‘Pictures for Palaces’ – the Old Master Paintings Collection at the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery
Brendan Flynn, Curator (Fine Art), Birmingham Museums and Art Gallery
Brendan Flynn discussed three works in the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, all of which were commissioned for specific buildings and held personal resonance for their owners.
He discussed ‘The Holy Family’ by Gennari, commissioned in 1682 by Mary of Modena, the wife of James, Duke of York (later King James II), for the private chapel in St James’s Palace, London; Guercino’s ‘Erminia and the Shepherd’, commissioned in 1619–20 by Ferdinando Gonzaga, Duke of Mantua, for his new building, Villa Favorita; and ‘Psyche rescued by Naiads from drowning’ by Jean-Baptiste Marie Pierre, commissioned in 1750 by Madame de Pompadour for her new château in Meudon, France.
Find out more on the Birmingham Museums and Art Gallery website [External link]
The New Building Development at the Holburne Museum
Alexander Sturgis, Director, Holburne Museum, Bath
Alexander Sturgis gave an outline of the history of the Holburne Museum and described the strengths of its collection. He explained the new building development, which has included the renovation of the existing building and the construction of a new wing at the back of the building that extends the museum space into the garden. The new wing provides additional facilities, including a temporary exhibition space and more room to exhibit the collection. It includes a display that evokes the idea of the original private collectors and also a display of Dutch paintings.
For more information, visit the Holburne Museum website [External link]
The National Inventory Research Project and the PCF/BBC 'Your Paintings' Project
Andrew Greg, Director, National Inventory Research Project
Andrew Greg outlined the development of the National Inventory Research Project since 2001 and its cataloguing of over 8,000 pre-1900 European paintings in UK collections. He then identified the origins of the Public Catalogue Foundation (PCF) in the desire of Fred Hohler to make information about regional museums more accessible, including original photography of museum collections, initially through printed catalogues.
He explained that the PCF have now teamed up with the BBC to launch the PCF/BBC 'Your Paintings' website, which provides information about paintings in public collections throughout the UK. Greg explained that eventually the two projects will share a database.
Find out more on the 'Your Paintings' website [External link]