News In Brief - Week Ending May 27 2007

By 24 Hour Museum Staff | 21 May 2007
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  • Archived article

Welcome to the 24 Hour Museum news in brief page for the week ending May 27 2007.

The tower of London
© Culture24

25.05.2007 - Black Country Living Museum plans £10m expansion

The Black Country Living Museum in Dudley is to launch a £10m expansion programme.

The West Midlands museum will soon unveil plans for a major fund-raising programme to develop the 26-acre site.

An expansion of the reconstructed canalside village is planned along with a new interpretation of the museum's unique collection of Black Country trolley buses, trams, cars and motorcycles plus new conservation and research facilities and an exhibition telling the story of the area.

"This will be the museum's largest and most impressive development since it was first established," said Ian Walden, Museum Director and Chief Executive.

"The board and trustees believe major expansion is need enabling a 21st century audience to appreciate how the Black Country developed and contributed to the world economy in the 18th, 19th and 20th century."

Photo: Caroline Taylor, Campaign Manager for the fundraising appeal at the museum

a photograph of a model boat

25.05.2007 - 50 year old docks model unveiled at museum

An impressive model of Falmouth Docks, made over 50 years ago, has gone on display at the National Maritime Museum in Cornwall.

In the mid 1950s, the model was commissioned by dock owner, Mr Silley, in order to visualise any alterations to the docks. Made by George Bolitho, it is an aerial view of the wharves and dry docks at that time.

For many years it was used by A&P Falmouth as their touring exhibition model and it has been shown all over the world. The company donated the model to the Museum, where it has been carefully restored, earlier in the year.

The important record of Falmouth's history is now on show in the Museum's Falmouth displays.

25.05.2007 - National Trust to use TV adverts to promote its Wales properties

For the first time ever, the National Trust is using modern media to promote ancient historic properties, by using the power of television to show how it looks after the most fascinating heritage in Wales and how you too can go and see it this summer.

The campaign, which stresses that National Trust properites are 'Yours' focuses on how we can all enjoy our heritage and highlights fairytale castles, beautifully manicured gardens, precious masterpieces and breathtaking landscapes. In short, 'something for everyone'.

Gwyn Angell Jones, Head of Supporter Service for the National Trust in Wales said, "We have such a wonderful collection of castles, historic houses, gardens and open countryside in Wales we want to encourage as many people as possible to go and enjoy it this summer."

"It’s a fantastic time of year to go and visit –the gardens are looking fantastic, there are fresh, seasonal produce at our tea rooms, there’s simply nothing better than to spend time enjoying ‘your National Trust."

The TV adverts will be shown from June 1 in Wales. For more information on National Trust Wales promotions see

a photograph of a group of men on a fire tender pulled by horses

25.05.2007 - Weald and Downland Museum gears up for heavy horse day

The grace and strength of the giants of the horse world will be on display in a magnificent gathering on the weekend of Saturday and Sunday June 2 and 3 at the Weald & Downland Open Air Museum, at Singleton, near Chichester, West Sussex.

Due to the increasing popularity of the event, the Heavy Horse Spectacular has been extended to two days for the first time this year, and promises a whole weekend of displays, demonstrations and parades.

To enable visitors to make the most of the celebration, the Museum is operating a "buy one get one free" offer, with visitors on Saturday returning on the Sunday for free.

Visitors simply need to retain their tickets and have them validated at the Museum shop, and present them again on the Sunday to return free of charge.

25.02.2007 - Lord Bruce Lockhart to be new English Heritage Chairman

Lord Bruce-Lockhart has been appointed Chair of , the Government’s statutory advisor on the historic environment, Culture Secretary Tessa Jowell announced on Thursday May 24.

“Sandy Bruce-Lockhart has a distinguished record in public life – particularly in local government - and is ideally placed to lead English Heritage," said Ms Jowell.

"The Taking Part survey shows just how popular heritage is, and it will be a busy time for the new Chair, including taking a key role in the implementation of the White Paper, Heritage Protection in the 21st Century."

The Secretary of State also paid tribute to Sir Neil Cossons for the work he has led during his term as English Heritage Chair – setting the policy framework through ‘Power of Place’ and bringing about the transformation of English Heritage through the modernisation programme.

"This is a terrific time to be taking on such an important role," said Lord Bruce-Lockhart. "The nation's built heritage is as loved by the public as it has ever been in the past. The months and years ahead contain many opportunities - and challenges - for English Heritage, and I am honoured to have the chance to lead them through this period."

