A selection of ceramics through the ages (5 second delay) Ashmolean Museum of Art and Archaeology
PotWeb: Ceramics online
@ the Ashmolean Museum

People and their collections

Robert Plot 1640-96 - scientist & antiquary


Dr Robert Plot was the first Curator of The Ashmolean Museum from its inception in 1683, until his resignation in 1690. He had shown a marked interest in antiquities through his questionnaires and research for The Natural History of Oxford-shire (1677). His appointment was requested by the Museum's founder Elias Ashmole. The royal opening attended by the Duke of York (the future King James II), took place on 21 May 1683.

Plot prepared catalogues of the collections for which several early manuscript volumes survive. His work was governed by a set of regulations approved by Ashmole on 21 June 1686. The board of Visitors used the catalogues to make a thorough stock-check of every item in the collection on their annual visitation.

Visits by the general public to the Museum were carefully controlled, a necessary precaution due to the open method of display of many of the exhibits. ...'Rarities shalbe shewed but to one Company at a tyme, & that upon their being entred into the Musaeum, the dore shalbe shut'; others arriving while the tour was in progress had to stay below until the first group emerged.

His contemporaries Plot: case study Scientist
© Copyright University of Oxford, Ashmolean Museum, 2005
The Ashmolean Museum retains the copyright of all materials
used here and in its Museum Web pages.
last updated: jcm/16-dec-2005