A Year of Listening

A year of listening at Kedleston Hall

2019 was a year of listening for us to listen to our visitors, local communities and supporters and national thought-leaders. This is the first step in a project to change how the Eastern Museum collection at Kedleston Hall is displayed, interpreted and represented.

In 2019 we embarked on a very special ‘year of listening’ at Kedleston Hall. Kedleston’s year of listening was seeking to grow an understanding and connection with our history from many different and enlightening perspectives, aiming to build a stronger connection with those around us to inform our future.

By opening up our eyes, ears and hearts we will deepen our knowledge and understanding of Kedleston’s special collection within the Eastern Museum and we will begin to explore the many ways in which more people can connect with Kedleston’s significance as a colonial collection.

On the ground floor of Kedleston Hall in Derby there is a museum of remarkable furniture and artefacts. The objects within the (so-called) Eastern Museum were amassed by Lord Curzon on his travels across the Empire and when he was Viceroy of India (1899 to 1905), and there are some that are associated with his first wife, Mary. It is this museum and its associated rooms with which this brief is concerned.  There is powerful potential for us to work in a new way to create a space where we can care for these objects, and tell stories that move, teach and inspire our audiences.

Look closer at the objects on display in Kedleston's Eastern Museum
a display case in Kedleston's Eastern Museum
Look closer at the objects on display in Kedleston's Eastern Museum

Over the next three years we intend to change how the collection is displayed, how the collection is interpreted, whose voices are heard, which truths are represented, the way the property feels, and the internal culture which supports this. 2019 will be a year of listening internally and externally with our property staff and volunteers but also with our community and supporters.