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

Thursday, 5 November 2015

The Holburne Museum, Volunteer Newsletter November / December 2015

Hello all!

I hope this newsletter finds you well and as the dark nights are now drawing in, you are settling into the autumn season.

With the autumn comes many exciting things to the Holburne Museum to keep your spirits high. The Gold exhibition has been a great start and has drawn in many visitors in its opening weeks, I’m sure that the high quality sparkle of this exhibition has the longevity to keep up those numbers over the coming months.

There are many other fantastic things happening this season such as our annual Lantern Procession. This will once again start at the Museum, and then make its way up Great Pultney Street, sweeping into the town centre and shining with a celebratory end in Parade Gardens. This year the children of the lantern procession will separate off near the Bath Abbey and be the metaphorical and ever so special beacon that ignites the Christmas lights in Bath. This is a great opportunity to show how much of an impact our museum can make on the city and really gives us a better platform in terms of community involvement. (The Lantern Procession will take place on Thursday 19th November) We would love you to be involved in this spectacle so please do let your duty manager know if you are free to come and help.

Coming up on Monday 16th November is Catrin Jones’ volunteer training lecture about the Michael Eden: History Re-Printed exhibition being installed in the Davidson Gallery (Ballroom). Don’t miss the opportunity to come along and learn from our programme, this is something quite special that we will be bringing into the museum Michael Eden’s concept of re-printing classic historical designs echoes our lovely building and exhibitions programme. The talk will take place at 2.30pm so please let a Duty Manager know if you can make this session. (This exhibition will be opening Saturday 21st November until Monday 28th March 2016 and is FREE for the public to enjoy) You can also find some interesting information about the history of 3D printing in the section “Food for thought: 3D Printing” Below.

Lastly, with a festive sprig of jolliness, I’d like to invite you all to our annual Volunteer Christmas Party (Friday 4th December 6.30pm). This years theme will be Classic Christmas (interpret that as you will). We thought it would be a nice chance to dress up in your best, have a drink, some festive nibbles and socialise all together as one big team. If you can attend please let me (Joshua) or any of the Duty Mangers know, so we can plan out or catering needs. And if that’s not enough to entice you, I may even where a bowtie for the first time since I was a page boy when I was very small, this could be a historical moment.

This time of the year is about appreciating the people who are special to you, and it goes without saying our volunteer team mean the world to us. So we hope to see you there.

The new Rota for December is now available to see at:

Warmest regards,

Joshua, Spencer, Charlie, Hannah and Ben.

"O Come, All Ye Faithful"

More Arrivals and Departures for the Picture Collection

This month we will be welcoming two beautiful new paintings on loan, a drawing by Thomas Gainsborough and a portrait of a lady by George Romney.  We will also be saying goodbye to the four loans that arrived last autumn (works by Reynolds, Devis, Romney and Locatelli), and welcoming back the Stubbs portrait of the Carter Thelwall family (now back from loan to Lincoln) and the two little George Morland paintings, which were exhibited in Leeds earlier this year.
The drawing by Gainsborough, a Wooded Landscape with travelling Figures (late 1770s), will be with us for a year.  It will hang in place of the old silhouette activity, which is being decommissioned and replaced with a space for framed works. 
The portraits in the Picture Gallery will be joined by a lovely painting by George Romney on loan from a local family.  During the 1780s, Romney was London’s most fashionable and talented portrait painter after Reynolds and Gainsborough.  His subject, Ann Bowes, sat to him four times in 1781, shortly before her marriage to Colonel Thomas Thoroton (1753–1813). In coming to the Holburne, she will be re-united with her husband’s first cousin Elizabeth Gould (Mrs Balguy) whose portrait by Joseph

"Cousins reunited: Ann Thoroton (left) (flipped) and Elizabeth Gould (right)"


