Oliver Messel Schools' Resources

As part of our HLF funded project Sharing the Messel Magic we have developed a series of thematic digital resources based upon the Archive of Oliver Messel, one of the twentieth century's greatest theatrical designers.

These resources have been designed to introduce teachers of Art and Design across Key Stages 3, 4 and 5, to artist, designer and magic-maker Oliver Messel. Each pack contains thematic material, reference images and creative activities, such as discussion points, focused tasks and ideas for independent research (dependent on level of study), which can be adapted as needed for different stages of the curriculum.

Magic Maker Twentieth Century Art and Design The Art of Theatre
Oliver Messel: Magic maker (materials and process). Oliver Messel: Wake up and dream schools' resource (art and design) suitable for key stages 3, 4 and 5. University of Bristol Theatre Collection.
Messel School Resource Pack 1 (PDF, 2,898kB) Messel School Resource Pack 2 (PDF, 3,313kB) Messel School Resource Pack 3 (PDF, 2,617kB)

The packs can be used separately by teachers with which to plan an individual lesson, or sequentially to help develop a larger project around Oliver Messel, art and theatre or twentieth century art and design, and can be used either in the classroom or as part of a structured visit to the Theatre Collection. 

Additional resources are available to accompany each pack including:

  • Glossary designed to introduce students to specific terms and vocabulary related to the art of theatre design.
  • Biographical history covering Oliver Messel’s personal and professional life.
  • Account of Oliver Messel's Professional Practice including a scenography, filmography, design commissions and a list of exhibitions.
  • Downloadable image packs to accompany each of the above packs.
Theatre Glossary Biography Professional practice
an illustrated poster for Oliver Messel School Resources with a drawing of an Oliver Messel Costume Design a poster for Oliver Messels Biography with a photo of him in WWII army uniform an illustrated poster for Oliver Messel School Resources with a photo of a costumed dancer wearing a mask
oliver messel glossary (PDF, 1,937kB) oliver messel biography pack (PDF, 2,754kB) oliver messel professional practice pack (PDF, 1,481kB)

Please note that our schools' resources are free to teachers, young people and learning professionals. They are to be used for educational purposes only and materials should only be reproduced for this use.

These resources are kindly supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

Download an image pack to accompany our schools' resources

To book a visit to the Theatre Collection please visit our school's page.

Access the Oliver Messel Personal Archive online catalogue with over 10,000 object descriptions to research.

To find out more please visit our Explore the Oliver Messel Archive pages.

Edit this page