Coventry's Herbert Art Gallery and Museum surprises millionth visitor with string of treats

By Ruth Hazard | 16 December 2011
  • Archived article
A photo of a man presenting a woman with a certificate to say she is the millionth visitor to an art gallery
The Herbert's Jamie Perry greets a pleasantly surprise Amelia Mansell, the millionth visitor to the award-winning Coventry centre
The Herbert Art Gallery and Museum welcomed the millionth visitor through its doors on Wednesday.

Amelia Mansell, a Stratford-upon-Avon visitor arriving with her daughter Sophie, won a membership package, a free family ticket to a major dinosaur exhibition planned in the display spaces next summer, £50 to splash in the Herbert’s shop and a guided tour of the venue’s store with a resident expert.

"I can't believe we're the millionth visitors. I was shocked when [the Herbert] said that we’d won. We love the Herbert."

Since a £20 million transformation and re-launch in 2008, the art gallery and museum has proven to be a huge success, with local people passing through the doors in their thousands.

Successful learning programmes have drawn the 98 per cent of schools in Coventry to the Herbert for curriculum-based activities. In three years, 45,000 pupils have taken part in active learning sessions at the venue.

The informal family learning programme has also allowed more than 40,000 people to utilise the free craft activities and play installations within the gallery.

Ludo Keston, of the Coventry Heritage and Arts Trust, said: "We have managed to touch the lives of nearly one million visitors in an inspiring, thought-provoking and lasting way while becoming an integral part of the Coventry landscape."

The Herbert now has one of the most diverse visitor profiles of all the museums across the region thanks to the inclusion team’s partnership with many different groups in the Coventry community, including organisations for the homeless and the deaf.

To celebrate the Herbert's success, the Trust has commissioned a new artwork made up of images from every event, exhibition, workshop and performance it has held.

The images will be digitally composited to create a picture of the gallery and museum’s founder, philanthropist Sir Albert Herbert.

The photograph mosaic will be displayed in the covered court area of the gallery during the next few months. It will also be viewable on the Herbert's website.
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