Holburne Volunteers

Welcome to the Holburne Museum's Volunteer web page.

Due to popular demand we are briniging our Volunteers this page to keep you all up to date with all that is going on at the Holburne.

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

Thursday, 13 November 2014

New news and Rota Now Online

Hello Everyone
It always feels like Christmas get earlier and earlier every year doesn't it. 

Its not all bad as of course we have our annual Volunteer Christmas Party coming up on Friday 5 December from 6.30pm. Music will be provided by Duty Manager Josh and the evening will include a raffle, dancing and a lot of festive cheer. We hope that as many of you can come as possible. Please do RSVP as soon as you can. 

We have not even got around to buying a turkey yet and behind the scenes our full attention is on our 2015 programme. 

There are some amazing exhibitions and Interventions in 2015 and we will be sharing them with you in the next  newsletter. However I can tell you that our summer exhibition will be a blockbuster as we fill the 2nd floor with ‘Canaletto -   Celebrating Britain’.

Our next Holburne UP LATE will be on Friday 28 November. We are still looking for a few people to come along and help on the evening if you can.

Don’t forget the annual lantern procession takes place on Thursday 20 November. If you can come and help carry one of the spectacular lanterns please do get in touch, otherwise do come out and cheer everyone along on Great Pulteney street and through the City Centre.

Your new rota is now online and you can view it by clicking the link below
We are eternally grateful for everything you do for us. It seems like we are always asking for more. This is, I am afraid the nature of our ever growing programme and I hope that you will all enjoy everything that is coming up

Thank you again
Spencer, Steven., Georgie and Josh


Fascinating Facts and New Loans
Volunteer Training: Monday 24 November 6.30pm
With Amina Wright & Catrin Jones. 

This fun fact packed lecture will arm you with all the tools you need to engage all of visitors in our extensive collection. Catrin and Amina will discuss the collection as a whole. Please don’t forget to bring your notebooks! 

For both events Please RSVP to volunteers@holburne.org or by letting your Duty    manager know on shift .

We have noted that many of you find it very difficult to make some of the evening training sessions. As a result we will be trying to programme more day time training in 2015. This is very dependent on rooms being available and the curatorial teams work load. We will try our very best so that we are able to accommodate as many of you as we can. Thank you for the valuable feedback


Hello to you all.

First, my name is Trish Roath and I joined the Holburne on 20 October as the new ‘Head of Philanthropy’.  There has been a name change in our Department – from Development to Philanthropy.  This is so that visitors know exactly what our role is.  And it is the same as yours  really. My role is to inspire visitors, staff, supporters and yourselves to embrace Philanthropy at the Holburne.  It is to show how everyone can play a vital role in the Holburne’s future through Philanthropy.

When people feel connected to an organisation, when they feel a part of it, and can visualise what they can do to help, they are much more likely to consider making a gift.  I am currently looking closely at the way that people give here, and am so grateful to each of you as I know that you make the difference.  You already inspire and encourage people to       support us and I hope that, over time, the number of people choosing to give will grow even more.

A little background on me.  I have been a fundraiser for 21 years now and have recently moved from a position at The Australian Ballet School in Melbourne. My husband is Welsh, and after 35 years living in Australia, he had a yearning to return home (Bath is pretty close!).  He has two sisters – one living in North Wales, and the other in a village outside of Oxford.  I know I will enjoy my time at the Holburne, and look forward to meeting you all individually over the coming months.

Thank you so much for all that you do.  Your commitment and support is an inspiration and I just hope you all know how valued you are.
Trish Roath CFRE
Head of Philanthropy

Caring for the Collection with Georgie

We are lucky enough that thousands of people visit the museum every year, however they do leave a mark, literally on the collection and building. 

