Penlee House’s winter exhibition this year was Penzance Selects, a community-curated exhibition showcasing paintings and artifacts from the collections. Each of the four groups was given a gallery space in which to display and interpret these objects within a theme of their choosing.
Penlee House’s own volunteer Citizen Curators were given Gallery 5 and the museum area in which to create their displays. In the gallery, they curated the exhibition ‘Creativity in Newlyn 1880-1930’, utilising some of the lesser-known paintings from the collections to explore this theme. In the museum, they re-displayed the Crysede fabrics and complemented these with original drawings and paintings by Alec Walker, founder of the company. They also created a display of studio pottery by Anthony Richards, focusing on the links between the various potteries he had worked at during his long career in West Cornwall. Alongside this was a digital display showing a wider range of images relating to these three topics.
As part of the evaluation process, we asked the Citizen Curators to write blogs on their experiences of researching the theme and content of their exhibitions, as well as the practicalities of installing the paintings and artifacts.
Click on each of their names to read their blogs.
Citizen Curators is a free work-based training programme in museum awareness and modern curatorial practice for volunteers from our community. The programme is organised by Cornwall Museums Partnership, a sector-leading charity which invests in the development of Cornish museums. It is funded for three years by the Esmée Fairbairn Collections Fund administered by the Museums Association. The Programme Leader is Dr Tehmina Goskar, Director & Curator of the Curatorial Research Centre.