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Bishopsgate Institute Podcast: The Museum and its Public in 19th Century Britain
Early museums and picture galleries tended to be private and open to a very restricted public. It was only in the 19th century that they took on the character we would recognise today. Taste in pictures, gallery installations, educational initiatives, and the behaviour of the public all contributed to the special character of these places. This talk explores the growth of galleries and museums in the 19th century, particularly in London, with a special focus on philanthropic efforts by social reformers to make them places that would improve the morals and education of the socially deprived. Speaker Giles Waterfield is an independent curator and writer and currently Director of Royal Collection Studies and an Associate Lecturer at the Courtauld Institute of Art. He was previously Director of Dulwich Picture Gallery from 1979 to 1996. His publications include Palaces of Art, Art for the People and Soane and Death.