Curators and Reformers: the first family at the new Castle Museum.
George Harry was born into an artistic family – his father was the first Keeper of Fine Art Collection at South Kensington Museum (later the Victoria & Albert Museum) in London – and he followed in the family business of curation.
George Harry successfully supervised a temporary art and design exhibition in Nottingham in 1872, which contained many items from the South Kensington Museum collection. He was subsequently appointed as the first Art Director and Curator of the museum at Nottingham Castle. The first museum catalogue refers to his ‘great experience and known professional ability’.
George married Kate Watson Carey and they lived in the Museum Residence at Nottingham Castle with their three children. Muriel, sat bottom left, was their eldest daughter and later a Suffragette, active in the National Union of Women’s Suffrage Societies and the militant Women’s Social and Political Union. She was arrested for ‘wilfully obstructing the police’ at a Suffragette procession in London on Black Friday in 1910. Muriel was also a Census evader and ‘vanished for the vote’, refusing to fill-in her census return in 1911.
George Harry would be Castle Curator for over fifty years from the museum’s foundation in 1878 until 1929.
Connection: George was the curator of Nottingham Castle Museum of Fine Art from when it first opened. His daughter Muriel was born in Nottingham when they were living at the Castle.
Born: 12th September 1847 and 25th February 1882
Died: 29th August 1936 and 21st January 1929
Did you know? Muriel may have been the ‘inside woman’ in a plot to blow up the Castle in 1913. Serial suffragette bomber Eileen Casey was arrested in the Old Market Square with five quarter pounds of mining explosive and a telephone call from Nottingham Castle to Casey’s hotel was logged that morning. Was Muriel planning to recreate the 1831 burning down of the Castle in support of women getting the vote?