Northampton Museum and Art Gallery

Northampton Museum and Art Gallery
Guildhall Road
Northampton
Northamptonshire
NN1 1DP
England

Website

Website

www.northampton.gov.uk/museums

Twitter page

www.twitter.com/NorthamptonShoe

Facebook page

www.facebook.com/pages/Northampton-Museum-Art-Gallery/238636039494330

E-mail

museums@northampton.gov.uk

Telephone

01604 838111

Education

01604 838544

Fax

01604 838720

All information is drawn from or provided by the venues themselves and every effort is made to ensure it is correct. Please remember to double check opening hours with the venue concerned before making a special visit.
Northampton Museum & Art Gallery
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Northampton Museum reflects the town's proud standing as both Britain's boot & shoe capital and the focus for history of the town through the ages. Step back into a world of shoes with two new galleries funded with help from the Heritage Lottery Fund, The Pilgrim Trust and Northampton Borough Council.

'Life & Sole' shows the history of shoemaking using audio-visual diaplays, interactive exhibits and a re-creation of an old shoe factory. 'Followers of Fashion' continues the story of footwear and celebrates shoe fashions through the centuries.

The story of Northampton's history from the Stone Age to the 20th century is told with objects, sound and film.
Both decorative arts and fine arts are represented in outstanding collections, particularly the Oriental ceramics and the 15th to 18th century Italian paintings.

Regular events include temporary exhibitions,lunchtime talks, mornings for the over 60's and sessions for toddlers in term time and school holiday workshops.

This museum has a Designated Collection of national importance.

Venue Type:

Museum, Gallery

Opening hours

Tues-Sat 1000-1700
Sun 1400-1700
Closed Mon

Closed: Good Friday,Easter Monday, Christmas Day, Boxing Day,New Year's Day and Bank Holiday Mondays.

Admission charges

Free Admission

The Boot and Shoe collection held at Northampton's Central Museum and Art Gallery is one of the most extensive collections of its kind in the world, and is a Designated Collection of national importance.

It includes everything from Roman and Medieval footwear to the work of contemporary designers and reflects the vital role of Northampton in the history of shoe making. As well as footwear the collection includes: shoemaking tools and machines; accessories such as buckles, button hooks and polish; fine and decorative art depicting shoes and shoe making and documentary material including trade catalogues and journals, books, documents and photographs. Associated indexes include an index of shoemakers and shoemaking firms, and an index of shoes which are concealed in buildings for luck.

Shoes, shoe machinery and ephemera
Social History
Archaeology
Geology
Fine and Decorative Art

Items from this collection

Collection details

Social History, Fine Art, Costume and Textiles, Archaeology

Key artists and exhibits

  • Fine bronze SCABBARD of the 1st century BC, once the prized possession of a Celtic noble. Found at the Iron Age hill fort, Hunsbury.
  • Unique Jewish tombstone, 13th century, from the former Jewish cemetery, off Barrack Road, Northampton
  • THE BLAKE SEWER An important shoe machine to stitch the soles of shoes. It signifies the mechanisation of shoe manufacture.
  • CHAIRS BY CHARLES RENNIE MACKINTOSH c. 1916 designed for WJ Basset-Lowke's house at 78 Derngate, Northampton.
  • Bronze model of Henry Moore's MADONNA AND CHILD commissioned in 1943 for St Matthew's Church, Northampton.
  • Painted and gilded Italian CASSONE or marriage chest, Siennes school about 1470.
  • STATUE of Sekemka, Inspetor of Scribes, Egyptian, 5th Dynasty (about 2400BC) brough to England by the 2nd Marquis of Northampton
  • Unusual double-sided portrait, about 1580, of Sir Christopher Hatton of Holdenby, Northamptonshire. On loan to the National Maritime Museum for the Elizabeth I exhibition May 2003.
  • CHINESE PORCELAIN JAR. Chia-ching 1522-1566. Decorated with swimming carp
  • ELEPHANT BOOT made in 1959 by Lotus Ltd, Northampton, for the British Alpine Hannibal Expedition.
  • Super elevated ghillie by VIVIENNE WESTWOOD, famously tripping Naomi Campbell up on the catwalk.
  • Designated Collection.
Exhibition details are listed below, you may need to scroll down to see them all.

