Buxton Museum and Art Gallery

A museum collection 360 million years in the making …


Donor Oliver Gomersal at the preview of Collectors and curiosities: Buxton and beyond

Buxton Museum has been open to visitors for 125 years since displays were first set up in the public library in around 1892/1893. We moved to the current site on Terrace Road in September 1928. We are celebrating with a year of exhibitions, events and artistic initiatives, showcasing our new digital platform at www.wondersofthepeak.org.uk

Our celebrations began with an exhibition, Collectors and curiosities: Buxton and beyond (7 July – 6 October 2018), exploring the history of the museum through a selection of artworks and objects from 125 years of acquisitions and donations.

The Buxton Public Library and Reading Room by Robert Lewis McLellan-Sim, oil, 1934

This project, funded by Arts Council England and known as BM125, offers a rare opportunity bringing together artists, an amazing museum collection and a world-class landscape to explore the relationship between heritage and culture.

We have commissioned four emerging, contemporary artists who make work of
exceptional quality and have an element of performance in their practice. They have demonstrated an ability to engage large audiences using digital technology and we hope to be surprised and delighted by their methods! They are:

The emerging project artists will be able to draw on the experience of established artists, Kidology Arts. Amanda and Richard Johnson have completed a 2-year residency at the museum during Collections in the Landscape and are now developing ideas for further ambitious audiovisual works. These include My Sister’s Scarf which they will produce for BM125 – a work that draws parallels between the lives of migrants to the UK, past and present.

Our artists will also be supported by local poet and storyteller Gordon MacLellan as the lead artist coordinating the engagement program. Gordon has worked with the museum since 2000 and has a deep affinity with the collection and the Peak District landscape. The project will be a unique opportunity for Gordon. Using digital technology and social media will enable him to engage large groups of participants in the writing and performing of poetry. This will be an exciting expansion of Gordon’s practice of writing poems and stories in collaboration.

Our project artists will make new work that will connect our collection with its roots in the Peak District landscape. With support from  will help us shape an artist-run engagement program filling the museum with the sound of young performers. Together, we will engage 125,000 people from across the UK, 75% of whom will be new to the museum.

Over the next year, BM125 project artists will be sharing their own experiences and discoveries through the blog so watch this space to find out what they are up to!


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