A Curious Conversation

Sat, 26 August 2017 at 11.00am

Whilst  preparing for the new museum and gallery in the centre of St Albans, UH Galleries and St Albans Museums have jointly commissioned an Artist in Residence project with funding from Arts Council England.

Artist in Residence, Lyndall Phelps, has created A Curious Conversation, a new pop up museum which will be on display in the Cathedral  from 11am until 3pm on Saturday 26th August.

Lyndall's pop-up museum, A Curious Conversation has its origins in the 1880s, before there was a museum in St Albans at all, when a Conversazione (a nineteenth century pop-up exhibition) was held in the public library. It brought together a range of historical objects, curiosities and works of art from private collections. The exhibition was such a success that it lead to the foundation of what was to become the Museum of St Albans.

Great kindness and liberality were shown on the part of residents in St. Albans and neighbourhood in lending their choicest pictures, relics, books, specimens of architecture, &c.; and as considerable energy was thrown into the whole matter, unqualified success has attended the efforts of the society.
(extract from the Herts Advertiser report on the Conversazione)

A list of the works displayed, and their donors, appeared in the Herts Advertiser; this inspired Lyndall to create her own Conversazione for the twenty first century. She has curated a range of objects from St Albans Museums’ collection, including archaeology, art, natural history and social history, alongside new artwork inspired by her research.

Some of the objects on display here today are similar to the ones that appeared in 1880. One object was even part of the original display 137 years ago. 

If you want to read more about Lyndall's work and the thinking behind the exhibition you can discover more on the UHArts blog, Artists in Conversation:
Lyndall Phelps: Museology

Photograph by Inna Allen

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