The Dream Closet – A Vintage Experience

  • 18 January — 27 April 2014 *on now

Come and discover a bedroom of the 1970s complete with all of the latest gadgets and fashions. This interactive exhibition offers the chance to step back in time, put on a record and explore a shoe closet filled shoes from our collection that reflect the styles and trends of the period.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Website

http://www.northampton.gov.uk/museumexhibitions

John Clare and The Shepherd’s Calendar

  • 15 March — 8 June 2014 *on now

This year is the 150th anniversary of the death of the people’s poet John Clare. To mark the occasion, this exhibition will celebrate John Clare’s appreciation of seasonal cycles and the natural year, as we display original John Clare manuscripts loaned by Northamptonshire County Council Library Services. We will be also be showing works by Peter Newcombe which illustrates Clare’s acclaimed collection of poems ‘The Shepherd’s Calendar’, and portraits of John Clare, including one by Henry Bird.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Website

http://www.northampton.gov.uk/museumexhibitions

WOW - Women On Wheels

  • 22 March — 1 June 2014 *on now

On May 7 Northamptonshire will host the inaugural stage of The Women’s Tour. We will be helping to celebrate the event with Aphrodite’s Wheels. Presented with support from British Cycling, leading professional cyclists and local enthusiasts this exhibition this exciting exhibition will showcases the UK’s recent international successes in women’s cycling.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Website

http://www.northampton.gov.uk/museumexhibitions

Corset and Cami-Knickers

  • 29 March — 8 June 2014 *on now

Discover the history of underwear in 50 objects. This exhibition examines how underwear has affected the lives of people through the ages, and how fashion has dictated ideas of body image. Highlights include a beautiful sateen corset from the 1890s, pairs of stays from the 18th century and a pair of French knickers made from parachute silk for a post wartime bride.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Website

http://www.northampton.gov.uk/museumexhibitions

Kobi

  • 3 May — 20 July 2014

An exhibition showcasing the innovative and intriguing work of international shoe designer Kobi Levi. Kobi’s designs challenge the conventional definitions of design, art and fashion creating a niche of their own

Suitable for

  • Any age

Website

http://www.northampton.gov.uk/museumexhibitions

Batteries Not Included

  • 14 June — 28 September 2014

Batteries not included- the history of toys. An interactive exhibition for all the family looking at toys; past and present, their role and how we feel about them.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Website

http://www.northampton.gov.uk/museumexhibitions

A Shoe Maker Goes to War

  • 2 August — 9 November 2014

This exhibition will look at the stories of some of the shoemakers who fought and how their absence affected those they left behind. This exhibition is produced in partnership with the Northamptonshire Regimental Association and the Northamptonshire Yeomanry Association.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Website

http://www.northampton.gov.uk/info/200246/events-and-exhibitions/1977/ww1/2

Events details are listed below. You may need to scroll down or click on headers to see them all. For events that don't have a specific date see the 'Resources' tab above.
photograph of leather craft tools

Leather Stamping Workshop

  • 17 April 2014 2-4pm *on now

Make your own unique and genuine leather key fob or bookmark.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Corsets and Cabaret

  • 10 May 2014 8-10:30pm

In conjunction with the exhibition ‘Corsets and Cami-knickers’, we present Corsets and Cabaret a glorious evening of comedy, music and dance for your delectation. Featuring the musical stylings of Mr Martin White, Front Man of the Mystery Fax Machine Orchestra and star of Dave Gorman’s radio show, the prodigious talent of the ukulele lady herself Sara Spade and the exotic enchanting dance of Fulya and Friends.

Suitable for

  • 18+

Admission

Tickets £10.00 in advance, £12.00 on the door. Booking recommended. Ring museum 01604 837397.

Website

http://www.northampton.gov.uk/museumperformingarts

James Hornsby - Great Expectations

Great Expectations

  • 16 May 2014 7:30-9:30pm

Performed once again as a one-man show James will bring to life a host wonderful characters including : Magwitch, The Gargerys, Uncle Pumblechook, Estella, Herbert Pocket, Miss Havisham and of course Pip, all brought to life in the inimitable style of Dickens' own public readings.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly
  • Any age

Admission

To book your tickets telephone 01604 837397. £8.00 in advance £10.00 at the door
£5.00 in advance, £6.00 on the door under 16s. Booking advised due to limited seating.

Website

http://www.northampton.gov.uk/museumperformingarts

Photograph of WWI vehicle

World War One Family day

  • 30 August 2014 10am-5pm

First World War family commemoration activity day.

In partnership with The Royal and Derngate, we will be working across both venues to remember community in a time of war.

