Holburne Volunteers

Welcome to the Holburne Museum's Volunteer BLOG.

This site keep's you all up to date with all that is going on at the Holburne and is full of useful resources to ensure that you are able to perform your role to the best of your ability,

Information regarding Volunteering and Volunteer oppotunities will also be posted here.

Below you will also see you can view the latest rota (including last minute changes) The Volunteer Policy and Handbook.

If there is anything you would like to see added to the page please do not hesitate to get in touch at volunteers@holburne.org

Also don't forget you can all stay in touch via the Volunteers Facebook page by logging into your Facebook account and searching for Holburne Volunteers

Wednesday, 1 April 2015

News and Rota's Now Online (April / May)

Hello Everyone
I hope this finds you all well. Spring is most definitely in the air and we hope that you are enjoying our new exhibitions throughout the Museum.

If you missed Catrin’s training lecture on our Nicholas Rena exhibition or would like to listen to it again, it is now available on the Volunteer Blog on the Volunteer Lectures Online page.
You can listen to it by clicking at the link below

As part of the Museums contemporary programme we have a very exciting project coming up in June with artist Laura Ellen Bacon. The project will allow Volunteers to work alongside Laura as she creates an amazing sculpture on the front of the Museum. More details can be found in this newsletter.

I hope that you have all had the chance to welcome Charlie to the team. We have heard that Georgie is doing well and enjoying London and we enjoyed a brief visit from Faunsia this week. Both pass on their best wishes.
The café manager Annalisa is leaving us and is going to work at the English National Opera in London running their bars and restaurants. Alessio who has been working in the Garden café for 2 years will be taking over as Manager form 1 April. I am sure that you will all join us in wishing her well.

Thank you all so much for baring with us during the maintenance in the Picture Gallery. There is more news on what is happening in this edition of the newsletter.

Thank you to those of you who have been feeding back about interpretation tools in the galleries. We are finding this all very helpful and would love to hear from more of you when you get the chance. If possible by 10 April?  

Gwen John to Lucian Freud is doing brilliantly , thank you all so much for helping our visitors in the Roper Gallery.
Thank you all so much for all your continued support and hard work, it means so much to us. Please keep your feedback coming its really important to us

Your new rota is now online and can be viewed by clicking the link below

Thank you so much, see you all soon

Spencer, Steven, Josh and Charlie

Next Volunteer Training Session 23 April 6.30pm with Jennifer Scott

Still Life with Jennifer Scott (Director)

Join the Director Jennifer Scott as she talks through the Museums collection of still life paintings.

This lecture aims give you more knowledge on these paintings so that you are able to speak more confidently in your Volunteer role. 

To attend this training lecture please RSVP to volunteers@holburne.org  or by letting your duty manager know about your attendance on your next shift 

New Portrait Hang for April

Thank you all for your patience over the next few weeks while the Picture Gallery is closed.  We are looking forward to opening a refreshed and better-lit gallery to our visitors at the end of April.

Although removing all the paintings from the gallery to our secure on-site storage is never easy, it does mean we can hang them in different positions when they return.  Using our amazing new virtual gallery software Exhibita Pro, we can easily see what different combinations of paintings will look like on our walls and experiment with new hangs, ensuring everything is in the right place long before anyone picks up a drill.

The new hang will look quite different in places, and we hope you like the changes.  John- Laurent Mosnier’s portrait of Lord Nugent’s grandson (see image), which has been in store since 2008, will be back on display for a few months.  It replaces the Stubbs, which will be leaving us for a short break in Lincoln.  It will be one of several works by Stubbs in Lincolnshire’s Great Exhibition, a celebration of the 800th anniversary of Magna Carta.  The exhibition will be on show from June 27 to September 27 at various sites in Lincoln, including the Usher Gallery.  Like the Holburne, the Usher was designed by Sir Reginald Blomfield in a neo-Georgian style, so if you are anywhere near Lincoln this summer do take the opportunity to visit; you will feel very much at home in Blomfield’s building.

While the Brownsword Gallery is closed, please remind visitors that they can see images and label texts for all the paintings online at   http://collections.holburne.org/themes/brownsword-gallery. 

They can also see a selection of them on the interactive screen in the Sackler Centre

Amazing Opportunity for you to work with a Contemporary Artist

At the end of June we will be unveiling an amazing new art work on the front of the building by contemporary artist Laura Ellen Bacon.

