Holburne Museum, Bath

At the heart of the Holburne Museum is the collection of Sir William Holburne (1793-1874), fifth baronet of Menstrie. William seemed destined for a naval career but, following the death of his elder brother Francis, he inherited the family title and a modest fortune. He left the navy and embarked on an eighteen-month Grand Tour of Europe, visiting Italy, the Alps and the Netherlands. This sparked a life-long interest in art and his enthusiasm for collecting. He particularly loved bronze sculptures, silver, porcelain and Dutch landscapes. – Holburne Museum. (2017). History of the collection. [ONLINE]

Visiting here as a group today, we looked at curatorial analysis of the interpretation and graphic identity, authorship in regard to the role of the curator, and the core functionality of the care and security of the collections.

Holburne Museum display

We gathered for a time in the Ballroom Gallery. Located on the first floor, this gallery space houses part of the permanent collection, as well as hosting temporary exhibitions in it’s central table case.

holburne floorplan (2)
Architectural Design Statement
on behalf of the Holburne Museum of Art, Bath
September 2007 Eric Parry Architects


The 7.5 metre-long Ballroom Gallery table case as a curatorial space is a particularly interesting one.  Recent exhibitions curated in this space include ceramic artist Bouke De Vries with ‘War & Pieces’, ‘A Ballroom Banquet’ by Kathy Dalwood, ‘Folded Beauty: Masterpieces in Linen by Joan Sallas and Junko Mori’s ‘Coppiced Wood‘. Each very different in their materials, but as the museum states on their website these exhibitions are all within ‘a series of contemporary interventions at the Holburne Museum which juxtapose the traditional and modern to create unique and surprising interpretations which reference the Holburne’s history, building, location and collection’.  If I were to integrate a photographic element inside this space, how would I approach it?


Feature image:

Visit Bath. (2017). The Holburne Museum. [Photograph] Available at: https://visitbath.co.uk/things-to-do/the-holburne-museum-p25111. (Accessed 4 October 2017).


Holburne Museum. (2017). History of the collection. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.holburne.org/the-collection/history-of-the-collection/. (Accessed 4 October 2017).

Free City Guides. (2017). The Holburne Museum, Bath. [Photograph] Available at: http://www.free-city-guides.com/bath/holburne-museum/. (Accessed 4 October 2017).

Eric Parry Architects. (2017). Holburne Museum, Bath. [Architectural drawing] Available at: http://www.ericparryarchitects.co.uk/projects/culture/holburne-museum-bath.html. (Accessed 4 October 2017).

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