbaru Wandemu, painted in the 1950s. Recorded in the Kebra Nagast ( Glory of Kings), a literary work preserved in manuscripts from the late thirteenth or early fourteenth century C.E., the story may have existed as early as the sixth century C.E. It tells of the descent of the the Ethiopian monarchs from Solomon and Makeda (the Ethiopian name for the Queen of Sheba) and of the bringing of the Ark of the Covenant to Ethiopia.

The 44 panels, laid out according to a traditional format, progress along the horizontal rows from upper left to lower right. The story begins (panel 1) with Wainaba, the snake dragon at upper right, ruling Ethiopia. The people agree to make Angabo king if he kills this monster (2). Angabo mixes a poison (3), feeds it to his goat (4) and feeds his goat to Wainaba (6). This kills Wainaba (7), and Angabo becomes king (8–9). When Angabo dies (10), his daughter Makeda becomes queen (11).

 

It was donated to the Living Museum by Professor Judith McKenzie from the University of Oxford.

 


BMX Bicycle

A BMX bike is an off-road sports bicycle used for racing and stunts. BMX means bicycle motocross (off-road motorcycle racing). BMX started in the early 1970s when children began racing their bicycles on dirt tracks in Southern California, inspired by the motocross superstars of the time.

The BMX bike in our collection is donated by Duncan Martin, Iris Project trustee and volunteer for the museum.

Duncan said: "I knew that I wanted to donate a bike to the Living Museum because cycling has always been such a big part of my life. It's also a bit part of the life of the city of Oxford. I chose a BMX bike, because this was the first sort of bike I had as a child."

 

 


Street Art Placard donated by Will Gompertz

We are delighted to receive an object for the Rumble Museum collection from Will Gompertz, BBC Arts Correspondent. Will has chosen an art placard which was made as part of Britain's first ever Performance Art Festival in May 2008. He organised this festival while he was working at the Tate. He said: "my life started when I began working at the Tate - everything began to make sense while living and working in the world of art and really loving it".