The Final Report on Barbara Vujanović’s (Croatia, ITP 2016) ‘Rodin: rethinking the fragment ‘ touring exhibition
Back in January 2017 the International Training Programme (ITP) team were delighted to be approached by the Departments of Greece and Rome and Learning and National Partnerships (LNP) to collaborate on a Spotlight Loan project. Following on from the wonderfully creative Object in Focus project that she worked on while here on the ITP, Barbara Vujanović (Croatia, ITP 2016) Senior Curator, The Ivan Meštrović Museums – Meštrović Atelier, Zagreb was invited back to the British Museum to co-curate a touring exhibition to following on from the British Museum (BM) show Rodin and the art of ancient Greece.
The Museum’s series of Spotlight loans and tours across the UK form an integral part of the British Museum’s strategy and approach to sharing its collection with the nation. The programme gives UK museums the opportunity to borrow objects free of charge and it is an excellent opportunity for the BM to display its objects in different contexts, which can bring out new approaches and interpretations, as well as drawing on other museums’ collections, experiences and expertise.
We hoped this collaboration would give Barbara the opportunity to understand, in principle and practice, how a spotlight loan was created, organised and delivered working alongside colleagues in the departments of Learning and National Partnership and Greece and Rome at the British Museum. It would also give her the chance to share skills and experiences and to meet new colleagues at UK Partner Museums and enlarge her professional networks.
Over the past two years it has been amazing to work with Barbara again. From the early meetings with British Museum curators and the LNP team; to choosing the objects for the show; creating a project specification; working with the venues and to the show itself touring around the UK, it has been a pleasure to work on such a wonderfully collaborative legacy project.
Barbara’s show, Rodin: rethinking the fragment toured to three venues around the country, Abbot Hall Art Gallery, Kendal, the Holburne Museum, Bath and the New Art Gallery Walsall. Each venue interpreted Barbara’s story differently depending on their own collections and creative thinking.
At Abbot Hall in Kendal, the aim was to interact with and include the museum’s visitors who were asked to consider the question – “What’s The Thinker thinking?” – and add their answers to the display wall.
While Holburne Museum contributed to the exhibition by adding objects from their collection. The selected pieces revealed Sir William Holburne’s interest in the arts of ancient Greece and Rome, which informed his collecting throughout his life.
Finally, at the New Art Gallery Warsaw, 2019 – to coincide with the 60th anniversary of Jacob Epstein’s death – the gallery was showcasing sculpture in all its forms through a season titled Sculpture in Focus, and this provided a perfect setting for Barbara’s show.
At each venue, Barbara gave a curator’s talk which introduced the subject and gave her the opportunity to share her thoughts and expertise.
We’d like to thank Barbara for her dedication and hard-work, the Marie-Louise von Motesicky Charitable Trust for enabling us to support Barbara’s participation in this Spotlight Loan and the Burrell Collection, Glasgow for generously agreeing to the loan of The Thinker.