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The work that goes on behind the scenes at the Foundation is rarely seen by the public. Yet exhibitions, events, and publications that are consistently ranked among the best in the world do not materialise out of thin air. Our staff work day in and day out, often spending months of collaborative research time on a single project — planning, researching, designing, drawing up plans, creating, analyzing risks, and confronting obstacles until a project is finally the best that it can be and is ready to be presented to the public. Now, as part of the Foundation’s N-SPIRe! Grant/2012 Olympic Strategy for Excellence, I am pleased to announce that a specially-commissioned photo documentary, Making the Foundation Work: A Creative Journey (below), is now available for viewing. In this documentary, the incredible work that our staff carry out is finally given its proper due.

Making the Foundation Work takes you on an insider’s journey through a typical day with the Foundation’s Core Planning Team. Over the course of the documentary, you can see how one of our most well-known and successful programmes to date started out as a single idea, confronted seemingly impossible challenges, and  finally emerged as the signature work that now practically defines the Foundation’s identity. None of that would would have been possible without each staff member both drawing on his or her personal knowledge base and actively collaborating as a team. As Making the Foundation illustrates, without that process of creative collaboration, the iconic product that we all know so well might never have emerged.

Posted by MOUSE, 19 June 2012

Please view the photographs below in order as they show each step of the team’s  collaborative work process. To do this, simply reload this page when you are ready to begin viewing and the slideshow will start from the beginning.

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Dear All,

Many thanks to those of you who attended the Foundation’s Evening of Listening and Debate Around Schoenberg’s Verlachte Nacht last night — the postponed April 26thevent from our lectures series calendar. I thought that the event was enjoyable and stimulating, and I can only offer my sincerest apologies to those who did not entirely enjoy the session. As promised, we are providing a full refund of the ticket price to those of you who have requested it.

Previous music listening sessions have included modern American jazz and traditional ethnic music. All of those sessions were very successful.

However, I must say that if you go to a music listening session and you try to move about instead of staying in your assigned seat then it’s inevitable that the wires from some people’s headphones are going to get tangled up with each other.

Kind Regards,


As part of The Button Shop Foundation’s 2012 Olympic Strategy for Excellence, we are implementing several new features designed to show educate continue educating people about our art collections membership benefits activities  partnership with the local community. Image of the Day will feature and discuss a piece selected from amongst the Button Shop’s Foundation’s many collections – anything from early 19th Century Maps to 1980s fashion. Book of the Week will focus mostly on new publications pertinent to the Shop’s Foundation’s main collections – although older books, and, even, on occasion, books from The Collections themselves, will be also be featured. As always, the shop  non-profit Foundation’s goals are have always been have always been based on four three key goals: Education, Inspiration, and Helping Disabled People in the Local Community. We hope that if we get got A the 2012 Inspire Funding Grant would will allow it would allow us to expand the shop’s collections Foundation’s online educational features collections resources, allowing us to further target highlight help and inspire disabled people in the community.

Posted by Mouse, 2 June 2012

Entirely coordinated and arranged by Mouse, the mid-century modern exhibition represents the culmination of many months of research and organisation. Many of the objects from the Foundation’s collection that will be featured have not been seen by the public before.  
Please note that the guest list is now almost full for the Exhibition’s Private View/Opening Party. If you believe that you have been omitted from the guest list by error, please contact us by email and we will attempt to rectify the situation if possible.

  The Exhibition will  be open to the general public on a rolling schedule. Advance booking, through Apple Hill Galleries, our host partner, or through the Foundation’s main booking office and box office, is essential to avoid disappointment.

As always, Heritage Donors, Legacy Patrons, and Friends of the Foundation receive one complimentary entrance invitation, and may purchase guest tickets for friends and family members at a 20% reduction.

Unfortunately, due to a small minority of people abusing the system (not to mention the personal trust that we, as Foundation staff, place in our patrons), we may require documentary evidence that any accompanying guests are indeed family members, friends, and/or personal acquaintances (i.e. not just simply people that you might know, however well) in order for you to receive the discount.

