Past Events

For an Excellent Purpose: Museums and their Publics in Britain from 1800 to 1914

Lecture – Giles Waterfield

  • 10 January to 14 February 2007
  • 6:00 – 7:00 pm
  • Sainsbury Wing Theatre, National Gallery, London
Interior of a gallery

Alfred Joseph Woolmer, Interior of the British Institution (Old Master Exhibition, Summer 1832), 1833, oil on canvas

Digital image courtesy of Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection, B1981.25.694

In the past twenty years museums, oth past and contemporary, have increasingly been scrutinised from an academic perspective. This lecture series looks at the development of museums in Britain from the early nineteenth century to 1914, both in the capital and in the regions, with a concentration on art museums. Organised thematically, the series examines changing perceptions of the museum; the growth of an exhibition culture; approaches to the display of decoration; the academic and popular catalogue; and the interpretation of collections.

The lectures are the seventh in a series given bienially by an invited specialist in British art, held at the National Gallery and supported by the Paul Mellon Centre.

About the speaker

  • Head shot of man

    Giles Waterfield was an independent curator and writer, Associate Lecturer at the Courtauld Institute of Art, Director of Royal Collection Studies, and a former trustee of the Heritage Lottery Fund. He curated numerous exhibitions, including 'Palaces of Art' and 'Art Treasures of Britain', and published three novels.