Laura Ellen Bacon is a British artist who lives and works in Derbyshire.

Her sculptures are most often created on site, in both landscape and cityscape settings that have included, Chatsworth; Somerset House, London and New Art Centre at Roche Court. Laura's work is also created for interior settings, from private interiors to gallery spaces including, the Sainsbury Centre, Norwich (2011), the Jerwood Space, London (2010) and The Saatchi Gallery, London for 'Collect' (2013).

During her project here at the Holburne Museum, Laura is offering a group of Volunteers to get involved on the creation of this new work. This is an amazing opportunity for volunteers who would find this type of experience not only rewarding but also invaluable for their future careers. The opportunity is open to anyone who wishes to be involved. You will need to be available from 1 June until 25 June and be able to offer as much time as possible during that period (although this will not depict whether you are involved or not). There will be a rota created  specifically for this. If you feel you can commit to this project full training will be given so you will need to ensure that you are able to commit.

For those who would like to witness the creation of an artwork, we hope this will be a rewarding project. 
The creation will be quite repetitive but the scale of the artwork is rather ambitious, so volunteers may be inspired by their chance to assist to this large-scale artwork

The essential daily task will be to create a series of willow ‘panels’ that will be fitted into the outline and density of the artworks.  Each ‘panel’ is made by looping and tying the willow together, which forms a 2D panel of looped, knotted willow.  These 2D panels are accumulated and curved into a 3D form.

The task will be largely quite repetitive but each panel can be tailored to fit each specific area of the artwork, so volunteers will usually have a good sense of the area of the artwork that they are working on.

Other activities will include speaking to the public (as Laura will largely be up a scaffold) and keeping the working area and the visitor areas clean and tidy.

Laura will continuously monitor what volunteers are doing and provide training as and when required, this is a  fantastic opportunity and  it would give Volunteers a greater sense of involvement and take the pressure off Laura’s time enormously

To find out more information and talk through the project in more detail please book an appointment with Spencer as soon as possible at s.hancock@holburne.org

This is an amazing opportunity to work very closely with an amazing contemporary artist. This will really suit so many of you that want to get involved in more of the museums work.
I really hope to hear from you all soon

Images of Laura’s previous works

Holburne History Book

In the 1990s Holburne staff published a very useful little booklet with  various articles on the history of the Holburne, including a short description of the Crafts Study Centre. 

 As almost every copy seems to have vanished (no doubt    eaten by the same creature that eats all our nice pens,        scissors etc), one of our volunteers, Lorraine Devlin has kindly scanned it so that you can all read it at your leisure. 
Do read it if you haven't as it is our best published source of information on the history of the museum and Holburne    family.

Two copies have been left in the teahouse for you to read, however if you would like to be emailed your own copy please just ask Spencer and he will send it across. We will also ensure that we will insert copies in to the Volunteer Gallery Guides for you.

Access and Engagement Strategy and Sharing Day

Last month five Volunteers went along to Family Friendly training days as organised by the Bath Museums Partnership. Although advertised as Family Friendly training it was really about the broader engagement of our visitors.
On 20 April you have been invited to attend a sharing afternoon at Museum of Bath Architecture (previously Building of Bath Collection)
During this practical and lively session we will be looking at some of the techniques shared by Crew Training and also the things that were learnt by the Volunteers who attended the initial sessions.
The training takes place
Monday 27 April 1.30pm
Museum of Bath Architecture.

To attend you will need to RSVP to Spencer at s.hancock@holburne.org by 17 April 1pm

Gaps and Holidays

With the Bank Holiday and Summer season fast approaching can we ask that you get all your holiday dates to us as soon as you can. We have received lots recently (thank you so much for the heads up). 

If you do see any gaps on the online rotas (they appear every two hours or so) please do let us know if you could fill in at any time. Thank you all so much for your continued hard work and support 

Event Stewards Still Needed

We are still looking for Volunteers to help out with some of our evening events, including Up Lates, Museums at Night, lectures etc .
If you would like to come along and help out at anything please check with your duty manager what we are still looking for.
Thank you so much everyone

Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Nicholas Rena and Contmeporary Programme Lecture Now Online

Catrin Jones (Curator of Decorative Arts) training lecture on our new exhibition on the Ballroom table is now online 

In addition to this exhibition Catrin also talks through our exciting contemporary programme here at the Holburne 

To listen to the lecture please click on the link below 


Friday, 27 February 2015

News and Rota now online for March

Hello Everyone,

I hope you are well? On Saturday 28 February we say a very fond farewell to Duty Manager Georgie. Although her party was on the 27th she worked her last shift just as we opened our brand new exhibition. Gwen John to Lucian Freud: Home and the World.