Wright of Derby was generously donated to the Holburne last year by David Posnett via HM Government.  This is not the only link to the Holburne: Ann Bowes came from the same Durham family that later founded the Holburne’s northern partner the Bowes Museum, and her son-in-law inherited the house outside Ross-on-Wye once owned by Alicia and Jane Clarke, the ladies in our portrait by Devis.
The Stubbs conversation piece of Robert Carter Thelwall, his wife Charlotte Nelthorpe and their daughter will be returning to the gallery in the next few weeks.  Charlotte Nelthorpe’s distant Yorkshire cousin, James Nelthorpe, travelled to Constantinople with the extraordinary Swiss artist Jean-Etienne Liotard in the late 1730s.  Liotard’s pastel portrait of Nelthorpe in a red coat, fur collar and exotic turban has been in the Holburne’s collection since 1955, and will be appearing in the Royal Academy’s wonderful Liotard exhibition this season.  As soon as the exhibition closes at the end of January, James Nelthorpe will star in our own little display of the excellent pastels in our works on paper collection, A Handful of Dust, which will take over the Wirth Gallery from February.

Food for thought: 3D Printing

The earliest technologies of 3D print became visible in the late 1980’s, with a technology called Rapid Prototyping. This was originally to make a faster and more cost effective way of making prototype models for engineers, architects and other such professions.

Moving into the 1990’s and early 2000’s more of these technologies began to surface all with a theme of quickening the production process with Rapid tooling, casting and manufacturing.
Today we live in an age of commercial 3D printers available in high street shops (still at a very high price) however the design industry believe it’s the calm before the storm as 3D printing will revolutionise how the consumer will get their products.

When it comes to art, it raises a very important question; with such ease of reproduction, how do you protect the artist and their rights?

Friday, 23 October 2015

GOLD - The Sackler Discovery Centre

The Sackler Discovery Centre is situated on the second floor just outside the Roper Gallery. This child-friendly room is open to the public alongside each temporary exhibition and is FREE to use. The activities in the room are created to encourage families to interact with the exhibitions and gain a further understanding of the art. The activities are also a lot of fun and visitors are welcome to take their crafty creations home, or leave them on display for others to see.

Please do encourage families to use the room, remembering that all children must be accompanied by an adult.

If you notice that any materials are low or need re-stocking please let a duty manager know and they will inform the Learning team.

Please take a look at the activity instructions, we hope these will enable you to feel confident in answering any questions should they arise and encouraging families to use the room. These instructions are on display on the walls in the Sackler itself and there are also hard copies inside the drawer of the ticket booth.

Friday, 16 October 2015

Holburne News & November Rota Now Online (2015)

Hello All,

I hope you are having a lovely October and enjoying the chillier, fresher starts to the days. Firstly just to mention that the final ticket sales for Canaletto were 10,727, the target set before the exhibition opened was 8,090. That’s a big well done to you all I say.

As most of you are aware this month will see the opening of, Gold: an Exhibition from the Royal Collection on Saturday 24th October and running into the new year, 24th January 2016. This exhibition explores the beauty and symbolism of gold through a selection of 60 exquisite works all coming from the Royal Collection. There are all sorts of different things within this exhibition, from decorative arts like the Rillaton Cup, an object from the Bronze Age to still life paintings exploring light on metallic surfaces. This exhibition will be jam packed with lots of juicy things to get your knowledgeable brains stuck into so I hope you can all make the training lead by Jennifer Scott on Friday 23rd October (10:30am or 2:30pm). This will be recorded and put online if you cannot make it.

Opening on the same day as Gold will be some stunning work from Japanese paper cutting Artist Nahoko Kojima called Honey Bee which is a paper cut sculpture using only one sheet of paper as there will be no formal training for this exhibition I thought I would give you a brief over view of the artist and her work this can be found if you scroll down on the blog to the section ‘You me and Honey Bee’.

Laura Ellen Bacon's willow work has now been dismantled, reshaped and reformed and now has a permanent home in our back garden with the title of ‘New Territory’. Thank you to the dedicate team of volunteers who came in to help Laura in some very wet weather, It looks wonderful.

I would also like to quickly mention our next Ballroom table installment, Michael Eden: History Re-printed. Information on this installation can be found further on down in the blog in the section ‘…Now in 3D!’

