In brief | Latest on collections, awards, funding, loans and more - Museums Association

In brief | Latest on collections, awards, funding, loans and more

Handel & Hendrix museum asks people to share their Jimi Hendrix memories while Aberdeen Art Gallery launches Relaxed Mondays
Jimi Hendrix’s 1960s flat recreated at the Handel & Hendrix in London museum
Jimi Hendrix’s 1960s flat recreated at the Handel & Hendrix in London museum Michael Bowles, Handel & Hendrix in London

Museum asks public to share memories of Jimi Hendrix

The Handel & Hendrix in London museum has put a public call out for memories, photographs and film of Jimi Hendrix for a new exhibition ahead of its reopening in May. The museum at 23 Brook Street, Mayfair – where the 18th-century composer George Frideric Handel and guitarist Jimi Hendrix lived 200 years apart – is undergoing a £3m transformation to restore Handel’s home and create new displays about the life and music of the two musicians. An exhibition will explore Hendrix’s music and influence, and the museum hopes to source “people’s memories and personal photographs of times they experienced Jimi at a gig, in a club or just out and about”. The memories and images will be captured on a dedicated webpage and a selection will be included in a new documentary film played in the exhibition.

Aberdeen Art Gallery introduces Relaxed Mondays

Staff at Aberdeen Art Gallery have taken part in sensory first aid training

Aberdeen Art Gallery has introduced a more relaxed visiting experience on Mondays to ensure it is a welcoming space for all visitors. Relaxed Mondays will be primarily for, but not limited to, families with neurodivergent children, neurodivergent young people and adults, adults living with dementia, adults and children with mental health problems and visitors with sensory needs, along with their families, friends and carers. The local charity We Too! has worked with the gallery team to deliver “sensory first aid” training to staff and develop resources including an access guide, visual story and a quiet sensory den. Sensory backpacks are available to borrow to help enhance a visit, which include dark glasses, ear defenders and fidget toys.

Migration Museum shortlisted for civic arts award

London’s Migration Museum and Belfast’s Golden Thread Gallery are among 10 organisations shortlisted for the third edition of the Award for Civic Arts Organisations, which is run by the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation and celebrates co-creation and community engagement work taking place in the UK arts sector. The shortlisted organisations were chosen for their ability to address local needs and concerns, deepen relationships within communities, and use arts and creativity to enable positive change. The winner will receive £100,000 in prize money, while two runners-up will each receive £25,000.


Fitzwilliam conservator wins Plowden Medal

Julie Dawson was recognised for her four decade-long career in conservation

Julie Dawson has been announced as the winner of the 2022 Plowden Medal for Conservation, in recognition of her outstanding contribution to the field of archaeological artefact conservation. The award was presented at a reception at the Queen’s Chapel, London in January. Established in 1999 to commemorate the life and work of the late Anna Plowden (1938-1997), the Plowden Medal is awarded annually to an individual who has made a significant contribution to the advancement of the conservation profession. Based at the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge for almost four decades, Dawson was commended for her “outstanding career as a conservator, scholar of ancient Egyptian materials, and tireless standard-bearer for the care of cultural heritage”.  

Funding for urgent repairs at Science and Industry Museum

Scaffolding on the Power Hall at the Science and Industry Museum

The Science and Industry Museum in Manchester has been awarded £14.2m of capital funding by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport to complete urgent repairs and improvements over the next two years. The works will start later in the year, with the museum remaining open throughout. The museum’s ongoing restoration programme will also continue throughout 2023, including work to restore the historic listed Power Hall. The museum will take inspiration from the site's live engineering projects to host construction, technical and heritage skills-themed activities for all ages in the autumn. 


Ad Gefrin opening date revealed

A view of the whisky distillery at Ad Gefrin Sally Ann Norman

Ad Gefrin Anglo-Saxon Museum and Whisky Distillery will open to the public on 25 March. The new museum in Wooler, Northumberland, brings to life the largely untold story of the 7th-century Anglo-Saxon royal court of Northumbria through an immersive visitor experience and object displays, including Anglo-Saxon treasures from the British Museum and other collections. The museum will sit alongside a whisky distillery and bistro and hopes to put Northumbria on the map as an international tourist destination. The museum based around one of the 20th century’s most remarkable archaeological finds: the Great Hall of the Summer Palace of the kings and queens of Anglo-Saxon Northumbria, which was discovered at nearby Yeavering in the 1950s and will be partially recreated in the museum.

Consultation on Wales’ public commemorations

The Welsh Government has launched a consultation on guidance to help public bodies better represent modern Wales through public commemorations. The guidance will help public bodies make decisions on existing and proposed commemorations, includes statues, plaques and street names. It sets out what public bodies should do to contribute positively to the public commemoration of Welsh history and achievement of an anti-racist Wales. The closing date for feedback is 21 February.


Masterpieces loaned to mark National Gallery’s 200th birthday

A Young Woman standing at a Virginal (about 1670-2), Johannes Vermeer © The National Gallery

Twelve masterpieces from the National Gallery will be loaned to partner venues across the UK as part of celebrations to mark the institution’s bicentenary on 10 May. The National Treasures programme will see each partner venue receive a masterpiece and curate around it with interpretation, community engagement and events and exhibitions. The partners and the paintings they are receiving are:

  • Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, The Wilton Diptych (about 1395-9)
  • Brighton Museum and Art Gallery, Self Portrait at the Age of 34 (1640), Rembrandt
  • Bristol Museum and Art Gallery, The Hay Wain (1821), John Constable
  • The Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, Venus and Mars (about 1485), Sandro Botticelli
  • Ikon Gallery, Birmingham, Self Portrait as Saint Catherine of Alexandria (about 1615-17), Artemisia Gentileschi
  • Laing Art Gallery, Newcastle, The Fighting Temeraire (1839), Joseph Mallord William Turner
  • Leicester Museum and Art Gallery, The Umbrellas (about 1881-6), Pierre-Auguste Renoir
  • The National Library of Wales, Aberystwyth, The Stonemason’s Yard (about 1725), Canaletto
  • Scottish National Gallery, Edinburgh, A Young Woman standing at a Virginal (about 1670-2), Johannes Vermeer
  • Ulster Museum, Belfast, The Supper at Emmaus (1601), Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio
  • Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool, The Rokeby Venus (1647-51), Diego Velázquez
  • York Art Gallery, The Water-Lily Pond (1899), Claude Monet

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