I know that the question on all your lips is “who will be replacing Georgie”. I can now let you all know that we will be joined by Charlie Kippax full time from the beginning of March.

Charlie is very familiar with the Museum as she studied her heritage in context module here at the Holburne. She comes with a wealth of experience and is a duty manager in a      number of venues across Bath including Burdells yard, The Michael Tippett Centre and the Commons. 

We are really excited to have Charlie come and join the team. I am sure you will all make her very welcome

Returning to our new exhibition there are a few things that we need to make you aware of.
Inside the gallery we have one piece which is called “The Box That Never Closes”. When we have visitors in the gallery this piece must be stewarded at all times. No one must touch the piece and we are contract bound that we will have a Volunteer with it at all times when  we have visitors in the gallery. Your Duty Manager will talk you all through this on your shift. In addition we also have a small hand out guide for the exhibition. These must only be given or be taken by ticket buyers. We do not have an unlimited supply. You can hand one over with tickets sales at the front desk or at the exhibition ticket desk when you sell a ticket.

There will also be gallery copies which must remain inside the gallery.

The new rota is now up and you can view it at the link below. 

If you missed the training lecture, this will be uploaded on the Volunteer blog so you can listen to it, next week.

Thank you so much for everything, you are doing an amazing job.

Spencer, Steven, Josh, and Georgie x

Nicholas Rena Exhibition & Volunteer Training

On Saturday 21 March we open our new exhibition on the Ballroom table. Nicholas Rena has created an installation of entirely new work for the Holburne’s Ballroom table, a series of monumental bowls. Orderly yet vigorous, these colourful vessels are painted and waxed to a flawless finish. The compelling sculptural forms evoke both the ceramics of Lucie Rie and still-lifes by Matisse.

Playing on the Ballroom setting, ‘with its astonishing quality of light and its rich historical resonances,’ Rena’s work explores the colours and tones of the European tradition from maiolica to painting.

Rena trained as an architect with Eric Parry, and subsequently began working with ceramics. ‘My architectural background has been a perspective in my work, a consideration and preoccupation with space.’ His solidly architectural ceramic forms recall highly polished marble. The large vessels are first moulded into their precise shapes, slowly dried out and sanded before being fired. This is the second of five contemporary interventions at the Holburne supported by Arts Council England.

We are really  excited about this exhibition, the colours are so vibrant.
Catrin (Curator of Decorative Arts) will be giving a lecture that will include this exhibition and will also introduce our future exhibitions on Monday 23 March 2.30pm.

If you can come along to this you will need to RSVP to your Duty Manager on Shift or by emailing volunteers@holburne.org


Hey All

I would like to say a final farewell and a huge thank you to you all. It has been an absolute privilege getting to working with you all over the last 3 and a half years, both as a co-volunteer and duty manager. 

Being able to work with such wonderful people is why I come to work and I do truly believe that you are the heart of the museum. I want to thank you for your time and dedication to the museum, without you all we wouldn’t be able to have this amazing collection available to the public. 

You have also made my time here an absolute pleasure! I wish you all the best and I will definitely be popping back in to see you all and the upcoming exhibitions soon.

With Love,
Georgie xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

New Exhibition for the Wirth

Opening 14 March
The Observer Observed: A Portrait of Don McCullin
The Wirth Gallery

This spring the Holburne unveils its latest painting by a winner of the Holburne Portrait Prize, Charlotte Sorapure. Her subject is the renowned photographer Don McCullin CBE, who is celebrating his 80th Birthday this year. 

Her compelling portrait will be displayed in the Wirth Gallery alongside some of McCullin’s own melancholy landscape images, and a new photographic portrait of Sorapure herself.

We now have 6 portraits in our collection from Portrait Prize winners. We do not have any immediate plans for another Portrait prize this year or next but it is something that we have always cherished and it will certainly be thought about and discussed in our future planning meetings.

Easter Eggstravaganza!!!!!!!!!

Come and help the Learning department deliver a fun day of activities at our free Easter Eggstravaganza event on Sunday 29th March.

