The Board of Trustees of the Florence Nightingale Museum are pleased to announce the major acquisition of a collection of ten oil paintings by Victor Tardieu showing the volunteer field hospital run by Millicent, Duchess of Sutherland (1867-1955) at Bourbourg near Dunkirk in 1915. This acquisition – along with the associated interpretation and engagement programme – has been most generously funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, the V&A Purchase Grant Fund and Guy’s and St Thomas’ Charity. For the First World War Centenary, from March- September 2014 the Florence Nightingale Museum will use these paintings to examine the history of nursing in the Great War and the crucial role played by women volunteers in the battlefields of France and Belgium.
Sue Sheridan, Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Florence Nightingale Museum, says: “We are delighted that the Tardieu paintings, which represent such an important element of nursing history, have been acquired by the Florence Nightingale Museum. They represent a significant part of Nightingale’s legacy of military nursing in the field.”
Natasha McEnroe, Director of the Florence Nightingale Museum, says: “This exciting acquisition supports the Florence Nightingale Museum’s objective of using its heritage collections to engage the public with the history of nursing. The paintings combine a remarkable artistic quality with important documentary record, and will form the centerpiece of our work in 2014, acknowledging the role that nurses played in World War One.”