Maidstone Museum is an award-winning museum, housed in a beautiful Elizabethan manor house, and is one of the best in the South-East. Highlights include a 2,700 year old mummy; Maidstone's local history; a fascinating journey through time to when dinosaurs walked the earth; one of the finest collections of Japanese art in the country; magnificent 'Old Master' oil paintings; and the splendour of the Queen's Own Royal West Kent Regimental Museum.
Sun 12.00-16.00 (1 Apr- 31 Oct only)
Fine and Applied Art: Dutch and Italian Old Masters, British School, Victorian and Contemporary Paintings, Prints and Sculptures; Textiles, Costume and Accessories; Outstanding Japanese Collections; Furniture and Ceramics.
Natural History: Discover the biodiversity and ecology of Kent and its geological evolution over 300 million years.
Human History: Archaeology, Eqyptian, Medieaval, Victorian Explorers, Maidstone Connections: 'The History of our County Town'.
The Queen's Own Royal West Kent Regimental Museum: Uniforms, Medals, Weapons, Wars and Battles including WW1 and WW2.
Archaeology, Architecture, Coins and Medals, Costume and Textiles, Decorative and Applied Art, Fine Art, Natural Sciences, Social History, Toys and Hobbies, Weapons and War, World Cultures
The Inking Woman
- 5 May — 24 June 2018 *on now
This exhibition – the largest of its kind to date – demonstrates that women have always had a wicked sense of humour and a perceptive view of the world.
The work of 100 British Cartoon and Comic Artists comes together to reveal a wealth of women’s wit and insight, spanning 250 years.
Prints from the 18th century, caricatures, jokes, editorial and strip cartoons, postcards, comics, graphic novels and digital comics are all included.
- Family friendly
Adults £4, Children (12 - 18 yrs) £2, Children under 11 Free, Family £10
- 30 May — 24 June 2018 *on now
'Viva Leone’ is a photography exhibition featuring sets and locations used in Sergio Leone’s classic spaghetti westerns. Once graced by cinematic legends – Leone, Eastwood, Van Cleef, Kinski, Ford and Bronson – many of these sights are remote, difficult to find and have fallen into disrepair; some may no longer exist, since very little effort went into preserving these historic sites. Their fading majesty is captured in traditional 35mm colour and black and white photographs. The photos have not been digitally altered in any way; they appear as they should.
Located around the Tabernas Desert (Almeria, Andalusia, Spain), the exhibition includes shots of the interior of a dilapidated church that inspired Federico Garcia Lorca’s ‘Blood Wedding’ and 35mm shots of Almeria. Each photo is accompanied with information and stills from the films, so fans can compare the ‘then and now’ and get a clear idea where many classic scenes were filmed. With westerns making a significant comeback, via TV and film, the exhibition is indeed timely.
Sales of photos will be donated to the photographer’s ‘Ben Nevis Challenge 2018’, in which he is taking on the highest mountain in the UK to raise funds for the National Autistic Society. Donations – of any amount – will also be greatly appreciated. For more information please see https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/cameron-straughan
We hope you will join us to celebrate a classic era in cinema while contributing to a worthwhile cause.
- Any age
Paul Kidby: Discworld & Beyond
- 7 July — 2 September 2018
Paul Kidby is best known as the illustrator of Terry Pratchett’s Discworld books. This exhibition showcases the wonderful book covers and illustrations for Pratchett’s novels, including favourite characters like Rincewind, the Wee Free Men and of course, Death!
It also reveals Paul’s own projects influenced by British folklore and landscapes.
Enjoy lots of Discworld-inspired activities in the gallery too!
- Any age
Children (7-18yrs) - £2
Exploring Textiles in Design
- 28 June 2018 10:30am-12:30pm
- 5 July 2018 10:30am-12:30pm
- 12 July 2018 10:30am-12:30pm
- 19 July 2018 10:30am-12:30pm
- 26 July 2018 10:30am-12:30pm
Following her previous sell-out courses, artist Anne Delacour will lead another 8 week course exploring the use of textiles to create beautiful and crazy pieces to wear or to display.
Distress fabric, embellish it with faux diamonds, upcycle, bubble, stick, shrink!
Some materials provided but start rummaging in your recycling bins or charity shops for fabrics, ribbons, yarns, lace, broken jewellery, buttons, netting, etc.
Workshops are held in the museum’s light-filled Glassroom each week.
Participants will have the opportunity to display their work in the museum at the end of the course!
- Any age
£80 course fee
Sustainable Crafts (Summer)
- 8 — 29 June 2018 *on now
This is an exciting opportunity to give your trash a new lease of life. Join the eco-movement and create brand new products using common household waste items to help reduce waste in Maidstone! Transform old materials (newspapers, magazines, plastic bottles) into beautiful and unique items such as coasters, eco baskets and other cool products.
Maria Paez, MSc in Sustainability and craft-maker, has designed these workshops to guide participants through the creative process of recycling whilst exploring the collective understanding of sustainability issues. Participants will not only support environmental sustainability by reducing waste but also help to increase awareness of environmental issues.
All materials will be provided, but if you have a favourite shaped glass jar (1.5 litre capacity), please bring it along for Week One.
Week One – create a terrarium
Week Two – coil some coasters
Week Three – zip up a pencil case or tool case
Week Four – weave a basket
Sessions on 8, 15, 22 & 29 June
£40 course fee
Museum Lates: Cherry Ripe & Kentish Wares
- 28 June 2018 6-9pm
Kentish Wares: Come and explore a range of stalls selling crafts and delicious local produce to taste and buy. The market is free to enter.
Cherry Ripe (requires entry ticket): Hear from our curators about Maidstone’s role as the centre of Cherry Brandy production and from Brogdale, home of the national Heritage Fruit Collection, about cherry growing past and present.
Everyone will receive a free G&T, courtesy of Wagamama, using their newly created Jinzu Gin, made with sakura (cherry blossom), sake and yuzu
Over 18’s only
FREE entry to the Kentish Wares Market
Cherry Ripe - £10 per person
- 30 June 2018 10am-3pm
Bring along your fossils to be identified by the Medway Fossil & Mineral Society. Handle amazing fossils, play fossil games and have your face painted ammonite-style!
FREE entry – small charge for some activities
- Any age
Family Arts Award Day - Dinosaurs & Fossils
- 30 June 2018 10am-4pm
We’re excited to offer children aged 5+ the opportunity to gain a ‘Discover’ Arts Award.
Investigate different art forms, find out about dinosaurs and fossils, create a piece of art and share it, all in one day!
Limited availability – just 15 spaces for children accompanied by an adult. All resources provided.
A certificate is awarded by Trinity College, London, on completion. Delivery takes 6-8 weeks and can be collected from us or posted out. A Museum certificate is awarded on the day.
Please bring a packed lunch or treat yourself to a meal in our cafe.
£20 per child (accompanying adult free)
St. Faiths Street