Renowned museum curator Dr. Tessa Murdoch will be speaking at Deyo Hall (6 Broadhead Avenue) about the history of the French Hospital, or La Providence. Founded nearly 300 years ago in St. Luke's, Finsbury, as a charity offering sanctuary to Huguenot refugees in need, the Hospital still flourishes today in Rochester, Kent, where it has been since 1965. It is home to a highly regarded collection of artwork, furniture, silverware, books, archival records, and other items illustrating the material culture of the Huguenots.
Dr. Murdoch will also discuss the development of the new Huguenot Museum, the first museum in Britain to be dedicated to the history of the Huguenots. Made possible by a £1.2million grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), the museum adjacent to the French Hospital is scheduled to open May 13.
Following the lecture, Dr. Murdoch will be signing copies of The French Hospital in England: Its Huguenot History and Collections. Copies of the book will be available for purchase ($85.00 + tax).
A director of the French Hospital since 1999, Dr. Murdoch has over 30 years of experience as a museum curator. She is Deputy Keeper of the Department of Sculpture, Metalwork, Ceramics and Glass at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London and an external examiner for the Smithsonian MA degree program in the History of Decorative Arts at the Cooper Hewitt Museum in New York. She worked on the 1985 Museum of London exhibition “The Quiet Conquest: The Huguenots 1685-1985” marking the tricentennial of the revocation of the Edict of Nantes. She was elected as a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries in 1988.
Members $10; seniors and military $12; general admission $15.