• 5 October 2018
  • 1:00 – 2:00 pm
  • Please note the new timings of our research lunches, 13.00-14.00.
  • Paul Mellon Centre

Collections of ancient art are an ever-present sight in British museums and art galleries, largely due to the efforts of the collecting practices of Britain’s wealthy, male elite. Through an exploration of private collections of ancient art and their transition to public display, this paper explores the implicit and explicit role of the individual collector on the reception of antiquity in the late eighteenth and nineteenth century museum. It will analyse how collection formation and display reinforced the connection between owner and object, irrevocably tying the collector with his possessions. Turning then to their museum contexts, arguing that the individual created a reception of the classical world which is always necessarily mediated by the narrative of the collector. It hopes to shed new light on the way we analyse the space and context of the public and private gallery, arguing that the identity and narrative of the collector continues to have an important, yet overlooked, effect on the way we understand the ancient world.

Image caption: Academy by Lamplight, Joseph Wright of Derby 1769, Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection

About the speaker

  • Nicole Cochrane headshot

    Nicole Cochrane is a final year PhD candidate at the University of Hull as part of the AHRC Heritage Consortium. Her PhD explores the way we understand and interpret the ancient world within the museum environment, asserting the importance of the private collector and their private display as imbedding legacies and narratives of collecting on British museums and galleries of ancient art. As part of her PhD project, in 2016 she completed an internship at the Henry Moore Institute in Leeds proposing a project on the global history of sculpture collecting.