The Fellowship programme builds on the network’s successful Bursary programme which funded almost forty individual research and learning projects between 2008 and 2015. The three annual Fellowship opportunities allow the successful candidates to significantly enhance their portrait expertise, and deliver a substantial output to benefit their home collection and its audience.
The Fellows appointed in 2016 were:
- Su Hepburn, Senior Learning Officer, Royal Pavilion & Museums, Brighton; Professional Learning Fellow.
- Dr Kate Noble, Education Officer, and Lucy Shipp, Learning Associate – Widening Participation and Arts Award, The Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge; Professional Partnership Fellows.
- Laura Millward, Collections Assistant, The Stanley & Audrey Burton Gallery, University of Leeds; Professional Research Fellow.
Watch the 2016 Fellows discussing their research here:
Three Professional Research Fellowships were granted to museum colleagues to develop their chosen projects between spring 2017 and early 2018:
Leeanne Westwood, Museum Curator at Valence House Museum in Dagenham
Leeanne is researching the remarkable collection of Fanshawe family portraits, ranging in date from 1560 to 1940, at Valence House Museum. Artists represented include Peter Lely, Marcus Gheeraerts the younger, and Mary Beale. Of particular interest is the presence of contemporary seventeenth-century studio copies of portraits, which can be related to examples in other private and public collections. Leeanne will map these Fanshawe portraits, gaining greater insights into how the family commissioned and displayed replicas.
This research will be presented in a temporary exhibition at Valence House Museum in spring 2018, with accompanying visitor interpretation and booklet.
Catherine Shanahan, Collections Officer at Rugby Art Gallery and Museum
Catherine is researching the photographic archive of the Redding studio run by Graham Wiseman in Rugby between 1958 and 1972.
Wiseman’s collection of some 25,000 acetate and glass plate negatives record the changing demographics of the town, as economic opportunities attracted migrants from Asia, the Caribbean, and elsewhere. Catherine will identify ten portraits from the collection to be the subject of intensive research, covering the sitters’ biographies and their communities. Her research will also incorporate best practice guidelines around the storage, display, handling, and digitisation of photographic media. Intended outputs include oral recordings with sitters, interpretation material for the Art Gallery and Museum website, and temporary displays for in-gallery use and at community engagement events.
Tom Boggis, Senior Curator at the Holburne Museum in Bath
Tom’s research is derived from the portrait of Catherine Cussans (1753-1834) by John Hoppner in the Holburne collection.
Cussans was the paternal aunt of Sir William Holburne and Sir William’s collection forms the founding core of the museum. Biographical research is intended to uncover more about Cussans’ own collecting activities, the sources of her wealth which eventually helped to purchase the museum’s home on Great Pulteney Street, and the influence she had in developing her nephew’s collecting interests. Tom will also be researching Hoppner’s practice and oeuvre, in order to reassess his contemporary reception by patrons, critics, and the wider artistic community. The various outputs of this research include new content for the museum’s website, volunteer training, and a revised children’s trail.