Curator's Choice

From medieval seals and lawnmowers to Spitfires and space modules, museum and gallery curators reveal - in their own words - the objects they are passionate about from within their collections...

a photo of a large worked flint hand axe

Curator's Choice: The Happisburgh Hand Axe - the oldest hand axe in North West Europe

Colly Mudie, Head of Norwich Museums Learning Team, explains the significance and allure of the pre-Neanderthal Happisburgh hand axe.

a black and white photo of a crowd of people looking at an aeroplane

Curator's Choice: A Junkers Ju 87 Stuka aerial stolen by schoolboys during the Battle of Britain

Tangmere Military Aviation Museum curator David Coxon on an unlikely souvenir purloined by children from a German Stuka dive bomber downed during the Battle of Britain.

A photo of a mural of a man in a suit perching on a bicycle

Curator's Choice: Cathy Sloan on a three-metre high outdoor mural of Edward Elgar

A street art team known as We Love Art have created a cheeky version of Edward Elgar on the wall of his museum. Director Cathy Sloan introduces the high-velocity work.

A photo of three taxidermied birds against a purple background

Curator's Choice: Dr Merle Patchett on taxidermy and the 19th century bird plume boom

The University of Bristol's Dr Merle Patchett tells Culture24 about the technology that is bringing plumage trade history to life in a taxidermy installation.

A black and white photo of a footballer at the start of the 20th century

Curator's Choice: Legendary goalkeeper Robert 'Pom Pom' Whiting's World War I story

Historian Tim Carder tells us the tragic tale of Bob Whiting, whose life is part of the new War Stories: Voices from the First World War exhibition at Brighton Museum and Art Gallery.

A photo of a woman standing next to a large coat inside a display case in a museum

Curator's Choice: An undercoat worn by a First World War soldier at Brighton Museum

Left on a grandmother's sideboard for years, a coat at Brighton Museum's new War Stories display is part of the story of two brothers who died on the Somme a century ago.

A photo of a woman standing next to a modernist painting of red, yellow and blue

Curator's Choice: Eleanor Clayton on Nasreen Mohamedi's red triangles and shifting light

A central, triangular room in Tate Liverpool's show takes inspiration from a particular painting by the Indian modernist, says the curator.

A photo of an elaborate pen and ink drawing of a 19th century mansion

Curator's Choice: Catherine Pell chooses a detailed drawing of 19th century Cheam

Made by little-known topographical artist RB Schnebbelie, a 19th century view of the Grade II-listed Tudor building is a portrait of a place full of stories and rumours.

A photo of large grey steel gas pipes

Curator's Choice: Rotten eggs and hard labour at the last town gasworks in England

Ovens, tar and the smell of rotten eggs are all part of the ancient ovens at the Museum of Gas in Norfolk, which will enjoy a special opening for Museums at Night.

A photo of a reconstruction of an african woman's face

Beachy Head Lady was young sub-Saharan Roman with good teeth, say archaeologists

A facial reconstruction as part of a project and exhibition in Eastbourne has revealed a young woman from sub-Saharan Africa. Archaeologist Jo Seaman tells us more.

A photo of roman stone artefacts inside a museum gallery

Curator's Choice: Hadrian's stonework, the Wroxeter Roman Mirror and a polar bear

Emma-Kate Lanyon, the Head of Collections and Curatorial Services, on the star exhibits and the long campaign to finish the new £10 million Shrewsbury Museum and Art Gallery.

A photo of a collage showing three people sitting on a city street against a brick wall

Curator's Choice: Yorkshire, female artists, Atkinson Grimshaw and mine closures

From a childhood trampling across the North Yorkshire moors to galleries in Hull and Liverpool, the curator of the Turner to Hockney show in Harrogate discusses the art of a county.

Black and white photo of a curator

Curator's choice: Hicham Khalidi tees up a special venue for the Marrakech Biennale

One of the artworld's more exotic Biennales reveals differing approaches to museums and exhibition making between Morocco and the UK.

A photo of a series of dark red squares on a wall against a black background

Beautiful, grown-up and erudite: Coastal Currents festival returns with sawing and feathers

Alice Anderson's work on the front of an Old Town shop and Kate MccGwire's strange feathers in a castle are among the highlights in the Hastings festival's 15th year.

A photo of spirals of white lines running against a black background

Ryoji Ikeda, Peaches, Mira Calix and more: Laura Ducceschi on Earsthetic in Brighton

Curator's Choice: The Creative Producer at Brighton's Dome tells us about taking a visual arts approach to the five-day, electronic-led festival which is about to begin.

A photo of a curator holding a large brick up while wearing white gloves

Curator's Choice: Dr Matt Thompson on early railway treasure, the Broseley Wheel

The Broseley Wheel dates from a railway more than 400 years ago. The senior curator at the Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust tells us more.

Curator's Choice: Eleanor Clayton on Mary Martin's Inversions at Tate Liverpool

The Tate Liverpool curator introduces us to a monumental metal piece which allows the world to be viewed in kaleidoscopic style, on show in the Constellations series.

A photo of a female curator standing next to a framed painting on a wall while smiling

Curator’s Choice: Stephanie Straine chooses a Marc Chagall self-portrait at Tate Liverpool

The Assistant Curator tells us why she's a fan of Anywhere out of the World, from the major current Marc Chagall exhibition at Tate Liverpool.

A photo of a woman standing next to a yellow sculpture against an exhibition wall

Curator's Choice: The earliest Bruce Nauman work held by the Tate collection

The Assistant Curator at Tate Liverpool on a Nauman sculpture made of irregular, hollow fibreglass and resin bars, featuring in the current Constellations exhibition.

A photo of a woman standing next to a large bed head framed on a wall

Curator's Choice: Dr Ellen McAdam on Henry VIII's bed head at The Burrell Collection

The bed head from the night of Henry VIII's 1540 marriage features a carving of the king's extremely large codpiece. Dr Ellen McAdam, of Glasgow Museums, tell us more.

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