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Call for 2023 Exhibition Proposals – Two Temple Place

Two Temple Place is seeking creative proposals from freelance curators, regional cultural institutions and researchers, for our 11th major spring exhibition running January-April 2023.   

Background 

The Exhibition Programme at Two Temple Place has grown in impact and reach since its inception in 2011, reaching audiences of over 350,000 and working with over 50 regional museums and galleries.  In 2022, our tenth exhibition Body Vessel Clay: Black Women, Ceramics & Contemporary Art showcases the work of women of colour working in and with clay.   

The Exhibition Programme is the flagship heart of a year-round cultural offer that animates Two Temple Place for new audiences, making our remarkable building the inspiration for artists and makers from the widest range of artforms, and for a new community of visitors and participants. 

Since 2011, the Exhibition Programme has celebrated museums and galleries outside London through major showcases of their collections in our beautiful, neo-Gothic home in central London.  These twelve week exhibitions, produced in partnership with one or several public museums or collections based around the UK, have welcomed up to 57,000 visitors each year, raised the profile of collaborating institutions, unlocked significant funding for the partners, strengthened relationships with key stakeholders, enabled improved collection management, and generated new connections between curators and institutions.  The programme has been made possible through substantial public funding, and was recognised in The Mendoza Review for its unique success in bringing together public collections. 

 We welcome approaches from professional cultural organisations, freelance curators, and regional museums and galleries that combine bold and original project ideas with enlightened approaches to public engagement and participation.  We want our next exhibition to build on past audience development and we expect to work in partnership to spread risk, share resources, and build fruitful and resilient partnerships. 

Our exhibitions to date have also been an exciting chance for emerging and early career curators to showcase new ideas within a supportive, structured framework, with the support of the Two Temple Place team and senior Exhibition Advisors.  Exhibitions are free to attend and are accompanied by a broad range of events designed to engage a wide range of visitors.   

 

Call for Proposals 

For the 2023 exhibition, we are looking for a creative and ambitious brief that addresses three key objectives: 

  • The ability to showcase and raise awareness of one or more museum or gallery collections¬†that are¬†based outside London¬†and that deserve wider recognition;¬†
  • A¬†significant development¬†opportunity¬†for an¬†up-and-coming curator¬†or curatorial team;¬†
  • A focus on work that will engage, animate, enliven and provoke visitors¬†to think differently about the world and the work, and encourage new audiences to¬†explore¬†more deeply.¬†

Proposed exhibitions can contain any media.  Proposals must display imaginative engagement of new audiences and the significant strengthening of existing audiences.  Proposals can be based on an individual collection, artist, collector, community or theme.  The display will need to respond creatively to our building, which is a vibrant and outrageous mix of architectural styles.  We are particularly fascinated by recent work on themes or practices such as decolonisation, community-led curation or collecting, political-social engagement, dynamic collecting and the use of digital media to stimulate contemporary relevance.  But we’re looking to be inspired by urgency and uniqueness, and we’re happy to take calculated risks.   

 

Funding 

Costs for the exhibition are paid for by Two Temple Place.  Production, materials, transport, publicity and management costs will be covered and managed by us, and a fee is paid to the curator.   

 

Curation  

Two Temple Place are happy to accept proposals from independent curators as well as approaches from museums and galleries.  There is significant flexibility on the makeup of the curatorial and exhibition planning team and in the past external curators with relevant expertise have been successfully brought together with institutions, if that’s what is beneficial to the overall project.  

The curator/s will be required to have knowledge of appropriate collections across the UK (the curator may already be a part of one of these collections or institutions) in order to research and select objects for inclusion, write an article for the catalogue and the exhibition interpretation text, and plan the exhibition space at Two Temple Place.  This will all be done with the support and guidance of the experienced exhibition team at Two Temple Place and the Exhibition Advisor.  Extensive curatorial experience is not required, but the selected candidate must be absolutely immersed in the subject matter, with the desire to excite and inform new audiences through the exhibition narrative. 

 

Two Temple Place 

Two Temple Place is an extraordinary architectural gem.  It was built as an office for William Waldorf Astor in the late 19th century and is a unique venue in central London.  We want it to be celebrated, enjoyed and explored by artists and the community with honesty, irreverence and joy.  Our spaces have been fully adapted to accommodate exhibitions with top grade lighting and hanging systems, security, and environmental controls, and they conform fully to the terms of the Government Indemnity Scheme.  For the curator, devising a show for the ornate and intricately decorated space is a huge challenge that calls for imagination and ingenuity, and successful exhibitions bring works together in ways that respond to and complement the building’s unique décor, and surprise and delight visitors.  

 

Working in Partnership 

It is part of our charitable mission that each collaborative exhibition creates significant value for the partner organisations and collections, as well as for the public.  Previous partners have benefited from increased profile through national and international media coverage generated by the London showcase, advocacy and fundraising opportunities, learning and development for staff, networking opportunities, additional research and conservation of objects within partner collections and opportunities to take risks not otherwise possible within permanent collections.  We’re excited about possibilities for touring or for wider and deeper digital engagement, and excited about exploring these with our partners.   

 

Timeframe  

Exhibition Dates:¬† January¬†2023¬†‚Ästmid-April¬†2023¬†
Exhibition narrative:  May 2022 
Object list developed:  July 2022 
Catalogue article completed:  October 2022 
Interpretation completed:  November 2022 

 

Next steps  

You must read the Exhibition Report  Please send proposal ideas (a maximum of three pages excluding images) by email to Rebecca Hone, Head of Exhibitions, Two Temple Place, and she is also happy to discuss your proposal in advance  rebecca@twotempleplace.org   

 

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