The Russell Frame is at the same time a work of sculpture and a lavish example of parade furniture which will complement the Fitzwilliam Museum’s important collection of sculpture and furniture.
The Museum also has an interesting collection of picture frames – an area which is creating a surge of interest. These encompass good examples of frames from the fourteenth to the late twentieth centuries - But the Museum lacks an actual, spectacular Baroque trophy frame, a deficiency that the Russell Frame would definitely remedy!
If the Fitzwilliam Museum is successful in acquiring this masterpiece the Museum hopes to be able to carry out a number of projects such as:
- Scholarly research to identify the designer and carver/s of the Frame and pin down the sources that inspired its complex iconography.
- To disseminate knowledge through publications such as the forthcoming Fitzwilliam Museum Catalogue of Sculpture and in the Your Art national inventory of sculpture in public collections in Britain.
- Engage with children, young people and adults through teaching sessions, deciphering its iconography with reference to other works in the Museum, looking at different styles of historical frame, as well as workshops where people create their own ‘autobiographical’ frames.
- Research into the lost house of Chippenham Park and the frame’s part in that story.
- Explore the patronage of Admiral Russell possibly in partnership with Amgueddfa Cymru - National Museum of Wales, who have just acquired the Russell Andirons.
As a University Museum we place special emphasis on using our collections for teaching and research, working closely with other faculties as well as local schools and community groups.
The Fitzwilliam Museum remains free of charge, is open six days a week and attracts over 450,000 visitors every year.