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Helen Ritchie

Research Assistant

Helen Ritchie is responsible for researching, interpreting and curating the modern Applied Arts collections. She was the sole curator of recent exhibition Designers and Jewellery 1850-1940: Jewellery and Metalwork from The Fitzwilliam Museum (2018) and author of the accompanying catalogue, and was the organising curator of exhibitions, Things of Beauty Growing: British Studio Pottery, in partnership with Yale Center for British Art, and Flux: Parian Ware at The Fitzwilliam Museum, in partnership with artist Matt Smith (both 2018).

After studying at Trinity Hall, Cambridge and the University of the Arts London, Helen worked with a broad range of applied arts at the Royal Collection Trust, Christie’s, Harrogate Museums and the British Museum. Helen is a Trustee of the Society of Jewellery Historians, Hon. Secretary of the Decorative Arts Society (DAS), a committee member of the Society of Decorative Arts Collections (SODAC) and an accredited Arts Society lecturer.


Research Interests

Primarily European design post-1850; British Studio Pottery; Artist/Designer metalwork and jewellery; contemporary crafts.

As Research Assistant in the Applied Arts department, Helen has a broad-based working knowledge of and interest in European ceramics, glass, silver, pewter, textiles, fans, furniture, clocks, watches, jewellery, arms and armour, as well as Islamic art, dating from the early Modern period to the present.


Recent/Major Publications

Selected publications:

2018  Designers and Jewellery 1850-1940: Jewellery and Metalwork from The Fitzwilliam Museum, London: Philip Wilson Publishers, 166 pp.  

2014 A Passionate Collector: Mrs Hull Grundy and Jewellery from the Harrogate Collection, Harrogate: Harrogate Borough Council, 96 pp.

2012 ''A Superb Service of Toilette Plate': historicist plate in the Royal Collection' in Silver Studies 2012: The Journal of the Silver Society, pp.101-111.