Prized Pieces from Prestigious National Collections to go on Display!

Wessex Museums Exhibition Features Star Artifacts

Prized Pieces from Prestigious National Collections to go on Display!

This image may be subject to copyright

Prized artefacts from prestigious national collections are to go on display for the first time at four museums in Dorset and Wiltshire.

Hardy’s Wessex, which opens on 28 May, is a partnership exhibition that spans Dorset, Poole, Salisbury and Wiltshire Museums. It tells the story of Victorian novelist and poet, Thomas Hardy, amidst the Wessex landscapes that shaped his view of the world. The exhibition will be the largest collection of Hardy objects ever displayed at one time.

This image may be subject to copyright

Image © Wessex Museums

Thanks to support from the Weston Loan Programme with Art Fund, each museum will have a ‘star’ loan object:

Wiltshire Museum (Devizes) – Hardy’s Tess of the D’Urbervilles manuscript, on loan from The British Library.
The Salisbury Museum – Hardy’s Jude the Obscure manuscript, on loan from the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge.
Dorset Museum (Dorchester) – Oil painting A Village Choir by Thomas Webster, on loan from the Victoria and Albert Museum, London.
Poole Museum – Oil painting Weymouth Bay by John Constable, on loan from the Victoria and Albert Museum, London.

This image may be subject to copyright

A Village Choir by Thomas Webster, © The Victoria and Albert Museum, London. Image no: 2006al3887


Created by the Garfield Weston Foundation and Art Fund, the Weston Loan Programme is the first ever UK-wide funding scheme to enable smaller and local authority museums to borrow works of art and artefacts from national collections.

This image may be subject to copyright

Tess of the D’Urbervilles manuscript, © The British Library. Image no: add_ms_38182_f001r

Sophia Weston, Trustee of the Garfield Weston Foundation, said: “This exhibition on one of our most celebrated Victorian writers is a wonderful example of what the Weston Loan Programme sets out to do - we are so pleased to be able to support the display of such special objects in the places that inspired, and were reflected in, Hardy’s work.”

This image may be subject to copyright

Weymouth Bay by John Constable, @ The Victoria and Albert Museum, London. Image no: 2014ha9997

Harriet Still, curator of the exhibition for Wessex Museums, said:

“We are hugely grateful for this funding which is enabling us to display such significant objects. It’s a major coup for us to obtain the handwritten Tess and Jude manuscripts – the scribbles and amendments showing that even Hardy struggled to find the right words! The two oil paintings beautifully evoke life in Hardy’s times. A Village Choir is a snapshot of rural life, capturing the typical local ‘characters’ found in Hardy’s writing. The romantic and atmospheric Weymouth Beach could be a love scene from one of Hardy’s novels."

This image may be subject to copyright

Jude the Obscure manuscript, © The Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge. Image no: Ms 1-1911_82_202108_mfj22_dc1

“Together with the extensive collections from our partner museums, all these objects will combine to make an immersive, thought-provoking and memorable Hardy experience.”

Wessex Museums is a partnership of the principal museums of Dorset and Wiltshire – Dorset Museum, Poole Museum, The Salisbury Museum and Wiltshire Museum – and supports museums to connect, inspire and add value to people’s lives. The partnership exists to build the resilience and relevance of the partner museums and others across the region, and is guided by a shared vision of museums thriving through collaboration. Wessex Museums is an Arts Council England National Portfolio Organisation (2018-2023) and a registered charity (Wessex Museums Trust, registration number: 1171104).

 

Society calendar
Upcoming events
Latest news
The Thomas Hardy Society 2022
HomeJoin usMenuContact us

This website uses cookies

We use cookies to personalise content and ads, to provide social media features and to analyse our traffic. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners who may combine it with other information that you’ve provided to them or that they’ve collected from your use of their services. You consent to our cookies if you continue to use our website.

OK Accept Cookies

09c23ec4358d9172e3feaf7aa95d7539 / 23fc1d770a72badf42a5e7b436e6c7deExmouth Running Club