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Arts and Heritage at Leicester's Hospitals

Arts & Heritage Officer Sallie Varnum

Hello my name is Sallie Varnam, Arts and Heritage Officer at Leicester’s Hospitals

My job is to discover the vast collection of art, historical artefacts and archive material across the three hospital sites, and bring it back to life for staff, patients and the wider community.

Did you know that our collection is perhaps the largest in the county? You will have noticed some of the art collection displayed across the site, but there are huge numbers of paintings, sculptures, prints and photographs in storage, as hidden treasure.

My first project is the Leicester Royal Infirmary Arts and Heritage Trail, launched on July 5th, the 70th anniversary of the birth of the NHS. The trail, which begins outside the Jarvis Building, takes the walker around the Royal Infirmary site.  It is a celebration of the many works of art, historic buildings and points of interest which have been acquired throughout the Infirmary’s history. The trail includes the new Royal Infirmary Gallery, located on Level One of the Balmoral Building, which features a selection of artwork from the art store room. 

The Arts and Heritage Committee are also working in partnership with the Fine Art Department at De Montfort University to develop a changing exhibition programme, to be curated by staff and students, and accompanied by a programme of participatory workshops open to staff, patients and visitors to the Royal Infirmary. The trail takes in the historic Odames Library, host to Brief Encounters: an exhibition of art works inspired by scientists at the University of Leicester, and ends at the De Montfort University Heritage Centre with the exhibition The Art of Healthcare, which brings together a range of objects from our vast collection of artefacts and equipment that trace the history of hospitals and healthcare in Leicester.

To find out more, or to be added to our mailing list, please email: ArtsandHeritageatUHL@uhl-tr.nhs.uk

All our funding comes from charitable donations and external grants. If you would like to support bringing our collections of art and heritage items back to life for our patients, staff and local communities with a donation please follow this link to Leicester Hospitals Charity.

Royal Infirmary Virtual Museum

Celebrating 100 years of being Royal in 2012, we have launched a virtual museum of interesting historical pictures of buildings, wards and much more