Lord Bruce-Lockhart will take up the position of English Heritage chair on August 1 2007.

a photograph of people sleeping on gallery floor

24.05.07 - Artist wants public to give him their dreams in overnight gallery stay

Artist Luke Jerram is inviting members of the public to let him take control of their dreams during an overnight stay at the Arnolfini in Bristol as part of his ongoing project The Dream Director.

At a public event on July 21 participants will sleep in a specially designed 'pod', wearing an eye-mask that detects rapid eye movement indicating dreaming sleep. This automatically triggers sounds, via a computer, which are played into small speakers mounted into the pod, affecting the nature and content of dreaming.

Participants will be asked to record their dreams before and after the event and provide feedback over breakfast, giving them the opportunity to influence the future development of the project.

24.05.2007 - Rembrandt’s finest returns to Penrhyn Castle

The jewel in the crown of Penrhyn Castle’s art collection, Rembrandt’s superb 1651 portrait of Caterina Hooghsaet, has just returned to the castle following a period on loan to the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam.

The painting was featured in a special exhibition at the Rijksmuseum to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the artist’s birth. It has now appeared in the Netherlands three times, including Rembrandt's 300th and his 350th anniversary.

"It’s wonderful that it’s now back on display for the Welsh public to enjoy," said Liz Green, the National Trust curator responsible for Penrhyn Castle. "The Penrhyn Collection is effectively the ‘National Gallery of North Wales’. We are working hard to preserve the collections so that everyone can come to admire some of the best examples of fine art in the country."

graphic showing a glass ziggurat-like building next to an open space with people walking through it

23.05.2007 - Tate scoops £5m donation towards Tate Modern development

Tate have announced that the banker and philanthropist John Studzinski has made a commitment of £5m towards the new development of Tate Modern. This is the first major private donation towards the project and the largest individual gift ever made to the Gallery.

The money will go to creating a new building on the south side of the existing gallery to provide more space for modern and contemporary art, and enable Tate to enrich its programme by exploring new areas of contemporary visual culture. Facilities for young people will be central to the new development and learning and visitor engagement will be at its heart.

“I am delighted with the Transforming Tate Modern concept and this donation will allow me to fundraise for Tate with even more conviction than in the past," said Mr Studzinski. "Tate Modern has been an extraordinary success under Nicholas Serota’s vision and leadership and has a great track record. I believe in backing winners.”

Work is due to begin on the £215m project in 2008 and will be undertaken by the architects Herzog and de Meuron, who were responsible for transforming the former Bankside Powerstation into Tate Modern in 2000. Picture © Herzog & de Meuron / Hayes Davidson

23.05.2007 - Key parts of vintage Walthamstow Dog Track are listed

The famous Entrance Range including the Tote Board and the Kennels at Walthamstow Greyhound Stadium have been listed at Grade II by Culture Minister David Lammy.

The stadium, built in 1931, has had a number of improvements and additions since it first opened but the notable frontage remains, as do the kennels which were built as part of the first phase of construction.

Greyhound racing was the creation of an Oklahoma entrepreneur, OP Smith, who invented the mechanical hare, and the idea came to England in 1925. By 1939, there were 100 tracks in Britain, and London had at least ten. It was a hugely popular activity and in 1946 attendance numbers rivalled those of football matches.

a detail of a triptych painting of elderly woman

22.05.2007 - New Art Gallery Walsall acquires award-winning portrait of Freud's first wife

An extraordinary portrayal of the artist Lucien Freud’s first wife, Kitty, has been bought for The New Art Gallery Walsall, by The Art Fund, the UK’s leading independent art charity.

Portrait of Kitty, 2006 (detail pictured above), a triptych in acrylic by Walsall artist Andrew Tift, won the National Portrait Gallery’s BP Portrait Award in 2006. The Art Fund paid £15,000 for the portrait, which goes on display to the public later this week.

Kitty, now 80, was married to Freud from 1948 to 1953 and is the mother of two of his daughters, Annie and Annabel. Freud painted Kitty many times - most memorably in Girl with white dog (1950-51) now in Tate’s collection.

The daughter of sculptor Jacob Epstein and Kathleen Garman, Kitty is originally from a small village just outside Walsall. Her family donated an impressive art collection - The Garman Ryan Collection - to the gallery some years ago, which included works by Freud, Epstein, Rodin and Degas.

