by Jo Clarke, Marketing and Communications Officer
Over the past few months we’ve used a lot of our blog posts to highlight the decant of the Museum and Art Gallery. Now that process is coming to an end we’ll be sharing information about some of the other work we’re doing as a result of the History Centre.
A big area of work for a number of our staff is our ‘Museum On Tour’ programme – the programme of exhibitions, events, partnership initiatives and community engagement projects we’re undertaking in offsite locations while our building is closed.
One element of this involves our collections, selected highlights from which either have or will be going on loan.
These include items from our historically significant Plymouth Porcelain collection which can currently be seen in an exhibition called ‘Passion for Porcelain – Elegant Charm from China Clay’ at the Wheal Martyn Heritage Centre near St Austell.
The exhibition, which is on display until the summer focuses on the important role Cornwall played in the development of British porcelain. It also explores the ground-breaking discovery made by William Cookworthy in the 1700s in making true hard-paste porcelain. Devon-born Cookworthy was a chemist who had an apothecary on Notte Street, Plymouth. He went on to set up England’s first-ever porcelain factory in the Sutton Harbour area of the city.
Archaeological treasures from the Museum’s collections can also now be viewed in an exhibition called ‘Finding Prehistory’, on display at Dartmoor National Park’s award-winning visitor centre in Princetown.
The exhibition, which will remain on display until the end of 2018, includes stone tools, ceramic urns and flint implements from the Bronze Age and shines a light on the lives of the people who lived on Dartmoor thousands of years ago.
Other collections ‘On Tour’ include an Egyptian statuette of a seated goddess with the head of a lioness in ‘Animal Mummies Revealed’ at Liverpool’s World Museum until 26 February. The exhibition explores the background and practices associated with ancient Egyptian animal mummies, which were prepared in their millions as votive offerings to the gods.
‘Green Devon’ by Robert Polhill Bevan can be seen on display at the Museum of Somerset, Taunton from 25 March to 8 July. This popular painting is included in an exhibition about the Camden Town Group – an Edwardian artists’ collective that became famous for their realistic works of everyday life.
Loaning our collections to other venues while our building is closed is great for us in more ways than one. It’s providing access to some of our most important and best-loved objects and works of art. It’s also enabling us to develop and work in partnership with a range of different organisations – partnerships which we hope to continue in the future.