Audio Guides

As usual, Audio Guides, with a full commentary on the Exhibition, narrated by leading, nominated experts in the history of American mid-century modernism are will be shortly probably available upon request. Please note that usage of the guides carries a small surcharge and does require patrons to leave a deposit, which is repayable upon return of the wireless headsets.

Audio Guides — narrated by leading, nominated, international experts in the relevant art form and historical period in question — have always provided a key educational resource for those visiting the Foundation’s Exhibitions or Permanent Collections. The Foundation is committed to improving access to its Exhibitions and Collections for people with a wide range of disabilities and many of our audio headsets are fitted with an off/on switch, with some even featuring volume controls and/or a narrator speaking about something in a foreign language.

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Dear Everyone,

As many of you know, a power outage occurred throughout the N4 Postal Code area just before our most recent lecture was about to begin. Among other things, it meant that the air conditioning facilities in the lecture room, even once the power was back on, would not be able to operate at their recommended optimum levels until at least halfway through the lecture. As a result, I had no choice but to cancel the lecture.

At present, the electricity is functioning here at the Foundation. However, given that an outage has already occurred and the district’s electrical supply appears to be weak and/or uneven and/or not there, I have no other option but to cancel  this week’s coming lecture as well as a precautionary measure.

This is a particular shame because the internationally-nominated guest lecturers who were supposed to have spoken on both nights had already made arrangements to travel to Foundation from their respective homes in different countries.

However, the welfare and safety of all participants and staff has to be my number one priority at all times.

By way of apology, I will shortly be presenting a small taster of some of my personal favourite pieces currently on display in our Modernism on The Cover Exhibition in the Gallery Space.


Dear Everyone,

I am delighted to announce that our Christmas-time video is now available for viewing here:

Secondly, as you will probably notice, the address of our website has changed from, to the easier-t0-remember However, the old address will also continue to function.

The Team and I wish you a very happy holiday season. The shop will be open as normal during the holiday period and we look forward to seeing you soon. We will be announcing the 2012 events calendar in early January, with the dates of our lecture series, Musical Evenings, seminars, and the RedCarpet Events for the Shop’s Heritage Donors and Legacy Patrons.


Dear Everyone, This month we have decided to go with the seasonal theme of Autumn.

Although Autumn is one of my personal favourite colour seasons, it can, in some ways, constitute a difficult palette to work with. What could be more simple, more earthy, than a brown button? However, when you are trying to organise a theme month display using brown wooden display units, it can easily start to get confusing.

Autumn features a broad spectrum of colours: rich golds, brown, tans, subtle oranges. The Button Shop’s collection features a substantial and interesting collection of antique tan buttons, ranging from light sand to dark olive. However, these buttons look very similar, so trying to put them into groups based on subtle differences in shade can be quite challenging, even frustrating.

Often, when you think you’ve finally arranged them into exact groups of different colours, you stand back and look, and it’s just a jumbled mess. And you have to start again.

I would be lying if I said that this month’s theme hasn’t been a little bit stressful. Sometimes I even wished that we had skipped Autumn and gone directly to the next theme month (Morocco and Islamic Buttons). It can be very discouraging when a theme month doesn’t come together the way that you have planned.

When things got too hairy, we would stop for a coffee break, and then try to press on. It wasn’t easy.

Autumn Theme month was not the best introduction to the work of the Button Shop for my new assistant. His help was invaluable, despite the fact that he found Autumn as challenging as I did – if not more so.

That said, we did manage to get to the end of Autumn Theme Month in one piece.

The final selection, I think, was fairly successful in conjuring up the spirit of Autumn. We decided to add white and off white to provide tonal contrast.

Sales have held steady with regards to previous months, and in general, customers have been very enthusiastic about Autumn Theme month.

As usual, they are blithely unaware of the ordeal that we go through each month to get the Button Shop display ready.

Next up: Islamic Fundamentalist Buttons Theme Month.