22.05.2007 - Unseen Ravilious watercolour goes on show in Eastbourne

A previously unseen watercolour by the artist Eric Ravilious has gone on show together with some of his other works at the offices of Age Concern in Eastbourne. The painting was revealed by one of the charity's shop volunteers who was given it by Ravilous' sister.

The untitled watercolour is thought to be more than eighty years and now forms the basis of a small exhibition featuring a group of other family owned Ravilious artefacts.

Ravilious lived in Eastbourne until his death in an aeroplane accident off Iceland in 1942 whilst working as an official war artist. The exhibition runs at the offices of Age Concern in the William and Patricia Venton Centre in Eastbourne until Friday May 25.

22.05.2007 - Culture minister defers export of a rare painting by Alonso Sanchez Coello

Culture Minister, David Lammy, has placed a temporary export bar on a painting by Alonso Sanchez Coello: Portrait of Don Diego, son of King Philip II of Spain. The bar will provide a last chance to raise the money to keep this extraordinary sixteenth-century painting in the United Kingdom.

The painting shows Don Diego, son of Philip ll of Spain, aged two. He is dressed formally and depicted with an expression of grave seriousness.

A decision on the export licence application for the painting will be deferred for a period ending on July 20 2007 inclusive. This period may be extended until 20 November 2007 inclusive if a serious intention to raise funds with a view to making an offer to purchase the painting at the recommended price of £2,000,000 excluding VAT is expressed.

Anyone interested in making an offer to purchase the painting should contact the owner’s agent through:

The Secretary
The Reviewing Committee on the Export of Works of Art and Objects of Cultural Interest
Museums, Libraries and Archives Council,
Victoria House,
Southampton Row
London WC1B 4EA

a photograph of two Knights jousting

21.07.2007 - Prelude to War of Roses re-enacted at Whitby Abbey

This May Day Bank Holiday weekend, between May 26 and 28, visitors to Whitby Abbey are being invited to return to the very origins of the Wars of the Roses, by joining a massive re-enactment recreating the great feud between the Percy and the Neville families.

The War of the Roses event tells the story of the feud between the rival families which led to the first ever battle preceding what historians regard as the war itself.

The family of Lancastrian Lord Cromwell were attacked by a band of around 1000 retainers and 'thugs' organised by the Yorkist Percy family as they returned to their Sheriff Hutton home from a wedding at Heworth Moor in 1453.

Although the Nevilles fought off the attack, the incident soon escalated into further attacks, skirmishes and counter attacks between the two families – and eventually, lead to war between two heirs to the English throne which lasted from 1455 to 1487.

On the day there will be medieval music, a living history encampment, jousting, drills, battles and more.

Admission to the event is £5.00 for adults £4.00 for concession and £3.00 for children, with a family ticket available for just £13.00. English Heritage members get in free. For more details, please contact Whitby Abbey on 01947 603568 or visit

21.07.2007 - Exmouth sand sculpture festival gets jurassic twist

The annual sand sculpting competition, a major feature of the Exmouth Festival for the past seven years, is taking place on Exmouth beach on Sunday 27 May. This year the the Jurassic Coast World Heritage Team have donated a special £250 prize for the best Jurassic Coast-inspired sculpture.

Sand sculpting won’t be the only activity taking place on 27 May. Exmouth Museum will be running free workshops for children who will have a chance to catch up with the past and create a Jurassic Coast Dinosaur stick puppet.

The workshops take place in the gardens opposite the Pavilion from 10.30 – 12.30. A free adult museum entry ticket will be given to each child who takes part.

Registration for the competition starts at 9 am, and judging takes place at 2.30.

a photograph of a round pewter coloured dish

21.07.2007 - Chelmsford Museum acquires Roman pewter plates

Chelmsford Museum has acquired a hoard of two Roman pewter plates, each about 30cm (a foot) in diameter, which have gone on display at the museum in Oaklands Park.

The plates were found several years ago during the construction of the Post Office Sorting Office at Boreham. The owners, having emigrated abroad, have allowed the museum to purchase the plates with grants raised from the Victoria & Albert Museum Purchase Fund, Chelmsford Borough Council and the Friends of Chelmsford Museums.

Conservation work was carried out on the plates at Colchester Museum to remove lead corrosion. A few vessels have been found in Essex before, although not in Chelmsford and never as a pair.

The finds were uncovered near the Roman Road to Colchester, which ran past Springfield, the site of recent significant archaeological discoveries dating from the Roman period.

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