Holburne Museum to present Renaissance treasures in new £2.5 million gallery

New exhibition space opening in 2025 will showcase world-class Renaissance treasures from the Schroder family collection

The Holburne is embarking on a significant redevelopment, creating a new gallery on the lower ground floor to display Renaissance treasures on permanent loan to the museum from the Schroder family collection.

With plans devised by architect Eric Parry, the architect responsible for the Holburne’s renowned modern extension which opened in 2011, the building work involves converting archive and picture stores on the lower ground floor into a new gallery underneath the 2011 extension.

The new space will house one of the finest private collections of silverware in the country, as well as paintings, bronzes, maiolica and gems, which will be on long-term loan to the Holburne.

Highlights include: masterpieces of silver such as The Schwarzenberg Nef, a Mechanical Celestial Globe, and the Aldobrandini Tazza (one of a set of twelve once owned by Pope Clement VIII). The collection also includes paintings by artists such as Lucas Cranach the Elder and Hans Holbein the Elder and including Hans Burgmaier’s important portrait of the great Augsburg banker Jakob Fugger and his wife Sibille Artzt; and masterpieces of 16th century Italian maiolica and bronze sculpture, including Giambologna’s Nessus and Deianeira.

Marriage Portrait of Jakob Fugger and Sybilla Artz, by Hans Burgkmair, 1498.jpg

The works have been offered to the Holburne from the Estate of late British banker Bruno Schroder by his daughter Leonie. The loan adds an array of world-class works of art to the collection of one of the most respected regional art museums in the country.

Leonie Schroder said: “The Holburne is a gem. Located in a perfect setting, its rich and diverse contents are presented in fresh and imaginative ways that avoid the frozen grandeur that besets some of its peers. We are delighted to have found the perfect place to ensure that the collection, built up by my family over many generations, can be seen at its very best by a wider audience.”

The collection will be displayed in a new treasury-style gallery on the lower ground floor, to showcase the objects to their fullest.

Detail of The Schwarzenberg Nef. Silver, parcel-gilt and cold enamel. Probably Germany, c. 1580

Director of the Holburne Museum, Dr Chris Stephens, said: “We are honoured that Leonie Schroder has chosen the Holburne as the best home for her family’s extraordinary collection of Renaissance silver, paintings, sculpture and ceramics. In creating a new gallery to present the collection in a beautiful and exciting way, her generosity is enabling us to further raise the status of the museum and the quality and range of the art that we show. It is truly a once in a generation opportunity.”

Architect Eric Parry said: “We are thrilled to be helping to house this outstanding collection by making publicly accessible former storage space at the base of our earlier Museum extension, within the outline of the famous 18th century pleasure gardens.”

Work will start in summer 2024 and will be complete in 2025. The museum will stay open throughout the project – keep an eye on the website for further updates.


Lead image: The Schwarzenberg Nef. Silver, parcel-gilt and cold enamel. Probably Germany, c. 1580