Talk | For the Nobility, Gentry and Curious in General: Richard Dubourg’s Classical Exhibition, 1775-1819 | Melbourne Museum

History, Culture & Collections | Humanities Department Museum Victoria Seminar Series 2014

For the Nobility, Gentry & Curious in General: Richard Dubourg’s Classical Exhibition, 1775-1819

Dr Richard Gillespie and Sarah Babister

Richard Duborg, Cork Collosseum, circa 1800. Melbourne Museum.

Museum Victoria has a cork model of the Colosseum made by English artist Richard Duborg circa 1800. This extraordinary model was part of Dubourg’s collection of cork models of sites from classical antiquity, exhibited in London in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. The exhibition brought the Grand Tour to London, aiming to educate and entertain a diverse audience – antiquarians, architects, nobility and gentry planning or recalling tours to the actual sites, families, tourists and students.

Dubourg also adopted theatrical effects such as scenic set pieces and special lighting to create drama and movement in his models of the Temple of the Sibyls and Cascade at Tivoli and the eruption of Mount Vesuvius.

Dr Richard Gillespie, Head Humanities Dept, Museum Victoria, will present a history of Dubourg’s exhibition and its significance both as a London entertainment and in relation to other eighteenth-century cork models and surviving collections.

Sarah Babister, Conservator, Museum Victoria, will outline the materials and techniques used in the construction of the Colosseum model and the treatment required to conserve it for future exhibition.

Venue: Melbourne Museum Theatre

Date: Wednesday 14 May 2014 3:00 PM – 4:00 PM

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