This month, the portrait of Ira Aldridge (1807 – 1867) will go on display in the Picture Gallery, and you can see it for free with your University of Bath library card. The portrait is on loan from the National Portrait Gallery’s collection and will be on display until March 2020.

Aldridge was born in New York and came to England in 1824 at the age of seventeen. He then performed on the London stage a year later, and went on to become the first black actor known to have a successful career in Europe. He toured theatres across Britain and Europe, including the Theatre Royal, here in Bath. In January 1832, he crossed the stage in a double bill of Othello and The Padlock.

The Holburne Museum is located on Great Pulteney Street and is open most days of the year. You can find out more about them, and their collection, over on the website. Entry is free for University of Bath staff and students.

The COMING HOME project sees the National Portrait Gallery sending portraits of iconic individuals to places they are closely associated with. It’s a country-wide initiative which means 50 portraits from the national Collection will travel to towns and cities across the UK.