Curator’s Blog – Rediscovering Our Collections

Curator’s Blog – Rediscovering Our Collections

Our new Star Wars exhibition opened last weekend and we had a really fun busy day of visitors in the gallery dressing up and becoming part of the movie in front of our green screen that we have created as part of the exhibition. It was really lovely seeing so many families in the gallery on the opening day and seeing how engaged the children were in the free craft activities that we had going on throughout the building. On Saturday we also had the Christmas light switch on in front of The Atkinson and that was lovely.There was a great atmosphere outside the building and even though the weather had been really miserable that day it cleared up in time for the lights to go on.

Last week I went on a really fascinating day ran by Museum Development North West and the British Museum about getting loan ready.The day was part of a programme that my colleague has been attending but she couldn’t make the one last week so I went for her and at first I thought I’d drawn the short straw as it was about budgeting for loans and things you need to consider (yawn!) but actually it was a really useful, interesting day. Even though we borrow things all the time for exhibitions at The Atkinson it was really useful just thinking about some of the potential costs that you might have to factor in when you want to borrow an object and also it was useful hearing about what the national museums will pay for as part of their service and what museums in Europe might charge for borrowing loans. The day finished with a tour around the new temporary exhibition at Manchester Museum, Extinction Survival, which looks at what animals have become extinct and what have survived and why. This is a really well curated exhibition that makes you think about our impact on the natural world and how we are destroying it in many ways. If you are over in Manchester then this is well worth a visit.

Work has also been ongoing with digitising the works on paper collection and I recently found out that myself and a colleague have got places on a Culture 24 digital collection programme so very soon we will start to curate online exhibitions, which will be brilliant!

This week I took part in a study day organised by NADFAS looking at Victorian women in the art world. The speaker, Dr Suzanne Fagence Cooper, was very engaging and knowledgeable and it was a really interesting day. I came away feeling that there are huge gaps in my knowledge and I really must find out more about some of the amazing women she spoke about such as Lizzie Siddall and Effie Gray.

Finally we have just started a survey of what objects visitors would like to choose as their object to represent the History of Lancashire. A History of Lancashire in 70 objects is an 18 month project funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund. It is a partnership between Lancashire Heritage Learning, Museum Development North West and Lancashire Life magazine. The favourite object selected from The Atkinson will be submitted to the partnership and if chosen will feature in Lancashire Life magazine next year. To pick your favourite click on this link:

Vote for your favourite.
Above is an image of the dug-out canoe with the Reverend Bulpit – my favourite object!

Posted on 25 November 2016 under Museum

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