We are also looking for Volunteers for our special Halloween themed Up Late this month on Friday 30th October. The shift will be 5.00pm - 8.30pm, you will as always receive a break and a drinks voucher to use in the Benugo Café for you while on your break.
Finally, I would like to say thank you all for your hard work recently. I know the museum may feel quite in between exhibitions but please do utilize this time to use the tools we provide for you while on shift, such as the Volunteer guide book and the touch screen information center to refresh your buzzing brains.

The November Rota Is now online, you can find it by going to this webpage: 

Keep up the fantastic work ladies and gentleman! 

All the best,

Joshua, Spencer, Charlie, Hannah and Ben. 

‘You, Me and Honey Bee’.

Nahoko Kojima was born in Hyogo, Japan in 1981 she began her training in Japan in paper cuts at the age of 5.  After graduating with a degree in Design she briefly pursued a career in Graphic Design in Tokyo before moving to London in 2005.  Her first paper cut show in London was in 2007 where she exhibited ‘The Five Senses’ Collection at the Epicurean Lounge. By 2009, Nahoko was cutting professionally and opened her studio in 2010, working on commissions including the full colour Alice Collection, based on the book by Lewis Carroll.

In 2013, Nahoko was awarded a place at Collect, at the Saatchi Gallery in London.  The piece unveiled was ‘Cloud Leopard’, a life-sized animal, cut from one hand-cut sheet of black paper, suspended from the ceiling.   This illustrated Nahoko’s pioneering technique, turning traditionally flat, wall hung pieces into floating sculptures. In 2013, Nahoko was awarded the Jerwood Makers Open commission and unveiled the same year her next piece ‘Byaku’ (meaning ‘white’ in Japanese).  It took 7 months to make.  It is life-sized Polar Bear cut using only one 3m x 3m sheet of white Japanese washi paper.

I would really recommend visiting her website http://www.solokojima.com/ as it has some lovely video pieces of her work. 

‘…Now in 3D!’

Michael Eden uses cutting-edge 3D printing technology to create objects inspired by historical themes. Eden will create a visually spectacular display on the Ballroom table, including new work inspired by the Holburne and its surroundings, exploring advancements in science and the arts, the Lunar Society, and the lavish experience of dining in the 18th century. A training lecture will be available for this in November lead by our decorative arts curator Catrin Jones, the date and time will be, 
Monday November 16th at 2.30pm, please let a duty manger know via email or on shift if you can attend this lecture. 

Tuesday, 22 September 2015

News and Rota Now online (Oct/Nov)

Hello all! 

I hope this newsletter is finding you well. It’s finally coming to the end of summer and the cosy jumper and raincoats season is slowly starting to creep upon us. I thought it best to start my first newsletter to you all reflecting on the exciting summer we have had.

The Visitor services and commercial operations department have been through a big change this summer with a sad goodbye to Steven Vodli and a big hello to the fantastic Hannah Jenkins. The structure of Charlie’s and my own jobs has had added responsibilities too and we are both starting to feel more settled and confident to deliver outstanding leadership and lots more exciting this to the museum.

Canaletto has been a huge success, both with the visitors feedback, the volunteer feedback and finically – and we still have just under a month left before it closes! So congratulations on maintaining the enthusiasm for such a long running exhibition, I’m starting to feel a real sense of unity in the effort with engaging with the public whilst in the Roper gallery, this also goes for the other galleries as well.

There have been many challenges with this exhibition and our department have been really impressed with the level of professionalism that has arisen when difficult situation can happen. Notably the amount of offers we have had for this exhibition.

You can find your new rotas by clicking the link below or at the Volunteer Rota page on the right hand side 

The next training session is Monday 28th September 2.30pm it’s about our British Paintings and it will be led by Amina Wright if you have not signed up yet please let a Duty manager know on shift of via email. There is also going to be something special revealed in this talk that the Amina has been working on recently.

From the 5th of October Howard will begin de-installing the Canaletto exhibition and giving the Roper gallery its seasonal change for the Gold exhibition to be installed mid-October, ready for its opening date of Saturday 24th October. This exhibition will be running until Sunday 24th January 2016.