We are looking to train some new dedicated collection cleaners who are willing to give up their time before or during a shift to clean some of the display cases and objects in the collection.
We asked one of our current Collection Cleaners John Green, why he put himself forward for this role:
“As a dedicated volunteer at the Holburne I undertake any number of varied and interesting tasks. One of the most    pain-staking and ultimately rewarding of these is the Collection cleaning and preservation of numerous artefacts and curios that the Holburne is renown for.

Ensuring that the Collection is cleaned effectively is paramount to the importance of maintaining our Museum’s objects and cases to the highest of standards for the enjoyment of our visitors and education for future generations.
From a more personal perspective the ongoing cleaning and preservation regime offers a privileged and unique opportunity to observe the most beautiful and delicate objects close up.

That’s one of the benefits of our Collection Cleaning team at the Holburne and there are many. Just to be there on an early morning brings great satisfaction, no matter how many times you look at the Collection there is always something new to observe, surprise and ultimately delight you”.
If you feel this could also benefit your experience at the museum or grubby fingerprints get under your skin, please drop me an email at g.tomlinson@holburne.org or catch me on your next shift. 

Thanks guys.
Georgie x

Have you R.S.V.P'd

Are you coming to the Christmas Party on the 5 December 
Please make sure you have R.S.V.P'd 

Its all in the name

You will have noticed that our touch screen interactive has found a new home for the time being inside the collection  galleries. We are looking for a much friendlier name for it. If you should have any suggestions please do let us know.
Also don’t forget to have a play with it. Its packed full of really helpful and interesting information.

Help with the Lantern Procession Needed

We are getting ready for the biggest Holburne Lantern procession ever and we would love for as many of you as possible to be involved. 

We are looking for Volunteers to come and join the 100's of people carrying lanterns in our annual procession through the city 

If you can help please get in touch with Spencer at s.hancock@holburne.org as soon as possible 

You will need to be available from 5pm on Thursday 20 November 

To find out more watch this video of Education Out Reach Officer Louise Campion as she talk about the project on www.virtualmuseumofbath.com


You can also view a video of last year procession below 

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Short course run by former Head of Education at the Royal Collection

Would you like to learn even more about the Holburne's amazing collection in an enjoyable mixed format of gallery talks, lectures, discussion and debate?  Marion McAuley, former Head of Education at the Royal Collection, will be leading a short course over 3 Friday mornings: 16, 23 and 30 January, 10.30am-12 noon. 'Making Connections: Exploring Georgian Life through the Holburne's Art Collection will make connections between paintings, prints, drawings and other works of art to reveal the fashions, politics and people of Georgian England - with a particular emphasis on Bath.

Week one will explore the Holburne’s collection of 18th-century paintings.
Week two will examine the prints and drawings of Thomas Rowlandson.
Week three will look at our continuing fascination with Georgian life through bequests and gifts to the Holburne.

Ticket £45/£40 concessions 
To book call the main Box Office on 01225 388569       Booking Deadline 18 December

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

The Fairies have returned................

Following her successful installation in the Collection galleries earlier this year, Tessa Farmer and her wayward skeleton fairies have returned for one last hurrah.  The fairies have returned, landing their spaceship (of sea urchin, crab, butterfly and bug) on top of the shop's Christmas tree.

Tessa explains that the fairies exit the spaceship through their flume (worm cast) to awaiting dragonfly taxis. Three fairies have already hailed a taxi, preparing to wreak Christmas havoc whilst wearing party hats. 
The festive fare for their party is delivered on mini-spaceships propelled by Portuguese Man-of-War swim bladders. Served most appropriately on blue and white china, culinary delights include the fairies favourite treat - roast bee.

Some of the more troublesome fairies head straight for the claret and may now be too inebriated to enjoy the delicious food awaiting them at other baubles. Who knows what they will do while we aren't looking!

Thursday, 6 November 2014

Paul Scott Training lecture now online

On Tuesday 4 November Catrin Jones, Curator of Decorative Arts gave a training lecture on our new exhibition, Confected, Borrowed and Blue...an installation by Paul Scott. 

