Striking a Pose: gesture in theatrical portraits

7 June 2014, 10.00 AM - 6 July 2014, 4.00 PM

‌‌This exhibition brings together works from the Holburne’s Somerset Maugham collection and the University of Bristol Theatre Collection.   In a first-time collaboration, The Holburne Museum and the Theatre Collection are showing works, some of them never before exhibited, curated by MA students from the History of Art department at the University of Bristol.

The exhibition examines the now lost dramatic language of gesture in the theatre, an essential part of an eighteenth-century audience’s understanding of what they were seeing on the stage. In an often crowded and noisy theatre, where speeches could be drowned out by the audience, gesture was an important way for the actors on stage to convey the meaning and action of the play. 

Saturday 7 June to Sunday 6 July 2014

Wirth Gallery, Holburne Museum, Bath

Striking a Pose: gesture in theatrical portraits Exhibition Picture

Mrs Inchbald as Lady Jane Gray, Bell's British Theatre

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