Welcome to the 24 Hour Museum news in brief page for the week ending August 27 2006. This page is updated daily.
25.08.06 - AOP Winners Announced in London
The winners of the Association of Photographers Open 2006 competition were announced at the AOP Gallery in Shoreditch on August 24.
Overall winner was Paul Wenham-Clarke for his portrait ‘Girl from Reading’ – an uncompromising image of a 17-year old woman and how she has chosen to represent herself to the world.
Paul Wenham-Clarke said: “Girl from Reading is part of a series exploring current issues and culture. I hope it makes people wonder what it must be like to be part of her generation, where computers and mobile phones have always existed and reality TV is mainstream entertainment.”
The public also had their chance to vote for their favourite from the 75 images in the exhibition, and the Public Choice winner this year by a big margin was Tim Youles for ‘No 6 from Plastic Bags series”.
Rachel Rogers, AOP Gallery manager, said “The AOP Open attracted nearly 1,500 entries this year from all over the world, including digital images for the first time. The competition reflects the pre-eminence of photography in today’s culture.’ The exhibition continues at the AOP Gallery, London, until October 5 2006 and online at www.aop-open.com.
25.08.06 - Shrewsbury Museum To Close For Redevelopment
Shrewsbury Museum and Art Gallery will close to the public at the end of December 2006. A lease on the historic buildings of Rowley's House and Rowley's Mansion of 1616 is for sale as part of a development package to include the adjoining Barker Street car park.
The existing building, the only major county museum in Shropshire, is particularly difficult for visitors who have mobility problems to use.
Shrewsbury and Atcham Borough Council has earmarked capital from this sale as matched funding for a bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund to develop a major new museum, gallery and visitor information centre at the Music Hall in Shrewsbury.
The Music Hall, another complex of historic buildings in the Council’s ownership, will become vacant on completion of the town’s new Theatre Severn, at the end of 2008.
It includes the part 14th century Vaughan’s Mansion and the concert hall of 1836 and offers opportunities for flexible spaces that are unavailable in the existing museum. It is hoped that the new facility will open in 2010.
Staff at the Museum Service hope to be able to continue to occupy the present buildings during development work. A full education, outreach and off-site exhibition programme is planned.
24.08.2006 - Victoria Baths Manchester Gears Up For Centenary Celebrations
Victoria Baths, one of Manchester's most treasured landmarks, celebrates its centenary year in September 2006.
Celebrations kick off with the launch of a new book, ‘100 Years, 100 Faces’ by photographers Liz Lock and Mishka Henner on September 3 2006. The book celebrates the human significance of the baths.
Other events include an evening of dressing up and ‘Dancing in the Dark’, on September 7 recreating the popular dance from the 50’s, when white clothing and instruments were illuminated.
On September 23 and 24 2006 water will fill the Baths for the first time since its closure in 1993 as part of the PANACEAHOTHOUSE art installations in partnership with Cornerhouse. For more information on all the events contact Victoria Baths.
24.08.2006 - Historic Scotland And The National Trust For Scotland Sign Concordat
Historic Scotland and the National Trust for Scotland have signed an agreement formalising their close working relationship.
The concordat was signed by Shonaig Macpherson, chairman of the National Trust for Scotland and John Graham, chief executive of Historic Scotland at a ceremony in the National Trust for Scotland headquarters in Charlotte Square on Thursday August 24 2006.
"As a charity we benefit hugely from working in partnership with Historic Scotland and I am delighted that we have been able to strengthen this relationship in the interests of Scotland’s heritage," said Shonaig Macpherson. "By combining the expertise and knowledge of both organisations, we can build on the many fantastic achievements already made by us working together."
24.08.06 - First Couple To Tie Knot On HMS Gannet At Portsmouth Historic Dockyard
Sarah Fox and Paul Belsey, both from Gillingham, are to be the first couple to tie the knot on board the magnificent Victorian naval sloop, HMS Gannet at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard.
The ceremony takes place on Sunday August 27 at 3.00pm on the newest and probably most unusual wedding venue in Medway, if not in Kent. HMS Gannet gained authorisation as approved premises for civil marriages and civil partnerships in April this year. The couple were looking for an unusual and ‘quirky’ venue for their ceremony and found just that in HMS Gannet!
24.08.06 - MA Appoints Sally Cross As Collections Coordinator
The Museums Association has appointed Sally Cross, formerly the registrar at the RAF Museum, to the post of collections coordinator, working with museums across the UK on the proposals in the MA's report Collections for the Future.
Cross will be looking particularly at encouraging long loans between museums and encouraging museums to take a more active approach to disposals. Her work will be supported by a grant of just over £1m from the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation.
Helen Wilkinson, the MA's policy officer, said: 'Collections for the Future is a major focus for the MA. This will be the biggest programme the MA has ever run. It is going to be a fantastic opportunity to work with museums across the country and Sally will be leading on that.'
23.08.2006 - Elizabeth Gaskell’s Manchester Home Receives Restoration Grant
English Heritage have provided a grant for emergency repairs to the Manchester home of Victorian writer Elizabeth Gaskell.
The £16,215 funding will allow owners the Manchester Historic Buildings Trust to fix the roof and gutters of the Grade II* Regency villa, and develop a longer term plan to save the historic building.
“This building is historically important,” said English Heritgae Regional Director Henry Owen John, “especially due to its association with Elizabeth Gaskell, a social commentator of international standing on the industrialisations of England.”
Gaskell lived at 84 Plymouth Grove between 1850 and 1865, when she wrote some of her most important works including Cranford, Wives and Daughters and The Life of Charlotte Brontë.
