Derby Museums Trust cares for the largest collection of oil paintings and drawings by Joseph Wright of Derby (1734-1797) anywhere in the world. Within The Study Room, anyone and everyone is welcome to pop along and marvel at the entire collection which includes over 300 drawings and sketches, more than 50 engravings, letters and a large library of related books.
There is no need to book, you can just drop in. If there is something in particular that you want to take a closer look at, or if you are part of a large group that wants to visit, it is advised that you call ahead.
What can I see?
The drawings and prints are stored in specially designed drawers allowing over 100 to be viewed close up. Discover Wright's earliest known sketches, drawn when he was aged 15-16 years old. Explore studies for his portraits, sketches from Italy and preparatory drawings for some of his finest paintings such as ‘The Alchymist’. Alongside these sit beautiful clocks and intriguing scientific instruments by his friend, John Whitehurst (1713-1788).
What can I do?
The Joseph Wright Study Room curator Matt Edwards is available to offer knowledge, guidance and to assist your enquiries. You could also meet one of our many volunteers, helping us achieve what we do and developing their own museums experience. We provide a workspace to sit and study with access to the reference library and Wi-Fi. We also have regularly changing displays, guided tours and talks.
What can I learn?
The study room is dedicated to the life and work of Joseph Wright, and the collections offer a rare insight into 18th century Derbyshire, during what is termed the ‘Age of Enlightenment’. You may also wish to enquire about other artist’s work we hold in our fine art collection, which is especially useful to students, historians and genealogists.