Installation to celebrate museum relocation - Museums Association

Installation to celebrate museum relocation

Artwork will feature items from the Museum of St Albans' archive
The artist Lyndall Phelps is creating an installation featuring objects from the collection of the Museum of St Albans ahead of the venue’s relocation.

The museum's building on Hatfield Road will close on 20 September, with the site developed into housing. A new museum and gallery will open in St Albans town hall in 2017.

The permanent collection is currently being dismantled and packed up by the museum’s curator of collections (post medieval to contemporary), Catherine Newley, and a team of volunteers. Visitors have been invited to watch this process.

Phelps will work alongside them to create an installation in the empty display cabinets, which will tell the story of the town’s different industries. The artwork will feature documents and objects from the museum’s archive and off-site store.

“The installation will finish on the day it closes, so it’s more about a process than a finished artwork,” Newley said. “It’s about turning what could be quite a sad event, the closure of our current home, into a celebration of our move and new home.”

Thanks for a £36,000 Arts Council England (ACE) Grants for the Arts award, Phelps will stay on as artist-in-residence at the museum until 2017. She will develop a public art pop-up event while the museum is closed and create an exhibition in the new site once it reopens.

The project has been developed by the Museum of St Albans in association with UH Arts, the University of Hertfordshire’s public arts programme.

“This wonderful grant from ACE will fund an artist to help keep the spirit of the Museum of St Albans alive during the development of our new museum and art gallery in the heart of the city,” said Annie Brewster, the portfolio holder for sport, leisure and heritage at St Albans City and District Council.

“The exhibition and the exciting new artwork being created will pay homage to the origins of the Hatfield Road museum.”

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