With the reopening of Buxton Museum and Art Gallery close on the horizon, the time has come to dust the cobwebs off the collection so that it can match the rest of the new shiny gallery.
I have been working closely with the museum’s bone material. In the picture above you can see that some of the pieces – like this hyena jaw bone discovered in Elderbush cave – were in definite need of a little TLC after being displayed for so many years in the old gallery. So, adorned with a set of brushes and little pieces of rubber sponge I began the task of patiently dabbing, wiping and brushing away the years to breathe new life into each of the bone objects.
Below you can see the after shot of my work, and evidently
a little bit of spring cleaning really does make all the difference!
Jasmine Barnfather MSci MA, Museum Attendant / Museum Assistant,
Buxton Museum and Art Gallery
Some plucky visitors took the rare opportunity to step into the bear’s cave at Buxton Museum to have their photo taken. Normally out-of-bounds, the rocky domain of the beloved ursine scare-monger is accessed by staff via a locked door at the back. Considering it was the last day of the old Wonders of the Peak exhibition and seeing as they asked nicely, we decided to reward these people for their bravery.
Click here to see how the new project is coming along.
This Saturday sees the door closed for the final time on the Wonders of the Peak gallery at Buxton Museum. A characterful and treasured museum display, The Wonders first opened in 1988 with an anticipated short lifespan. Due to the creativity and resourcefulness of the museum team, the gallery became very popular and won Museum of the Year in 1989.
Despite its credentials, it is no surprise that the gallery is starting to look its age over twenty-five years later. It is dark and atmospheric but anyone with less than perfect eyesight, such as myself, can struggle to see particular sections. The long winding tunnel format is exciting and mysterious but less than ideal to anyone with a push chair or wheel chair. The labelling is informative but a little too wordy for today’s sound byte generation. And there’s no buttons to push!
If you would like one last walk through the Old Wonders before it closes, last admission today is 5pm, Thursday 31st December at 4.30pm or Saturday 2nd January at 4.30pm.
Funded by the Heritage Lottery, the new Wonders of the Peak will open in Spring 2017. Like its predecessor, the gallery will attempt to tell the unique story of the Peak District using the museum collections. Despite being closed for redevelopment, you can still visit the project space and talk to the museum team as they work. Infact, it’s your chance to become more involved than ever before. Click here for more information.
If you tire of Christmas shopping, need an escape from the freezing temperatures or just want to see a good exhibition then Buxton Museum can help (our shop is great for stocking fillers too). Two local schools have taken over the foyer, Gallery Two and the landing and their big, bold artwork is a breath of fresh air.
In Gallery One, you can see the stunning results of a project by Freefall Arts. Though Your Eyes is a journey through everyday life from the 1930s to the 1970s using a collection of home movies, photographs and memories from the public.
Both exhibitions are on until 24 December (closing at 1pm) and admission is free.
Not that you need any further reason to visit Buxton Museum and Art Gallery but the well-loved Wonders of the Peak closes for refurbishment on 2 January 2016. If you want to hear that bear growl at you one last time then now is your chance!
In June 1940, Mappin Art Gallery was bombed during the notorious Sheffield Blitz. With much of the collection damaged or destroyed, the gallery’s surviving treasures were crated up, taken to a Derbyshire Dales village and stored in a farmer’s barn until the war ended.
Crate 39 is a multi-sensory installation that asks what might have happened had one of those crates gone missing. How was it lost? Who found it? What happened to its priceless contents? And why has it suddenly turned up after 75 years?
You can see the display until Sunday 19 April and if you would like to talk to Richard and Amanda Johnson of Kidology Arts, who created it, they will be our artists-in-residence on Saturday 7 March, 2-4 pm and Saturday 11 April, 2-4 pm. They will be running a workshop for families where the challenge is to make a musical instrument or a piece of art from the contents of some crates from 1939 on the same days, 11am-12pm.
Back by popular demand is our Buxton Before the War exhibition. So many people have come in to see the old photographs that we decided to give it a new lease of life on the first floor landing. There is no end date as yet.
You may also want to consider coming to see The Wonders of the Peak before it gets replaced by a brand new all-dancing, all-singing version following our good news. You will then be in a position to compare the old with the new.