Peter Blake Launches Holburne Museum Public Appeal

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12 November 2010

With a little help from our friends
Peter Blake launches the Holburne Museum Public Appeal with a recreation of his most famous work

Today artist Sir Peter Blake launched the Holburne Challenge, the Museum’s public appeal, which aims to raise £300,000 with the help of our community. This will help us complete the development project which will transform the Museum and what it can offer everyone.

Peter Blake Launched Holburne Challenge

Photograph by Neill Menneer, Spirit Photographic

At the same time the Museum announced that its first exhibition will be of Sir Peter Blake’s extraordinary collection.

These twin announcements were celebrated with a living reconstruction of what is probably Blake’s most famous work, the cover of The Beatles’ Sergeant Pepper album, with the help of the Museum’s friends, supporters and community.

Alexander Sturgis, Director of the Holburne Museum comments: “We are thrilled that Sir Peter will be the first artist to be shown when we re-open next May and that he has joined us to launch our appeal. In the picture you will find our Friends, volunteers, patrons, trustees, staff, students, business partners, our neighbours from Bath Rugby, colleagues from Bath University and many of those who attend our art workshops including the group of homeless men and women who come to us every week and have just produced wonderful short films that will be screened at the Bath Film Festival.”

The construction phase of the project is almost complete and soon the fitting out of the galleries and the re-installation of the collection will begin in readiness for re-opening on the 14 May 2011.

The opening exhibition will be Peter Blake: A Museum for Myself. Sir Peter Blake is one the country’s most enduringly popular and important artists and has collected since childhood. Today his astonishing collections include works by his artist friends and pop ephemera, collage and folk art, showbiz memorabilia and marching troupes of toy elephants. It is a collection that reveals Blake’s enduring obsessions and also informs and is used in his own work. The exhibition will also include a number of important works from throughout his career which relate to the objects he collects.

The Holburne Challenge
To date the Museum has raised £11.7million for the development project and endowment fund. We have £2million left to raise and we are seeking to raise £300,000 through the Holburne Challenge which includes the Big Arts Give and the Bath Half Marathon and other community events and activities. We are thrilled that our trustees have already pledged almost £30,000 the first 10% of our target, so we are off to a great start.

The Big Give’s Christmas Challenge is a nationwide scheme which matches every £1 donated by the public with £1 of additional funding, essentially doubling the benefits of any contributions made online from Monday 6 to Friday 10 December. Gifts of all sizes are greatly appreciated and online giving opens on Monday 6 December at 10am and continues until Friday 10 December. However, there is only a set amount of matched funding available which may run out, so the earlier in the week a donation is made, the more likely it is that the donation will be doubled, raising more money to support the work of the Museum. To find out more or to make a donation visit

The Holburne Museum is one of the Bath Half Marathon’s official charities and the Holburne Challenge is their Featured Appeal for 2011. The Holburne has been chosen in recognition of the work we do within our local community and beyond which we will be able to significantly improve through our development project. We have 25 guaranteed places for runners who want to take part in the Marathon and raise money for the Museum. Our runners will receive support and advice from the team at the Macdonald Bath Spa Hotel and a high-tec running shirt.

Alexander Sturgis said: “With your help the Holburne Challenge will help raise the final funds we need to complete the museum’s transformation. Get involved – anyone can join in the Holburne Challenge by simply making a donation, arranging a fundraising event or by taking part in one of the events we have planned over the next six months.

In 2011 we will also be holding the Holburne Schools Challenge, the Holburne Easter Egg Hunt and the Friends of the Holburne Walk, so there will be plenty of opportunities for everyone to take up our Challenge.”

The development project has been made possible through generous grants from the Heritage Lottery Fund, The Linbury Trust and many other businesses, charitable trusts and individuals.

More information about the Holburne Challenge can be found here>>

Information about how to donate can be found here>>


For further information or a larger image file please contact:
Katie Jenkins, The Holburne Museum, tel

Photograph by Neill Menneer, Spirit Photographic


The Holburne Museum is proud of the work we do with our community. We know that getting involved with art and creative activity is fun and rewarding. It can also open eyes, develop skills, improve self-esteem and change lives.

Even while we have been closed, transforming our museum, we have continued to work:
•    with 7,500 people of all ages and abilities
•    in schools in Bath and the region
•    with our local community and
•    in partnership with other charities helping vulnerable people

The Holburne Challenge will help us to complete our innovative development project. When the Holburne re-opens on 14 May 2011 as a *free museum, it will be transformed and able to welcome 90,000 people a year, of which 16,500 will be young people and adults taking part in inspiring and engaging art activities.

*Please note that there will be a charge for our temporary exhibitions.

The Big Arts Give
The Big Give is a nationwide Christmas Charity Challenge which has been run by The Reed Foundation for three years. This year it has greater significance for arts charities as Arts & Business has donated £500,000 to double the funding specifically given by individuals to arts organisations. At a time of significant arts budgets cuts, this Big Give initiative is vital to encourage more people to show their support for local arts organisations and recognise their value for the community.

The Holburne has joined forces with two other cultural organisations in Bath, Bath Festivals and the egg theatre, and we are working together to publicise The Bath Arts Christmas Give. Together we aim to raise £124,500 so more young people, families and community groups from different backgrounds in and around Bath can take part in a richer variety of inspirational and life-changing music, theatre and visual arts activities and enjoy the cultural heritage of Bath. for further information about The Big Arts Give
To find out more or to make a donation visit

The Holburne Lantern Procession
On the evening of Thursday 2 December a procession of children and their families will walk from the Holburne to Bath Abbey illuminated by lanterns they have made at the free workshops at the Museum. This annual event has become increasingly popular with families and we are delighted that so many people turn up, no matter what the weather, to take part. This year we will be collecting money as we walk in support of the Holburne Challenge.

The Bath Half Marathon 2011
The Holburne Challenge is the Featured Race Appeal of the Bath Half 2011. We have 25 guaranteed places for runners who want to take part in the Marathon and raise money for the Museum. Our runners will receive support and advice from the team at the Macdonald Bath Spa Hotel and a high-tec running shirt. Independent and Corporate Challenge runners can also select the Holburne Challenge as their race charity.

Published on: 12/11/2010