How have museums changed over the past century? And what future lies ahead for them in a post-Covid landscape?
Art historian Charles Saumarez Smith talks to Bath’s Holburne Museum director Chris Stephens about the research odyssey he took to art museums while writing The Art Museum in Modern Times. From Tate Modern in London to the Benesse House Museum on the Japanese island of Naoshima; from the Getty Center in Los Angeles to the Museum of New and Old Art in Tasmania – he has visited them all, casting an acute eye on the way the experience of art is shaped by the buildings that house it.
Charles Saumarez Smith was Director of the UK’s National Portrait Gallery 1994–2002, Director of the National Gallery 2002–2007 and Secretary and Chief Executive of the Royal Academy 2007–2018. Chris Stephens is Director of the Holburne Museum, Bath. He was Curator, Modern British Art, Tate Britain from 2001 until 2017.
Bath Assembly Rooms
Bath Assembly Rooms image © NTPL