Training for this Exhibition will be led by the original curator of the Royal Collection exhibition and our Director Jennifer Scott on Friday 23rd October with two day time sessions (10.30am & 2.30pm) to sign up to. The Duty Mangers will start to mention this in briefings in the next couple of weeks.
22nd October – Gold Exhibition Private View (6pm-8.30pm)
23rd October – Friends Gold Private View (6pm – 8.30pm)

Also please keep checking the Rotas to see if you can fill in any gaps with VOLUNTEER NEEDED.
Reminder: from the 5th October we will be closing the Roper Gallery during De-install/install …meaning that our Volunteer numbers for three weeks will be halved, so please check if you are on the Rota for those days.

Thank you for all your help, I’m feeling very proud to call you my team.
All the best,
Josh, Charlie, Hannah, Ben and Spencer.

All Change in the Ballroom

The lovely French Bacchus and Ariadne hanging in the Ballroom will be leaving us on 1st October for a conservation studio in Bristol.  It is in very fragile condition and needs re-lining and major repairs to the paint surface, which is quite badly damaged in places.  Woodmansterne, the greeting card company, has awarded the Holburne a very generous grant under its Conservation Awards scheme, which will enable us to carry out this urgent work.  We hope to have finished and to have the painting back in the Ballroom next spring.

To replace it, we have selected a Dutch narrative painting, a
Mary Magdalene by Rembrandt's pupil Jan van Staveren (1613/14 - 1669) [SEE RIGHT]

Don Look Now

The new updated edition of Don McCullin's biography will be out soon, featuring Charlotte Sorapure's beautiful portrait on the cover:

Friday, 21 August 2015

News and Rota Now Online September / October

I hope that this news letter finds you all well. Firstly a big thank you to all of you who have been helping fill gaps over the summer period. This has been much appreciated and I know that your hard work and commitment has also been noted by our swathes of   visitors who have been enjoying our Canaletto  exhibition.

Many of you will be pleased to hear that some of our Dutch paintings in the collection galleries will be glazed in the next few weeks. This will go a long way in keeping them safe in this very busy period.

Its been a busy time for us since Stevens departure with Charlie and Spencer driving forward with all our Weddings and events and now the official hand over is beginning with Joshua as he begins to take on the role of Volunteer  Co-Ordinator. Joshua is really excited to be taking this on so please do email him with any of your queries, questions, rota changes etc at j.michael@holburne.org. You can of course still use the main volunteers email volunteers@holburne.org which he will also pick up.

You can view your rotas here 

 We can not thank you enough for your hard work and patience during this period.
Canaletto is going from strength to strength with visitor numbers and ticket sales exceeding targets each week. Its such a nice buzz in the museum. It can be very tiring so gain thank you for informing and enthusing our visitors daily.

We re start our Volunteer training after the summer starting with a lecture from Amina (See below) we have lots planned for the Autumn so watch this space.

Thank you all so much

Spencer, Joshua, Charlie and Ben

Volunteer Training Lecture

Monday 28 September 2.30pm
With Amina Wright Senior Curator
British Painting in the 18C

Between 1700 and 1840, art in Britain was transformed: at the beginning of the century, most artists came from abroad and catered to conservative and provincial tastes, but by the end of the Georgian period, British art was admired and imitated throughout Europe. 

This short survey explains how such a Golden Age came about.

If you would like to join us for this Volunteer training lecture please RSVP to volunteers@holburne.org or by letting your duty manager know on your next shift.

Please note that car parking passes can not be issued for training. We only have 10 and these passes are only ever for use for volunteer that are on shift on that day.

Hello to our new Duty Manager

I know many of you have been eagerly awaiting the news of who our new duty manager will be.
After a tough application and interview process we can now announce that Hannah Jenkins will be joining our team as a full time duty manager on 1 September.

Hannah comes to us from a strong management and operations background and has also been a volunteer at the Museum.

We are all really excited to introduce Hannah to you all in due course.
Hannah said:
'I'm really excited to be supporting Spencer, Joshua, Charlie, Ben and all the team at The Holburne. It's a real privilege to be given the opportunity to join the duty management team and can not wait to get stuck in”

I am sure you will all join us in making Hannah feel welcome.
Her training period starts on 1 September