- Explore Betty Joel’s collaborative design and making processes, with particular reference to the roles of named furniture makers and clients.
- Identify the materials used by Joel in the construction of her furniture and interiors.
- Explore how the styles in which Joel worked can be located in relation to existing theorisations of Modernisms and Art Deco.
- Offer a placement with Portsmouth Museum and Art Gallery and opportunities for others elsewhere.
This collaborative PhD with Portsmouth Museum and Art Gallery (PMAG) will uncover and critically examine the career and works of Betty Joel (born Mary Stewart Lockhart) (1894-1985), a Hong Kong born designer of Scottish heritage. It will focus on the furniture company she formed with her husband David Joel in the wider context of a reassessment of the history of ‘modern’ furniture and interior design and the role of women designers in Britain. It will be centred on holdings at PMAG and Portsmouth History Centre (PHC), along with the Stewart Lockhart Collection, an archive of her family deposited in the National Library of Scotland containing hitherto unexplored personal and business papers and photographs, together with collections at other international, national and local museums and in private collections.