The Pitt Rivers Museum, the world-renowned home of Oxford University’s magnificent archaeological and anthropological collections, has been given more than £1 million for a five-year campaign to conserve precious artefacts and entice public participation in a range of activities.
© Pitt Rivers Museum, University of Oxford
The Verve project – standing for the honourable spheres of Visitors, Engagement, Renewal, Visibility and Enrichment – is a £1.6 million campaign to help audiences understand some of the astounding artefacts, with a particular emphasis on appreciating design and craft skills.
Emboldened displays, improved case lighting and commentary from contemporary makers are among the finer additions planned by curators, who have received £1,049,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund. A further £300,000 is now being pursued in partnership funding.
“The museum’s displays have enormous potential as a source of inspiration for our students,” said Chris Hyde, from the National School of Furniture at Rycotewood Furniture Centre in Oxford, which will become one of the scheme’s new local partners.
“We are thrilled that the Heritage Lottery Fund is supporting this project. It recognises the educational importance of craft skills and technologies and will enable us to build a lasting relationship with the Museum.”
Around 1,800 objects are expected to be redisplayed, with workshops, special events, education programmes and community and volunteer outreach work also planned. Organisers expect the museum to remain open throughout the project.