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Holburne Museum

The Holburne Museum was founded in 1882 as Bath’s first art museum, with at its heart, the collection of Sir William Holburne (1793-1874). It moved to its current location in 1916. The Holburne is a treasure house of Old Master paintings, portrait miniatures, porcelain, Renaissance bronzes and ceramics, silver, and embroidery. It is particularly renowned for its eighteenth-century British portraits, most notably by Ramsay, Stubbs, Zoffany and Gainsborough. The collection continues to develop with regular bequests, loans and acquisitions. The Holburne stages major exhibitions and contemporary commissions and is admired for its dynamic displays, vibrant learning and community engagement programme and innovative interpretation.

16 December 2016
South West
Local Alliances:
Bath & North East Somerset

1. Action Plan

1. The National Dementia Declaration lists seven outcomes that the DAA are seeking to achieve for people with dementia and their carers. How would you describe your organisation’s role in delivering better outcomes for people with dementia and their carers?

The Holburne's vision is 'Changing Lives Through Art'. We have a successful community engagement programme that has included short term projects working, in partnership with the local health authority, with people with dementia and their carers. Participants explored the collections, created art works in response and all sat down together to enjoy afternoon tea. Being in a beautiful, stimulating and, most-importantly, non-clinical environment enabled people to relax and to relate more easily to the health professional who always worked alongside the artist. We want to build on this work to do more outreach in care homes but also to improve the experience for anyone visiting the museum who has experience of dementia.

2. What are the challenges to delivering these outcomes from the perspective of your organisation?

The main challenge for delivering projects is always financial; we are always reliant on external funding and there are often long gaps in delivery. Training so far has been for staff and freelancers delivering the projects but, there is a need, for all staff and volunteers, particularly front-of-house, to have a better understanding of dementia.

Member website


2. Actions

  • Arrange dementia awareness training for front-of house staff and volunteers.

    We will arrange training via the Dementia Action Alliance so that front-of-house staff and volunteers know how to recognise and respond to the needs of people with dementia and their carers.  

  • Attend training to assist with visits to care homes.

    As part of a funded project, we will be visiting care homes in Spring 2017.  The training includes a strong element of dementia awareness.  This will be attended by up to 12 members of the Holburne Learning team and artists and volunteers who will be delivering the sessions.

  • Seek funding to deliver more workshops for people with dementia and their carers.

    Our workshops require external funding to pay for the artist, materials and refreshments. We will approach funding bodies and individuals to secure funding to continue this work.  If successful we will increase public awareness of this work through our website and other media as appropriate.