You may have heard that we are lucky enough to be one of the twelve museums taking part in #Leonardo500 – a national celebration of Leonardo da Vinci’s work, 500 years after his death.
Twelve of his finest drawings are currently on display in our Leonardo da Vinci: A Life in Drawing exhibition from the Royal Collection Trust.
Thanks to kind donations from Dr David Speller and the Friends of Bristol Museums, Galleries and Archives, we were able to create career development opportunities for aspiring young arts professionals.
Three ‘Young Exhibition Producers’ from diverse backgrounds were selected in collaboration with Rising Arts Agency and Creative Youth Network, to develop an accompanying exhibition through a paid six month training programme
Maisie, Anika and Marcin – the three young creatives, took themes from Leonardo’s work and picked objects from our collection to create Leonardo Unfinished – an exhibition which complements Leonardo da Vinci: A Life in Drawing.
The group had the opportunity to visit Windsor Castle to research Leonardo’s drawings – seeing the original pencil marks, creases and compass points in the paper.
Whilst at Bristol Museum & Art Gallery they had access to objects in our store to create a shortlist of for their display. The group then embarked on a month long exploration of these items with expert museum staff.
Once the final objects were selected the young curators were tasked with developing the exhibition concept and layout. The group identified four key themes for their exhibition from Leonardo’s work: ‘beauty and the grotesque’, ‘thinking on paper’, ‘under the skin’ and ‘the deluge’.
“It has been an amazing opportunity being able to work alongside the museum curators and teams from behind the scenes.”
– The Young Exhibition Producers
For all our Young Exhibition Producers this experience has paved the way for new opportunities that otherwise may not have been available to them.
Maisie and Marcin are keen to move on to other opportunities in museums and arts organisations, and Anika will be representing Bristol Museum & Art Gallery during a one month paid placement at Venice Biennale in September.
This is the first time we have worked with young people to produce an art exhibition in this way.
Donations to Bristol Museums Development Trust could continue to make this opportunity possible for future young creatives who otherwise may not be able to develop their talents in an unpaid work experience role.
“The whole experience of the Young Exhibition Producers Programme seems to have been immensely worthwhile, and I was pleased and grateful that you decided to associate me with the project.”
– Dr David Speller, donor to this project
Both exhibitions run until 6 May 2019 at Bristol Museum & Art Gallery.