We need lots of volunteers to help with delivering a day of Honey I shrunk the Museum! where parents and children will be able to explore the Holburne's collection and have fun creating miniature masterpieces including matchbox museums, bug boxes, Shrinkies, Postcard miniatures, mini-me egg roll and more.

This is a very popular event with a lot of people visiting so please expect to be busy! We need volunteers 11.15am - 4.30pm but you will get a break!!

If you'd like to help please contact Vanessa
v.wells@holburne.org or call 01225 388568

Tea House Key

We have had a few little hiccups with the teahouse key over the last few weeks so we just wanted to take the opportunity to go over how we should be using them.

Please never leave the keys on the table if there is no volunteer in the tea house. The key should never be left unless given to the next volunteer who follows you in.

Please check if Sally, Pauline or Steve are in the accounts office before you leave the tea house. If they have popped out please do lock the teahouse as they all carry a key to get back in. never leave the tea house unlocked if there is no one in there.

Thank you everyone. 

Picture Gallery Closing for Essential Works

As some of you know we have been having a lot problems with the large blinds on the domes in the Picture Gallery. We are finally in a position to sort these problems out.

All three blinds will need to be replaced which will also mean taking down all the plaster and cornicing around the domes. Therefore the entire gallery will need to be emptied and the gallery closed. The Gallery will be closed from Wednesday 25 March until Saturday 25 April. 

During the closeure it is important that we still have a volunteer on the top floor letting people understand why the gallery is closed and where to find information on the paintings elsewhere in the Museum. Therefore we will not be reducing duties on the rota.

This work is essential for the safety and preservation of our collection. 

Thank you

Things to remember about our new exhibition

We are all really excited about the opening of our new exhibition this weekend 
Gwen John to Lucian Freud: Home and the World: Dexter Dalwood selects from the Swindon Collection 

We will be presenting masterpieces of Modern British Art brought together by contemporary artist Dexter Dalwood.  From striking portraits to reclining nudes and pop art interiors, this exhibition celebrates the response of our greatest artists to the extraordinary changes witnessed in 20th Century Britain.

32 paintings and drawings by, among others, Vanessa Bell, Duncan Grant, Howard Hodgkin, Richard Hamilton, Graham Sutherland and John Nash, are deftly linked by the theme of ‘home’ and ‘the world’. Domestic stability is pitched against artistic innovation with exciting results.

Reasons to Visit the Exhibition 

  • Paintings and work by Britain’s best known modern artists.

  • The works have been selected and arranged by the celebrated contemporary artist Dexter Dalwood.Part of Frameworks: Great Art of the West.

  •  This is one of a number of shows in the area looking at modern British art.
Is there a brochure or publication  

Yes there is a free Leaflet (free with exhibition ticket only) to showcase Dexter Dalwood’s 1,500 word essay on ‘Home and the World’.  The reverse also includes images of the paintings in the show. This should only be given to ticket holders as we do not have an unlimited stock 

Protecting the art work 

Inside the Roper gallery we do have one piece that we have been asked is stewarded at all times when there are visitors in the gallery. 

The piece is a sculpture called The Box that Never Closes by Michael Craig Martin. (pictured right)  It is very important that people to do touch or knock this piece. You will only need to stand with it whilst there are visitors in the gallery 
Please do not ever bring chairs into the gallery  unless you have discussed this with a duty manager first 

The lecture given by Sophie Cummings (Curator at Swindon Museum and Art Gallery) will be available online in the next week 

Thursday, 26 February 2015

Mobile Phones Banned

As of today we can no longer allow the use of mobile phones or any mobile devices in the galleries. 

The gallery steward standards have been ignored by 1 or 2 individuals in the last month or so and we 
have no choice but to ask that no mobile devices are to be used. 

Please use the lockers provided on the ground floor to stow your mobile devices on arrival at the Museum. 

