Elizabeth Anne Cobb

Elizabeth Cobb graduated with an MSt in the History of Design in 2013. An alumna and a fellow remember the commitment to lifelong learning and creative arts they shared with Elizabeth Cobb who sadly died on 7 August 2016.

Liz was proud to be a Kellogg alumna.  Her lifelong learning extended into the last weeks of her life when she used the music technology facilities at Sobell House Hospice to finish the anthem she wished to be sung at her funeral.

Lifelong learning can lead to lifelong friendships and although her life was not to be long enough Liz was generous in her friendship.  I remember meeting her on the first of our residential weekends at Rewley House and noting a sense of style and a hint of mischief.

These qualities were well used in her professional life as art mistress and housemistress in girls’ boarding schools.  She regaled me with fascinating insights into this part of her life as she patiently taught me to knit in the last few months of her life.  There will be parents who have no idea of the debt they owe Liz in the upbringing of their troubled teenage daughters through her encouragement of involvement in the costume department of school plays and gentle pastoral guidance.

Early on in our MSt course we soon developed a local support group, together with Marilyn Farr and Rosie Eisenberg, frequently meeting at Liz’s home amidst her paintings, drawings and prints.  She had many creative design talents and always had tapestry, sewing and knitting projects on the go much to the amusement of her beloved cats.

A life of learning and teaching, Liz filled every day with creative activities, inspiring and encouraging others in doing so.

Susan Petty (MSt in the History of Design 2013; Kellogg Alumna)

One of the great honours and pleasures of teaching the part-time students in my care resides in exploring the traces of historical experience witnessed in everyday things and places and the opportunities for design to transform our own lives. Liz was a lively member of the first cohort of the MSt in the History of Design in 2011-3, extending her own deep knowledge of visual culture and an eagerness to explore new questions with her peers. A commitment to ‘taking part’ resounded across both her working life as a practising graphic designer and art teacher as well as her energetic leisure devoted to collective creativity, be it choral singing or craft. Our laughter-filled dissertation supervisions sharing in her latest discovery in the BBC archive or an ‘e-bay research find’ of line-cut illustrations surrounding a witty editorial in an early issue of The Radio Times over cups of Early Grey are my happiest recollection of Liz. Her vocation to help girls to become creative and confident young women made her a supportive classmate to fellow students, be they fresh from their BAs at the start of a career or mature students like herself full of energy and commitment to developing as scholarly historians as the pressures of professional life began to ease. When Liz discerned that she would face the illness that would take her from us, it was typical of her generosity and commitment to encouraging the study of visual culture that she put in place the donation of her library to Kellogg, ensuring her infectious fascination with looking, making and history would be shared by generations of students to come – a most fitting and thoughtful legacy through which we at Kellogg will perpetuate Liz’s lifelong love of learning.

Claire O’Mahony (Kellogg Fellow; Course Director of the MSt in the History of Design)