After almost six months, we are pleased to be able to open the front door to visitors again. The place has been too quiet.
Of course, we’re not out of the woods yet so there have been lots of changes to keep both visitors and the staff covid-safe. Firstly, you must book your visit in advance so please don’t just turn up, expecting to come in. This is so we can control the amount of people in the building and make sure there is ample social distancing and surface cleaning throughout the day.
The second big change is that visitors must wear face coverings for the duration of their visit, in keeping with current government guidelines, unless they are medically exempt or under the age of 11.
There have also been lots of small adjustments; we’ve had to temporarily remove the toys and games and dressing up box. The public computers are also taking a break until it is safe enough for them to return. Fingers crossed; it won’t be too long.
Despite the restrictions, it’s still worth a visit. Admission remains free. We’ve left the Between Two Worlds exhibition up, which showcases a variety of rarely-seen artwork from the collection of Derbyshire and explores the personal stories of the artists. In my 23 years at Buxton Museum, I think this is one of the most poignant art shows we’ve ever had. Not many people had the time to see this kaleidoscope of creativity before we closed the doors back in March so here’s your second chance.
There is also another opportunity to see Nick Lockett’s photographs that accompanied our Hoards exhibition last year. Each landscape represents a place in the UK where treasure has been found and retells the tales of discovery.
During lockdown, BMAG acquired some new artwork. We have this fantastic commission by local artist Martin Olsson, now on display in the foyer. It is one of those paintings you can gaze at for hours and still see something new the next time you look at it.
There is also the delightful sketchbook by Mary Twopenny which I will not try to explain as Derbyshire Museums Manager Ros Westwood has already provided the whole story here.
As well as that, there is the usual cornucopia of curiosity that is the Wonders of the Peak exhibition with loads of artefacts that are hundreds or thousands or even millions of years old. And you can catch up with that naughty Buxton Bear!