Join us for a day of indoor and outdoor craft activities, stalls, exhibitions, street theatre, music and workshops suitable for the whole family, and discover more about the history and heritage of Northampton Borough during WWI.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Website

http://www.northampton.gov.uk/info/200246/events-and-exhibitions/1977/ww1/2

Resources listed here may include websites, bookable tours and workshops, books, loan boxes and more. You may need to scroll down or click on headers to see them all.

A Day and the Seaside

Loans box: Using original photographs and original and replica objects children will investigate what it was like at the seaside in the past. They will compare modern and historical clothing, entertainment and bathing practices. They will learn about Punch and Judy and have a go at putting on their own show.

How to obtain

Phone 01604 838544 to book a loans box

Archaeological dig

Facilitated session: How do we find out about the past? Become an archaeologist and fill in the time line using artefacts from Northampton's past.

How to obtain

Phone 01604 838544 to book a session

Creative approaches to Museum and Gallery Educational Visits

http://www.learnwithmuseums.org.uk

A comprehensive arts resource pack for teachers of KS1, KS2 and KS3 written by the Learning Advisers for Art and Drama from Learning, Achievement and School Improvement in Northamptonshire. This resource has been designed with a strong focus on creativity and the promotion of critical learning and thinking skills to encourage independent learning. Teachers and Museum Officers may use it with a flexible approach and adapt ideas to suit the needs of their learners.

How to obtain

Download from www.learnwithmuseums.org.uk

Decades of Change

Loans box: Pupils will be able to explore the decades from the 1950s to the 1990s. They will investigate change and continuity using a range of household objects from Northamptonshire homes
with oral testimonies given by the owners of the objects they will investigate domestic life, entertainment, fashion, design, diet, health and technology

How to obtain

Phone 01604 838544 to book a loans box

English Civil War: Was England Turned Upside Down?

Loans box: A carved panelled oak chest, constructed in the style of the period, containing facsimiles of primary evidence (coins, letters and pamphlets). These provide clues for students to discover some of the significant causes of the Civil Wars and consider why people chose sides with particular reference to religion, money and political power. Copies of pamphlets show views from both sides of an "England turned upside down" and letters showing the impact of the wars on a typical family.

How to obtain

Phone 01604 838544 to book a loans box

Ethnography

Loans box: Three distinct boxes of ethnographic items from museum's collection have been created. Each box may be used individually, and they are complemented by an accompanying cross-curricular resource pack targeting key stages 2 and 3, with special emphasis on history. The objects come from a wide geographical spread: Asia, Oceana, Australia, Africa, North and South America and a few pieces from distinct ethnic groups in Europe. Used together the box and thematic pack, Representations of Empire, provide good cross-cultural themes and cross-curricular links through looking at Victorian collecting, missionaries, slavery, the lives of people in the Empire, trade, tourism and the stories that objects can tell.

How to obtain

Phone 01604 838544 to book a loans box

History of shoes

Facilitated session: Find out more about shoes by looking at footwear through the ages using the museum's extensive shoe handling collection. This visit can be combined with a look at both the 'Life and Sole' and 'Followers of Fashion' shoe galleries. This session can also include shoe making. Local schools may wish to have this session as part of a study of local history.

How to obtain

Phone 01604 838544 to book a session

I Stand Corrected

Loans box: Learning about disability through museum collections. This resource contains examples of the museum's orthopaedic footwear collection, which provide the starting point for discussions around disability. Pupils will be able to use the collection to analyse and learn about significant issues for people who wear the footwear and try to differentiate between what is fashion and what is function.

How to obtain

Phone 01604 838544 to book a loans box

In Our Shoes

Loans box: Students will investigate a range of footwear spanning time and cultures to look at the influence of fashion, occupation, status, wealth, climate and technology on shoe design and manufacture. They will then be able to build up a picture of the life of the characters that wore the shoes and present them in a catwalk show. This will equip the students to then set a design brief and create their own shoe design.

How to obtain

Phone 01604 838544 to book a loans box

In the Picture: Multi-sensory box

Loans box: Using the box, contents and supporting materials, teachers can encourage pupils to explore the box using all of their senses. The suggested activities offer an integrated cross-curricular approach and have been designed to be flexible in order to respond to the variety of special needs found in the classroom. The suggested sessions seek to provide space and time for pupil-initiated learning, with activities developing and evolving in response to the children's personal explorations and discoveries.

How to obtain

Phone 01604 838544 to book a loans box

Invaders and settlers: Anglo Saxons and Vikings

Facilitated session: Pupils can handle a variety of real and replica artefacts including coins, pottery, instruments and weapons to learn about the life of Anglo-Saxon and Viking age people. There will also be the opportunity to try on replica costume and write their name in runes.

