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Stephen Jackson

Stephen Jackson
Senior Curator, Furniture and Woodwork
Collection responsibility: British and European furniture and woodwork (and musical instruments, excluding bagpipes).
Research interests: Scottish furniture makers and manufacturers; representations and perceptions of domestic life and material culture in early modern Scotland.
E: s.jackson@nms.ac.uk

Stephen Jackson is Senior Curator, Furniture and Woodwork.

Stephen has worked at National Museums Scotland since 1999. Between 2003 and 2016 he was particularly involved in the successive phases of the Royal Museum Masterplan, Royal Museum Project and subsequent Art and Design galleries. He was lead curator for Window on the World and contributed to six other galleries. In 2007 he curated Green Design: Creativity with a Conscience, one of the first exhibitions anywhere to address sustainability in design.

Stephen’s expertise lies in the material and design properties of historical furniture across a broad spectrum of contexts. His research focuses on Scottish subjects though he is interested more generally in the historical development of manufacturing techniques, the social status of craft and design, patronage networks, furnishings within interiors, and thinking around authenticity, including current conflicts between preservation and interpretation. His many acquisitions for the museum have ranged from the world’s oldest bagpipe chanter to the products of 21st century additive manufacturing technologies.

Stephen studied history at Gonville & Caius College, Cambridge before undertaking an MPhil at the University of St Andrews on the subject of Scottish furniture. He then worked at the Victoria and Albert Museum as well as in local authority and university museums. He is currently Vice Chair of the Recognition Scheme Committee at Museums Galleries Scotland, is a member of the Council of the Furniture History Society, and since 2019 has edited the journal Regional Furniture.

Selected publications

Jackson, S. (2021) ‘The Caquetoire Chair in Scotland’, Regional Furniture, Vol. XXXV, pp. 87-172.

Jackson, S. (2018) ‘A Chippendale Commission in Scotland: Blair Drummond, 1776’, Furniture History, Vol. LIV, pp. 197-208.

McClean L., Porter H. and Jackson, S. (2018) ‘Twenty-first century sofa: conserving an eighteenth century object for modern museum display’, Journal of the Institute of Conservation, Vol. 41:3, pp. 182-95.

Jackson, S. and Leath R. (2015) ‘The Nine Lives of Robert Deans: A Cabinetmaker and Master Builder in Edinburgh, Charleston, and London, 1740–1780’, Journal of Early Southern Decorative Arts, Vol. 36, pp. 143-226.

Jackson, S. (2014) ‘14 Kingsborough Gardens and the Patronage of the Rowat Family’, Charles Rennie Mackintosh Society Journal, No. 98, pp. 16-20.

Jackson, S. (2013) ‘The Influence of Scotland in American Cabinet Making’, in Habib, V. (ed) Making for America: Transatlantic craftsmanship: Scotland and the Americas in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, Edinburgh: Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, pp. 171-83.

Jackson, S. (2007) 'Recent Fieldwork in Argyll', Vernacular Building, Vol. 30, pp. 63-77.

Jackson, S. (2007) 'Kirk Furnishings: the Liturgical Material Culture of the Scottish Reformation', Regional Furniture, Vol. XXI, pp. 1-20.

Jackson, S. (2006) 'William Trotter, 1772-1833', The Book of the Old Edinburgh Club, New Series Vol. 6, pp. 73-90.

Jackson, S. (2005) 'Edinburgh Cabinet Makers Wage Agreements and Wage Disputes, 1805-26', Scottish Archives, Vol. 11, pp. 79-89.

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