Past Events

Below Stairs: 400 Years of Servants' Portraits


  • 10 January 2004
  • 9:45 – 7:30 pm
  • National Portrait Gallery, London
Servant in black with large plate under arm

John Riley, The Scullion,

Digital image courtesy of Christ Church, Oxford

The Centre is supporting a seminar in association with the exhibition Below Stairs: 400 Years of Servants' Portraits, on show at the National Portrait Gallery from 16 October 2003 to 11 January 2004. This is the first study devoted to portraits of servants in Britain and the exhibition will bring together, for the first time, many works that have rarely been seen in public. On display are portraits of grooms, governesses, maids and musicians.

The seminar will exploremany of the issues raised in the exhibition, including class and power relationships, the status of the black and female domestic servants as well as servants and costume.