How to obtain

Phone 01604 838544 to book a session

Invaders and settlers: Life in Roman Britain

Facilitated session: A variety of objects including coins, pottery, mosaics, oil lamps and replica Roman armour, bring Roman Britain alive

How to obtain

Phone 01604 838544 to book a session

Legacy of the Ancient Greeks

Facilitated session: Using our special handling collection and museum gallery ideas, discover the myths, legends, gods and goddesses of Ancient Greece.

How to obtain

Phone 01604 838544 to book a session

Made to last - shoe making

Facilitated session: The workshop allows pupils to explore the characteristic features of Victorian times and find out what impact changes in work had on the lives of real people. In role as shoemakers' children in 1857, the pupils will actively help a Northampton shoemaker discover whether the new machines would put them out of jobs.

How to obtain

Phone 01604 838544 to book a session

Medicine through time

Loans box: Pupils will have the chance to see, touch and investigate the objects that changed medical history - a powerful learning tool for tactile and kinaesthetic learners. The box contains a selection of original medical objects, timeline with magnetic dates and facts, laminated resource pack, set of laminated copies of original documents. This box may also be used as a stimulus for creative writing, drama, citizenship or lessons at other key stages.

How to obtain

Phone 01604 838544 to book a loans box

Sculpture

Facilitated session: using sculpture from the handling collection, students are encouraged to focus on materials, design and practical application. They will gain valuable insight into the work of the sculptor, choice of material, form and materials and design. Students also get the opportunity to make a sculpture

How to obtain

Phone 01604 838544 to book a session

Second World War: Evacuee Suitcase

Loans box: How did it feel to be evacuated? Using this suitcase with items that a child would have taken with them, or used at this time, pupils will gain a valuable insight into how difficult it was for children during the war years.

How to obtain

Phone 01604 838544 to book a loans box

Second World War: Home Front

Loans box: What was life like for those living in Britain during this difficult time? With original items from the 1940s, use this box and suggested activities to allow pupils to learn about real people and their experiences.

How to obtain

Phone 01604 838544 to book a loans box

Second World War: Soldier

Loans box: What was it like to be a soldier? This box contains all the kit and uniform that a soldier would have worn. Pupils can try on the uniform and learn about how difficult it was for soldiers at this time. They can also make comparisons with soldiers fighting in wars today.

How to obtain

Phone 01604 838544 to book a loans box

The boot and shoe trade

Facilitated session: Museum staff offer an introductory session on the history of the Boot and Shoe trade and the process of making shoes by hand. Students use the museum displays to find out more about the industrialisation of this local industry,

How to obtain

Phone 01604 838544 to book a session

The Collector

Loans box: Designed to inspire pupils in years 7-9 to extend their creative writing skills through the challenge of creating a collaborative chapter in an ongoing story. It uses Museum objects fro Northampton Museum's collection to encourage creative responses. With lesson plans that include suggested activities instructions and timings.

How to obtain

Phone 01604 838544 to book a loans box

The Victorian Child

Loans box: With replica and original items to include slates, slate pencils, good behaviour medal, flat caps, mop caps, school bell. Use for teaching students about the life of a child in Victorian Britain.

How to obtain

Phone 01604 838544 to book a loans box

The Victorian Home

Loans box: With replica and original items to include box iron, potty, food tin, scrubbing brush, soap and candle holder. Use for teaching sanitation, household chores and lighting in Victorian homes.

How to obtain

Phone 01604 838544 to book a loans box

Tile painting

Facilitated session: Study art nouveau and art deco styles then decorate a tile. Contact the museum for further information. Team this session with a visit to 78 Derngate.

How to obtain

Phone 01604 838544 to book a session

Toys

Loans box: A collection of replica and original toys from Victorian to modern day, including mass-produced and home made examples. The box contains whip and top and skipping rope, teddy bear, Russian dolls, swing toy.

How to obtain

Phone 01604 838544 to book a loans box

World War One: The Northamptonshire Regiment

Loans box: The suitcase is a conceptual reminiscence, to aid teachers in interpreting the First World War. It contains original artworks, artefacts and reproduction items. The suitcase is designed to promote discussion and provoke a narrative. Rather than give an overview of the war, the suitcase is devised to provide a more human aspect - exploring the effects of the Great War on a Northamptonshire soldier and his family.

How to obtain

Phone 01604 838544 to book a loans box

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