To listen again or for the very first time please click on the link below 


Monday, 20 October 2014

The Nameless Grace. An installation by Holly Davey

Wirth Gallery, 18 October 2014 to 4 January 2015

Who is Holly Davey?
·       Holly Davey is an artist who lives and works in Cardiff. 
·       She works with ideas surrounding memory, object and archive.
·       Since graduating from Goldsmiths College, London, in 1998, she has exhibited widely in solo and group exhibitions in the UK and internationally.

What is the background to the exhibition?
·       The exhibition continues the Holburne’s commitment to displaying the work of contemporary artists who have studied our collection and ‘responded’ to it
·      This is a co-commission with the Holburne Museum and ICIA, University of Bath.  Part two will be exhibited in the opening season of the University of Bath’s new Centre for the Arts, Spring 2015.

What was Davey’s approach?
·      The installation has been inspired by the Museum’s collection.  
·      By studying the Holburne’s archive and discussing with our curators, she developed a particular interest in the three Holburne sisters, especially Mary Ann Barbara (1802-1882), the last of the Holburne family line.

·       In her will, Miss Holburne ensured that the family’s collection and name were bequeathed in trust to create the Museum.
·       Working with objects from the collection and research into the period, Davey’s installation blurs the boundaries between fact and fiction.  It reflects on these women’s hidden and largely forgotten lives by reanimating them.

What is in the exhibition and why?
There are four elements to the exhibition
·        A film on the landing by Davey titled ‘Never leaving. Never arriving.’  The film is shot from the side of a ferry looking down on to the water.  The sea is a metaphor for Davey’s suggestion that the Holburne’s sisters’ lives were perhaps unfilled and asks ‘were [they] able to escape, disappear or fade away?  Or were you caught in an endless sea. Never leaving, never arriving’

·       A framed gold triangle from Mary Ann Barbara’s scrap book.  The gold edges physically frame nothing but Davey sees the emptiness as the potential for possibilities in the lives of the sisters Books. 

     There are two shelves of books.  Mary Ann Barbara’s books were sold with parts of the Holburne estate around 1882.  This is a recreation of her library, based on the original probate inventory.  The books in the display are not the actual books that Miss Holburne owned but they are the correct titles. Davey has included these in the display to show visitors the literary tastes of Miss Holburne.

·       Printed text on a plinth.  This text is written by Davey and visitors may take a copy.  Davey’s words are her explanation of the exhibition.

Friday, 17 October 2014

News and Rota online for October / November

Hello Everyone
I hope that you are all well?
Firstly, thank you to those of you who have stepped forward in the last month to help fill some of the gaps on the rota. It has been much appreciated. We still have a few coming up so if those of you that have not been able to help this month could possibly have a look at next month we would be eternally grateful.
We have been facing a bit of an issue of late with regards to Radios. They have gradually gone AWOL? Could you all have a good look around your homes to see if perhaps you have accidently left the building with one in your coat pocket. The radios play a vital role in the security of the collection, please look after them. In addition never leave the radio lying around in a chair or on a bench. Not only is this leaving you, your colleagues and the collection at risk but the radios are expensive and we can not afford to keep replacing them.
Dare we say it but Christmas is coming. See news below on our Christmas shop. We will of course be throwing the annual staff/Volunteer Christmas Party. The date will be sent out to you all very soon.
To view the current rotas please click on the link below 
We hope to see many of you at the Dutch Paintings training session on Monday 27 at 6.30pm
Thank you all so much for everything that you do
Spencer, Steven, Georgie, Josh


Paul Scott:  Confected, Borrowed and Blue.
Volunteer Training: Tuesday 4 November 6.30pm
With Catrin Jones (Curator of Decorative Art)

Please sign up to this training lecture where we will be looking at our brand new Ballroom table installation by Paul Scott.

In Paul Scott's hands, domestic ceramics mutate into subversive comments on our life and times. His expert        manipulation of familiar motifs like the Willow Pattern gives his work special resonance and broad appeal.

