Angel figure from a pharmacy, Jim Naughten. Source: Wellcome Collection / Science Museum Group. Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC 4.0)


Wellcome Collection: Objects in Stereo

Location: London, UK

Dates:  – 

Curator: Ruth Horry and Emily Sargent

‘Objects in Stereo’ is a new exhibition by British photographer Jim Naughten, whose work explores historic collections using stereoscopic photography, a technique that makes two-dimensional images appear three-dimensional. It presents a new perspective into the practice of keeping a collection, and asks what it means to keep and care for museum objects.

For ‘Objects in Stereo’, Jim Naughten visited Blythe House in west London which, until its recent closure, was home to a wide range of objects from the collections formed by Henry Wellcome and on long-term loan to the Science Museum Group.

Naughten was one of the last artists to access the building and the collections stored there, and his images offer a glimpse of objects usually hidden from public view. Using specially created viewers, visitors can see the stereoscopic photographs in 3D, showing these usually unseen objects in beautiful detail.

Alongside are large-scale photographic views of the storerooms themselves, which reveal the architecture of the building, and of museum storage itself. These images show relationships between individual objects in store, and question how these kinds of spaces might shape our encounters with them.

‘Objects in Stereo’ encourages us to look closely at museum objects usually hidden from view. It reminds us of the complex relationship between seeing and understanding materials in museums’ collections.

The exhibition is curated by Ruth Horry and Emily Sargent.


Jim Naughten

Jim Naughten is an artist exploring historical and natural history subject matter using photography, stereoscopy and painting. He was awarded a painting scholarship to Lancing College and later studied photography at the Arts Institute of Bournemouth. Naughten’s work has been widely featured in exhibitions across Europe and the US, including solo shows at the Imperial War Museum and Horniman Museum, and group shows at the Royal Academy of Art and National Portrait Gallery in London.


Wellcome Collection