‘Accidental masterpieces’ of tool design showcased in exhibition

WEIRD and wonderful tools that have had an extraordinary impact on people’s lives are being showcased at a Leeds stately home.

Collector David Usborne with a Swift, used in lace making.

The Servants’ Hall at Harewood House will play host to striking exhibition entitled Objectivity, which has been put together by noted art collector David Usborne.

Uncelebrated inventions from throughout the ages will adorn the Servants’ Hall, the original hub of domestic activity for the house, during the exhibition.

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Mr Usborne has amassed a collection of utilitarian items that he considers ‘accidental masterpieces’ for the exhibition.

The collection is separated into five categories focusing on Utility, Mystery, Indifference, Resonance and Anonymity.

Mr Usborne believes each of the exhibits have the same qualities as sculptures, and the items selected for display includes equipment used for lace-making, tongs and sweeping brushes.

The exhibition will run from Saturday, February 16, to September 1.

David Usborne was born in 1939 and is a lecturer in the history of design.

He spent the war years in Albuquerque where he remembers early collecting passions for mineral 
samples and Indian arrow heads.

He worked as an architect and graphic designer for several years before becoming a lecturer.

Usborne’s Objectivity collection travels the world and the exhibition at Harewood is its first showing in the North of England.

For more details about the exhibition visit the website at www.harewood.org. or www.object-ivity.com.

A book entitled Objectivity: A Designer’s Book of Curious Tools, by David Usborne, is also available, published by Thames and Hudson.