Sidelights and cross-references: 75 years of the Grainger Museum


When the Grainger Museum opened on 13 December 1938, it contained an intensely personal and largely unedited collection reflective of Grainger's interests across time, place, disciplines, cultures and musical styles. Several years later, Grainger encapsulated his collecting tastes and principles in an observation that, 'Most museums, most cultural endeavours, suffer from being subjected to TOO MUCH TASTE…TOO MUCH SELECTION, TOO MUCH SPECIALISATION! What we want…is ALL-SIDEDNESS, side-lights, cross-references.'

The autobiographical Grainger collection has continued to grow in ways consistent with its founder's legacy and, 75 years on, it is this 'all-sidedness' that was celebrated in an eclectic selection of objects, each with its own idiosyncratic story.

Managing Curators: Astrid Krautschneider and Brian Allison, assisted by Monica Syrette, Jenny Hill and Suzanne Bravery