Past Exhibitions and Displays
Zanzibar's Story: Remembering the Past, Securing the Future
Presented by World Monuments Fund Britain
13 January - 29 March 2016
This touring exhibition by WMFB told the story of the last permanent slave market in East Africa, and its legacy, the construction of Christ Church Cathedral on the site. Accompanied by an exhibit, 'Johnson, Barber and Thoughts on Liberty', which explored Johnson's progressive views on the subject of slavery.
Shakespeare in the 18th century: Johnson, Garrick and friends
10 August to 28 November 2015
A special display of artwork, books and ephemera exploring the treatment of Shakespeare during the 18th century on both the page and the stage. This exhibition marked the 250th anniversary of Johnson's critical edition of Shakespeare's plays (1765).
(Now that would be) Telling
01 October to 01 November 2011
Writer Hallie Rubenhold and artist Hayley Lock merged fact and fiction as they presented new work inspired by the story of Johnson’s manservant, the former slave, Francis Barber. Part of a project spanning five historic houses.
Telling Tales: Stories from Dr Johnson’s House 1911-2011
6 April to 30 July 2011
Celebrating 100 years since the House was saved, restored and opened to the public, and displaying rarely seen archive material, this exhibition told the quirkier stories from the House’s last century of history.
The House of Words
2 June to 29 August 2009
Installations and interventions by seven contemporary artists, inspired by Johnson, his work and his home, this exhibition formed part of the Samuel Johnson tercentenary celebrations.
Tea and Coffee in the Age of Dr Johnson
26 September to 13 December 2008
Charting the rise in popularity of tea and coffee in the eighteenth century, this exhibition highlighted the habits and opinions of one of tea’s most ardent fans, Samuel Johnson.
A most agreeable place: Dr Johnson, James Boswell and the Inner Temple
15 April to 27 May 2008
Displaying original documents, drawings and watercolours, this display celebrated the Inner Temple’s associations with Samuel Johnson, who ‘held court’ here for five years, and his biographer, James Boswell, called to the bar in 1786.
Behind the Scenes: The Hidden Life of Georgian Theatre 1737-1784
16 April to 18 September 2007
Exploring the hidden lives of actors, managers and playwrights, Behind the Scenes took a closer look at the theatrical world of Dr Johnson and David Garrick.
The Tyranny of Treatment: Samuel Johnson, his Friends and Georgian Medicine
18 September 2003 to 31 January 2004
This exhibition uncovered the often gruesome treatments available to the long suffering Johnson and his contemporaries in an age before anaesthetics.