Fascinating Facts and New Loans
Volunteer Training: Monday 24 November 6.30pm
With Amina Wright & Catrin Jones.
This fun fact packed lecture will arm you with all the tools you need to engage all of visitors in our extensive collection.

For both events Please RSVP to volunteers@holburne.org or by letting your Duty manager know on shift

Christmas at the Holburne

We are very much looking forward to Christmas here at the Holburne. This year we will be introducing Christmas trees on the balcony, the garden Café and on the ground floor. Garlands will run up the bannisters of our stair case and the shop will spill out into the neck area. The shop will offer our visitors lots of beautiful decorations and sticking fillers to  purchase.

We will need a few extra hands once the extra shop space opens on November 10 and would be really appreciative if anyone of you would be kind enough to nominate an extra shift to help out.

We also hope to have a number of late night shopping events here and we would love to keep the galleries open so that exhausted Christmas shoppers can enjoy a quite evening in the galleries or enjoy mauled cider in the garden café. We may even have a choir performing some Christmas classics  

Christmas at the Holburne will run from 10 November to 6 January 

The Annual Holburne Lantern Procession

This years lantern procession will take place on Thursday 20 November. Those taking part in the procession gather at the Museum from 5.30pm and the procession is led away from the Museum from 6pm.

We are looking for Volunteers to come along and join in the fun helping with stewarding and carrying lanterns.

If you are able to help you will need to be available at the Museum from 5pm. Don’t forget to wrap up warm and bring a big smile.

If you think you can help please get in contact at volunteers@holburne.org or by letting your duty manager know on shift

New Faces!

We are very happy to announce that our new Head of Development has now been appointed.
Trish Roath will be relocating from Australia to join the team here at the Holburne.

Trish has been a professional fundraiser for 21 years and most recently has been working for the Australian Ballet School in Melbourne.

I am sure you will all join us in welcoming Trish to the Holburne family. Her first day will be Monday 20 October

www.holburne.org gets a face lift!

On the 10 November this year we will be launching a brand new website for the Holburne Museum.
We have spent the last 5 months working with web designer Stuart Moran from the Web Foundry on the new site and we are very excited to be sharing it with everyone from the 10th.

As well as all the normal features we will also be introducing online booking for all of our events, our collections database will be much more advanced and it will also feature an online shop.

There is still a lot of work to do with the collections database (only 3000 items to up load ) so please do bare with us.
As ever we would love to hear your feedback. Please do let us know what you think by emailing your thoughts to Spencer at s.hancock@holburne.org

Gallery Guide

Over the next few months we are going to be changing the look and feel of the Volunteer gallery Guide. The Guide currently Is very dense and not very user friendly. 

We are working with the curators to produce something that is not only easy to use but also very informative.
Information will be concise and given in a way that will be useful to you when helping visitors in the Galleries.
We are hoping to trial just a few pages in the Picture Gallery in the coming months to gauge how easy you find it to use and your opinions on the layout and its contents.

This guide is for your use. It is there to ensure we are able to engage all visitors in our collection. Therefore your feedback is vital. We look forward to hearing from you after the trial.

Holburne Teen Forum

Since our re opening it has always been an ambition to create a Holburne Teen Forum. It was always thought that this kind of initiative would allow us here at the Museum to gain a better insight into how we communicate and engage with the teenage audience.

Before we can go ahead with a proposed forum we are going to be running a focus group session to gauge, what the Teen Forum should be and how it should work.

If  you are a volunteer and aged 15—19 we would love to hear from you. Please contact Spencer at s.hancock@holburne.org or drop in and see him when you are next on shift
You feedback and input is vital for the creation and success  of a Teen Forum.

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Holburne News 7 October 2014

Hi Everyone

I hope you are all well? This is just a quick interim newsletter with some information on things coming up imminently here at the Holburne.

