The Heritage Collections at Parliament embody the past, present and future in one place. Recording Parliament’s history, its work and its people, they date from the site’s medieval origins as a Royal Palace to the present-day iconic institution. But what are the challenges of managing working collections within a historic building and what opportunities are there of using them to engage the public with the role, history and work of Parliament? Bill Sherman (Director, Warburg Institute) chats with Melissa Hamnett (Head of Heritage Collections and Chief Curator, Houses of Parliament) to unpack some of these topics and find out what work is already underway and what possibilities lie ahead.
This talk took place on 11 March 2021 and was part of our Curatorial Conversations series. Curatorial Conversations bring to the Warburg curators of world-leading museums and galleries to discuss their work. The conversations, led by academics at the Warburg Institute, discuss the issues of setting the curatorial agenda and staging meaningful encounters with objects. The series is designed to draw out discussion of the discoveries made, challenges tackled and the lessons learned in installing objects in the permanent collection and putting together internationally renowned exhibitions.