Holburne show dazzler & a few surprises!

Autumnal colour may be all about orange and gold but Bath’s Holburne Museum is currently wowing its visitors with an exhibition celebrating silver – a precious metal used through the centuries in arts and crafts.


Director, Jennifer Scott is here to tell Bath Newseum followers more about a real dazzler of a show but first l wanted to ask her if she’s noticed anything different about the museum’s front lawns on her way into work?

Silver: Light and Shade
22 October 2016 – 22 January 2017
£10 (£8.50 without donation) | £9 concessions (£7.50 without donation)
Book to accompany the exhibition written by Catrin Jones and Vanessa Brett £6.95

The Holburne Museum, Great Pulteney Street, Bath BA2 4DB
Open daily, free admission 10am to 5pm (11am to 5pm Sundays and Bank Holidays)
T: 01225 388569 | E: enquiries@holburne.org | http://www.holburne.org
In Partnership with Bath Spa University
CLOSED 24 to 26 December and 1 January

About the Curators

Catrin Jones is Curator of Decorative Arts at the Holburne Museum in Bath. Alongside Silver: Light and Shade, she is currently working on various commissions including Linda Brothwell’s The Missing, a contemporary response to the Holburne’s collection.

Vanessa Brett is an independent scholar, historian and silver specialist. Her most recent book, Bertrand’s Toyshop in Bath: Luxury Retailing 1685–1765, published in 2014, was described by reviewers as ‘delightful and idiosyncratic’ and ‘a genuinely fresh and original contribution to social history’.


Silver: Light and Shade: Celebrating the 1916 Centenary

This exhibition is part of a series of three major exhibitions to celebrate 100 years since Sir William Holburne’s collection moved to its permanent home on Great Pulteney Street in Bath.

And here’s the Mayor of Bath, Cllr Paul Crossley paying the exhibition a special visit. Curator of Decorative Arts, Catrin Jones, is showing him a silver gilt cup – presented to Bath by the Prince of Wales in 1738 – and loaned to the exhibition by B&NES.

Holburne Director, Jennifer Scott, with the Mayor of Bath, Cllr Paul Crossley and Catrin Jones who is Curator of Decorative Arts. The silver gilt cup is on display between them.

The Holburne Museum first opened in 1893 in a former bank in Charlotte Street, Bath.  However, the premises were too small for the collection and by 1913 the Holburne Trustees had negotiated the purchase of the Sydney Hotel and part of the surrounding Sydney Gardens.  The museum opened to visitors on 6 June 1916 in its new home, converted by Reginald Blomfield. The collection, curated by George P. Dudley Wallis (1883-1977), was described the following year in The Burlington Magazine as ‘a model of arrangement for all local museums and for many larger and more valuable collections.’ 


2016 is a year of special celebration of the Museum and its collection. Silver is one of the great strengths of Sir William Holburne’s founding bequest. The silver on show from the permanent collection consists of grand, buffet-style displays, and smaller celebrations of intricacy and craftsmanship. Comprising rare early English pre-Civil War survivals, European and English silver-gilt for display and eighteenth-century domestic silver, the collection also includes significant groups of Dutch and German flatware and vessels from the seventeenth century. Silver: Light and Shade provides an opportunity to use Holburne’s collection as a catalyst for a wider exploration of historic and contemporary silver.