On Thursday and Friday this week (9 & 10 October) We welcome back Bath Spa Universities MA Ceramics and textile students as they begin to install their exhibition of new and thought provoking work.

The exhibition entitled Muse: the collection inspires will ask our visitors to take a second look at pieces from the Holburne’s permanent collection through the eyes and work of the MA students.

Each of the pieces offer a contemporary twist within the collection galleries. Their work responds to individual pieces on display in the collection and highlighting objects not usually displayed and in some cases the work comments on Sir William himself.

Details of which pieces will appear in each gallery are as follows 

Adele Christensen, Baubles (on display in the Cafe windows)
Charlotte Asprey, Holburne's Treasure (
Posnett Gallery by window)
Elise Menghini, Ceramic Chandelier (Mezzanine) and Wallpaper, 3D wallpaper (Mezzanine stairwell)
Paul Gunning, Hello You Tinkers! Chris Harris as Widow Twankee (Picture gallery)
Rupert Brakspear, No. 44, ceramics inspired by the Ruba’i (poem) of Omar Khayyám (ground floor bottom of stairs)
Richard Winfield, Blind Eye (installation in central Holburne display, Posnett gallery)
Wen Hsi Harman, Sculpture Spoons (first floor neck)

Kate Bond, Synthetically Bloom, Mezzanine, suspended in windows
Carole Wadham, series of Four hats (Orpheus, Themes & Variations, Allegorical Hat, Fan with Attitude) plus photo prints of models wearing them, Ballroom, windowsills
Bronwen Gwillim, Hide & Seek, large fan, mezzanine stairwell
Jayne Goulding, Digital Craft, mannequin in ground floor neck

Also this week we see the arrival of some new paintings in the Ballroom and Picture Gallery. These were highlighted to you in the last newsletter.  We are really looking forward to seeing them go into the galleries at the end of this week.

On the 18 October we open a new exhibition in the Wirth Gallery
Holly Davey
The Nameless Grace
18/10/2014 - 04/01/2015

Holly Davey has been researching the Museum's collection with a particular interest in the three Holburne sisters, especially Mary Ann Barbara (1802 - 1882), the last of the Holburne family line.
Triangle from the Holburne sisters' album, card with embossed foil border, after 1817
Working with objects from the collection and research surrounding the period, Davey's installation blurs the boundaries between fact and fiction, encouraging the audience to reflect on and reanimate the hidden and largely forgotten existence of these women's lives.

This is a co - commission with The Holburne Museum, Bath and ICIA, University of Bath, with part two in the opening season of the new Centre for the Arts in Spring 2015.

Volunteer Training
Jennifer Scott’s first Volunteer Training lecture will take place on Monday 27 October 6.30pm.
Jennifer will be talking about the Dutch paintings in our collection and giving you some top tips for you to pass on to our visitors.

Please RSVP to this event as soon as you can if you can have done so already.

Introducing Paul Scott
Tuesday 4 November 6.30pm
With Catrin Jones, Curator of Decorative Arts
Join Catrin as she introduces our new exhibition Confected, Borrowed and Blue...an installation by Paul Scott.

In Paul Scott's hands, domestic ceramics mutate into subversive comments on our life and times. His expert manipulation of familiar motifs like the Willow Pattern gives his work special resonance and broad appeal. He also uses undecorated factory ceramics, called ‘blanks'; these are over-printed in the same blue as the Willow Pattern to dramatic effect.
Please RSVP to this event by emailing volunteers@holburne.org or by letting your Duty Manager know on shift

New Volunteers

I hope that you are all getting to know some of our new recruits that joined us after their induction on the 19 September. We are still recruiting and will be running another induction session on the 17th October. So you will have lots of new faces and many new names to learn.
That said we still have some gaps on the rota and let’s be honest this would not be a proper newsletter unless we asked if you would be kind enough to have a look over the rota on the BLOG and see if there are any gaps you could fill.