HC Deb 14 March 1887 vol 312 cc178-9
MR. BARTLEY (Islington, N.)

asked the Vice President of the Committee of Council on Education, Whether, considering that the works of the Schools of Art sent up for the National competition can only be exhibited at the South Kensington Museum in a gallery imperfectly lit, owing to the want of space at that Museum, he will provide space in one of the numerous galleries by circulating some of the duplicate and triplicate specimens of furniture, china, pottery, metal work, glass, embroidery, and other objects which now crowd up the Museum, to different parts of London, and other centres of dense population, and so assist to supply that local demand for the loan of circulating collections, which the Science and Art Department's last Report, at page xvii., states is now a severe tax on the resources of the South Kensington Museum?


My hon. Friend has practically converted into a Question a Motion which has stood for some time upon the Notice Paper. I believe that the system of loans is now carried out to the full extent of the present resources of the Department. So long as the practice is adhered to of exchanging the objects lent every year, and in the case of loans to temporary Exhibitions at shorter periods—a course which is greatly preferred by the localities—it is obvious that the temporary removal of different objects from distant parts of the Museum would not supply the space in any given part of it, which is assumed in the Question. Twenty-six thousand one hundred and sixty-four objects were in circulation last year, through 32 Provincial Museums (not including Bethnal Green), 26 temporary Exhibitions, and 260 Science and Art Schools; but the number of duplicate and triplicate speciments is comparatively small.