Tristram Hunt, Director of the Victoria and Albert Museum in London and one of Britain’s leading cultural figures, will be at the Bath Royal Literary and Scientific Institution on Monday 19th December to give the Institution’s annual Victor Suchar Christmas Lecture. This event will also be live-streamed. There can be few museum directors who come equipped with such a varied curriculum vitae as Tristram Hunt. Previous career incarnations as cultural historian, politician, and journalist perhaps place him as the person best qualified to answer any questions attendees might have about the most pressing issues facing our leading cultural institutions.
Tristram Hunt has frequently used his public profile to raise issues which concern both our collective cultural spaces and us as individual receivers of culture. Current debates in which he has joined the wider conversation include heritage funding cuts, post-covid restructuring of museums, the repatriation of colonial objects, and the dangers of an encroaching digitalisation of culture which narrows creative thinking and lead us toward what he terms socio-political groupthink. Hunt sees the primacy of objects and the preservation of a sense of cosmopolitanism within our museums as being the best means of ensuring the intellectual resilience of a healthy civil society.
The Victoria and Albert Museum in London is one of the world’s leading museums of art, design and performance and its founding commitment to design, education and industry continues to define it today. Tracing the museum’s genesis from its Victorian roots, Dr Hunt will consider how the V&A’s civic foundations – the national and the global – engendered a world-class collection, and today, the creation of a nationwide family of museums, from Dundee to Stoke-on-Trent. His talk will consider the challenges and opportunities for a major museum in the context of current financial challenges and cultural anxieties.
Tristram Hunt will be taking questions at the end of his talk, and you might wish to bring your questions on any number of topics, including the delights of the Victoria and Albert collection itself.
In 1998 Victor Suchar, one of the key figures in the rebirth of the Bath Royal Literary and Scientific Institution, founded the Institution’s annual Christmas Lecture. 24 years later it is still held in his memory and renamed the Victor Suchar Christmas Lecture. This year’s lecture with Tristram Hunt acts as the finale to the Institutions’ 2022 lecture programme. Previous years’ lectures have covered a rich variety of subjects including, Hermione Lee on the subject of biography, John Gray on The Myth of Progress in Science and Society, and Astronomer Royal Lord Martin Rees on the world in 2050 and beyond!
You may book by clicking on the link below.