23.08.2006 – Kew Donates Smelly Exotic To At-Bristol
At-Bristol science centre has received a stinking gift from the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
The exotic plant, Amorphophallus, emits a strong odour to attract carrion beetle pollinators when its female flowers are in full bloom.
“The Amorphophallus hosted in the botanical house of Wildwalk-At-Bristol is currently waiting to flower,” said At-Bristol horticulturalist Lin Jenkins, “but once it does, visitors will certainly be in for a shock with the stench!”
The flower is more often known as ‘deformed penis’ in Greek, due its strangley shaped spadix.
23.08.2006 – Archaeologists Investigate Flooding At Hailes Abbey
Archaeologists from English Heritage are to investigate the cause of periodical flooding at Hailes Abbey in the Cotswolds, because of concern about the effects of damp on the 750-year-old Cistercian Abbey.
“The periodic flooding has meant that the site can be up to 30cms underwater and this cannot be good for the masonry we are trying to preserve,” said Niall Morrissey, English Heritage Sit Technical Manager.
“Sixteenth century records show us that the site flooded regularly 500 years ago but we are determined to find out the cause, and if possible improve the drainage, so the flooding does not happen again. The archaeological investigation we are carrying out will help us to decide what we can do without disturbing valuable archaeological remains.”
Work will continue until September 8 2006, with a focus on the boggy area south-east of the Abbey. The bog feeds a culvert under the site and the water drains away until it is very wet, when it backs up onto the site.
23.08.2006 – Millions Of Cranberries In Kew Palm House This Autumn
A New England Cranberry harvest will be recreated at The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew this October during the Harvest Festival from October 7-29 2006.
A display in the Palm House pond will feature over five million cranberries floating on the water for a demonstration of the technique of gathering them, with cranberry juice tasting sessions every weekend during the festival.
Pumpkins, gourds and squashes will be displayed in a spiralling tower in the Waterlily House, as well as a six metre tall figure of a running man, made out of pumpkins. An exhibition of 200 varieties of apples will explore such delights as the Sheep’s Snout, Brown Cockle and Slack-my-girdle.
23.08.2006 – Chocolate Cake Tops National Trust Poll
The National Trust, whose tearooms are anticipating a busy Bank Holiday, has announced the results of a poll on which cake the nation loves best. Chocolate cake came out top of the Ipsos Mori survey, with one in four preferring it to any other cake.
Carrot cake came a close second and old-fashioned fruit cake third, while banana cake limped into the ratings with only three per cent ranking it as their favourite cake.
“I’m not surprised chocolate came top,” commented Sarah Erdington, author of the National Trust Traditional Recipe Book. “Chocolate is supposed to be addictive; people associate chocolate cakes with childhood memories and a slice of chocolate cake turns an event into a celebration.”
“Carrot cake and fruit cake, the second and third choices, are more surprising. Perhaps people feel that the carrot and dried fruits make the cakes a more healthy option than the iced and filled temptation of coffee and walnut cake and Victoria sponge.”
22.08.2006 - Stonehenge Excavations Open For Bank Holiday Visitors
Visitors to Stonehenge over the August 2006 Bank Holiday weekend will be able to view excavations at the neolithic site.
Teams of archaeologists are carrying out the excavations at Woodhenge, Durrington Walls and Stonehenge Cursus to find out more about these sites and their links with Stonehenge. Visitors will also be able to chat to the archaeologists and see re-enactments of life 4,000 years ago.
"This is a really special opportunity to see how the people who built these unique landmarks lived and worked, and experience another side to the Stonehenge World Heritage Site," said Keith Graham, English Heritage Outreach Officer for the South West.
22.08.2006 - Venus Fountain In Sloane Square Gets Grade II Listing
Culture Minister David Lammy has announced the Grade II listing of the Venus Fountain in Sloane Square.
Installed in 1953, the fountain was made to the designs of highly regarded twentieth century sculptor Gilbert Ledward.
22.08.2006 - Ekow Eshun Delivers Slavery Memorial Lecture In Liverpool
Ekow Eshun, artistic director of the Institute of Contemporary Arts, was a key speaker at this year's Slavery Remembrance Day celebrations in Liverpool.
His memorial lecture at Liverpool Town Hall on August 22 2006 focused on the legacy of slavery through contemporary art and sculpture.
Slavery Remembrance Day is celebrated every year on August 23, the day on which, in 1791, an uprising of enslaved Africans on the island of Santa Domingo took place (modern Haiti and the Dominican Republic), a crucial event in the fight against slavery.
22.08.2006 - New Chief Executive Announced For MLA West Midlands
Jon Finch has been appointed as the new Chief Executive for Museums, Libraries and Archives (MLA) West Midlands.
Jon was previously Head of Policy at MLA North West and started in his new post on August 21 2006. MLA West Midlands is the regional council for museums, libraries and archives and promotes their role in the community and their impact on cultural, social, educational and economic life.
21.08.2006 - World War Two Animal Bravery Medal To Be Presented To Imperial War Museum
The wartime medal of Judy - the only dog to be officially recognised as a prisoner of war - is to be presented to the Imperial War Museum to go on public display for the first time.
Judy was the mascot of HMS Grasshopper when the boat was hit by torpedos in 1942. She was marooned with the surviving crew members in Sumatra and helped to find water for the sailors. They later stumbled into a Japanese-controlled village and were transported to a POW camp.
During internment Judy was officially recognised as a prisoner and helped distract the prison guards on numerous occasions to protect her then master, Leading Aircraftman Frank Williams and his colleagues.
For her bravery Judy was awarded the PDSA Dickin Medal, 'the animals' Victoria Cross' and Frank's son Alan Williams will donate the medal. It will form part of the Imperial War Museum's The Animals' War exhibition.