Part memoir, part detective story, part untold history of museums - The Museum Makers is a fascinating and moving family story.
'Rachel Morris is one of the smartest storytellers I have ever met ... a wonderful and beguiling book' James Rebanks, author of The Shepherd's Life
Without even thinking I began to slide all these things from the dusty boxes under my bed into groups on the carpet, to take a guess at what belonged to whom, to match up photographs and handwriting to memories and names - in other words, to sort and classify. As I did so I had the revelation that in what we do with our memories and the stuff that our parents leave behind, we are all museum makers, seeking to makes sense of the past.
Museum expert Rachel Morris had been ignoring the boxes under her bed for decades. When she finally opened them, an entire bohemian family history was laid bare. The experience was revelatory - searching for her absent father in the archives of the Tate; understanding the loss and longings of the grandmother who raised her - and transported her back to the museums that had enriched her lonely childhood.
By teasing out the stories of those early museum makers, and the unsung daughters and wives behind them, and seeing the same passions and mistakes reflected in her own family, Morris digs deep into the human instinct for collection and curation.