We are committed to changing and diversifying the Holburne and the stories we tell.

We have undertaken to raise awareness of and actively remove barriers to attendance, and to represent everyone in all aspects of the Museum’s activity, regardless of age, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation and dis/ability.

We are researching our history and our collection and will use the fruits of that work to drive change and to develop more complete and representative historical narratives.

As part of our ongoing commitment, we are researching links between our institution and histories of empire and slavery. Some of Sir William Holburne’s inherited wealth derived from plantations in the West Indies, the business of which involved trading in people as well as produce and materials. Our building, part of Sir William Pulteney’s wider urban development, was funded with money derived from the profits of the same West Indian sugar trade.

We are also investigating our collection to identify objects related to empire and slavery through the subjects depicted, their original purpose or the material used. This research, and consideration of the lasting damage colonialism has inflicted, will inform our displays, interpretation and programme in the future. We are actively listening to others, reading, reflecting, and learning to ensure the Holburne is an inclusive space for art, creativity, discussion and understanding.

If you have any views on this, we would love to hear from you so please write to curators@holburne.org

We have recently made two films, in the first, Jill Sutherland Curatorial Fellow, discusses the research that led to a new  display at the Holburne of a Plantation Day Book from 1722; the second film was made in partnership with Boys in Mind, and features responses to the display.