We appologise to all of you who have been delivering the gallery steward standards continually at a very high standard 

If due to personal reasons you have to have your phone with you, please do speak to the Duty Manager 

Gallery Steward Standards at the Holburne Museum

  1. To be visible
  1. To acknowledge all visitors on entry with eye contact in a friendly and welcoming way
  1. To inform visitors of what is on display in the gallery you are stationed  
  1. To ask open questions to establish needs
  1. Try to be standing when visitors are in the gallery to ensure they recognise that you are there to help (if you need to sit please do so just inside the entry point as to greet visitors so that they are aware that you are there to help)
  1. To promote the exhibitions by asking if they have seen it or perhaps purchased a ticket
  1. Point out the large print labels in the gallery spaces and encourage people to use them as they are walking around
  1. To be vigilant at all times to ensure the safety of the collection and our exhibitions.
  1. Always arrive on time to ensure that the galleries are stewarded when the public arrive.
  1. Always contact a Duty manager should you need help or need to move away from your post – never leave a space unattended unless previously agreed with your Duty Manager   

New Position at the Museum Available

Marketing Promotions Assistant
The Holburne Museum is seeking a part time Marketing Promotions Assistant.
Report to:                           Head of Communications
Hours per week:              18.75 hours [0.5FTE]
Salary:                                  £18K pro rata
Purpose of the Role:
This is an exciting new role within the Holburne, an award-winning Museum, reporting directly to the Head of Communications. The primary purpose of the role is to assist in the promotion of the Museum’s varied programme of exhibitions and events and maintain the Holburne’s profile in line with the Museum’s objectives and values.
To download the job description and application form, please visit our website at: www.holburne.org/job-vacancies/ (No CVs please; submissions via Application Form only).

Closing date for applications: 5pm Thursday 26 March

Interviews on: Thursday 16 April 2015

Friday, 30 January 2015

News and Rota now online for February

I hope that this all finds you well. 

We have some sad news for the Holburne but some fantastic news for one of our Duty Manager team.

Georgie will be leaving us on 28 February this year as she moves on to London to a wonderful new job as Philatelic Assistant at the British Postal Museum. Georgie started her career here at the Holburne as a Volunteer back in 2011. She then went on to become a freelance duty manager before being made a full time member of our team. We are all really going to miss Georgie but we wish her all the luck in the world in her new position.

We will of course be holding a leaving party for Georgie on Friday 27 February at 5.30pm here in the Garden café. If you would like to come down and wish her well, please RSVP to Spencer or email s.hancock@holburne.org

Georgie’s position is now being advertised and if you would like to apply you can do so by downloading the application and information forms at www.holburne.org from Monday 2 February. The closing date for applications is the 16 February and Interviews will take place on Friday 20 February. 

Our new exhibition opens at the end of this month so the Roper will be closed from 17 - 27 February. Please do check the rota as we do have to reduce the number of volunteers during this period as we would hate for you to be here for no reason.

There is also an addition to our training diary on the 25 February. Scroll down to read more or CLICK HERE

The next rota is now up so please do take a good look at these to avoid any last minute cancellations. 

Plans are underway for our fabulous summer programme. 
Canaletto: Celebrating Britain will open at the end of June as will an incredible outdoor installation by Laura Ellen Bacon. We will be posting up some of her previous work in the tea house so you can get a better understanding of her work. Its going to look amazing.

Nicholas Rena will also be installing his work on the Ballroom table from 21 March. Catrin will be delivering a talk about this on Monday 23 March at 2.30pm so please do sign up for this by letting your Duty manager know on shift or by emailing volunteers@holburne.org

The B&NES Chairman and Community Awards took place on Thursday 29 January. A few lucky Volunteer had the opportunity to go along. We did not win best volunteer team in BANES this year. There was some very stiff competition. You should all be very proud of yourselves for the nomination and all the hard work you do. The Volulnteers that did go along had a good time (see below) 

Thank you for everything you do for us

Spencer, Steven, Georgie and Josh

New Exhibition Volunteer Training

Our training for our next exhibition
Gwen John to Lucian Freud: Home and the World : Dexter Dalwood selects from The Swindon Collection (28 Feb—7 June) will take place on Friday 27 February at 10.30am or 2.30pm.

We will be joined by the Curator from Swindon Museum and Art Gallery, Sophie Cummings, who will be talking us through this exhibition.

 Home and the World  forms part of the Frameworks partnership of which we are part of. Our exhibition is the largest in an exciting series of redisplays which highlight modern gems in each of the partner museum collections. The series of exhibitions looks at the reality, fantasy, domesticity and foreign lands, place and time, and bodies and stories in modern art. Our partners are: Bristol Museum and Art Gallery, The Victoria Art Gallery, Swindon Museum & Art Gallery and The Wilson in Cheltenham.

To sign up to a  training slot please email volunteers@holburne.org or let your duty manager know which session you would like to attend on your next shift