Royal Albert Memorial Museum and Art Gallery
Fully refurbished after a multimillion pound redevelopment, the new displays showcase the collections and collectors that have helped RAMM to become one of Britain’s finest regional museums.
They tell the story of Exeter and Devon from the prehistoric to the present but, more than a local museum, its internationally important world cultures and natural history collections also tell a story of global exploration and collecting in the 18th and 19th centuries.
Original architectural features have been revealed allowing visitors to experience the splendour of the original Victorian spaces. The extension includes a suite of modern, flexible exhibition galleries allowing RAMM to bring to the South West prestigious loans and exhibitions from national partners. Modern services improve the care of visitors and the collections alike.
A new garden entrance links the Victorian museum to its historic surroundings and the neighbouring gardens. The area is one of only five sites classified by English Heritage as an Area of Archaeological Importance.
You can also visit St Nicholas Priory - A Tudor Home, at the Mint, off Fore St Exeter. In part of what was once a medieval priory this splendid building was later lived in by the wealthy Hurst family. It is now presented as their Elizabethan town house with replica furniture, sumptuous fabrics and rich colours. Come and feel at home in this historic family home. Open on Saturdays and on weekdays during school holidays 10.00 - 17.00. Admission £4.20 for adults (Concessions £2.10), children £1.60 (0-5yrs free). All children aged under 8 must be accompanied by an adult. www.exeter.gov.uk/priory
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This museum has a Designated Collection of national importance.
10am to 5pm every day except Mondays and bank holidays.
RAMM entry is free.
St Nicholas Priory - Saturdays, and Mon-Sat during school holidays from Easter to October. Closed on bank holidays. £4.20 adults (£2.10 concessions), children £1.60 (0-5yrs free)
Please see www.exeter.gov.uk/priory for charges for school visits and guided tours to the Priory.
The world cultures collections at this museum are Designated Collections of national importance.
The Royal Albert Memorial Museum collections contain important items from cultures in every continent outside Europe.
Items from this collection
World Cultures, Natural Sciences, Fine Art, Decorative and Applied Art, Costume and Textiles, Coins and Medals, Archaeology
Key artists and exhibits
- Designated Collection
Outlier Detection by Rod Dickinson
- 3 June 2016 — 1 January 2017 *on now
In Rod Dickinson’s Outlier Detection a 3D digital version of a decorative hand-painted 1830s police truncheon from RAMM's collection is animated by a stream of live data from www.legislation.co.uk. The artwork monitors and measures the frequency with which UK legislation is passed on an hour-by-hour basis, in real time. It looks for Government Bills that are called Statutory Instruments, a form of legislation which allows the provisions of an Act of Parliament to be enforced or altered without further Parliamentary scrutiny. When new laws are being passed at an increasing rate, the model truncheon starts to lose detail and break apart. If the rate of legislation continues to escalate, it finally loses all visual coherence before completely disintegrating.
Outlier Detection contains public sector information licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0.
Rod Dickinson is a visual artist and Programme leader for BA (Hons) Creative Media Design, at the University of West England in Bristol. His performative and media-based artworks explore the way in which our behaviour interacts with media feedback systems and social contexts. Rod has created installations and live events independently and as part of a team, for a variety of organisations including the Hayward Gallery, the Institute of Contemporary Arts, Longside and the Victoria & Albert Museum. Rod’s work is held in public collections including the Arts Council Collection at Southbank Centre. He has exhibited widely, including Frankfurt, Ljubljana, Vancouver and Washington DC.
Artist Reflections: Rod Dickinson is the last of four artists who were invited to create a response to RAMM’s collections. The artists were chosen by RAMM’s Contemporary Arts Panel in consultation with Arts Council England and the Arts Council Collection at Southbank Centre. Artist Reflections was funded by Arts Council England’s Major Partner Museum programme.
- Any age
Exeter’s Fine Art Collection: Summer and Autumn
- 21 June — 20 October 2016 *on now
This exhibition features a selection of drawings, watercolours and oil paintings from RAMM’s collection on the themes of summer and autumn, as well as Devon Landscapes, Exeter and People. Devon Landscapes will include 18th-century watercolours by John White Abbott and more recent works by Robert Organ and Alan Richards. There will also be topographical drawings and watercolours of Exeter by Sidney Endacott Buy fine art prints: and Francis Towne.
RAMM’s art collection is rich and varied. It consists of over 7,000 paintings, prints, drawings, watercolours, miniatures and sculptures dating from the 1400s to the present day. The collection includes donations from individuals, bequests and purchases. This display changes regularly to show a range of RAMM’s artworks.
- Any age
Cafe exhibition: Efflorescence by Jude Freeman
- 5 July — 2 October 2016 *on now
Local artist Jude Freeman explores her response to a garden through the seasons. This exhibition of etchings and drawings celebrates the constantly shifting cycles of growth and decay, focussing on wild and cultivated flowers. Jude Freeman studied History of Art at Sussex and the Ecole du Louvre and following a career in art schools (Brighton, Hereford and Camberwell) she began etching in 2011 after moving to Dartmoor. The artist printmaker has been inspired by RAMM’s Botany collection for this show.
The work in this show exhibition is for sale.
- Any age
Seaton Down Hoard: A first Glimpse
- 26 July 2016 — 18 June 2017 *on now
Thanks to a number of donations and grants, the Seaton Down Hoard has been purchased for the benefit of the people of Devon and Exeter and for future generations.
The purchase and conservation of the hoard of coins has been made possible by the Heritage Lottery Fund, Clinton Estates, a private donation by Patrick Long, and many contributions by members of the public.
The Seaton Down Hoard is the largest Roman coin hoard ever found in Devon. The coins were discovered in November 2013, and have recently been purchased by RAMM. Around AD348, the coins were buried, probably by a private individual or soldier for safe-keeping. They provide a fascinating glimpse into the world of 4th-century Roman Britain.
Work has begun to stabilise the collection of almost 23,000 coins, which will help us unveil the rich story of Roman East Devon and its place in the Economic history of late Roman Britain.
Each coin will need to be checked and a selection of coins conserved to reveal precise details of their date, type and place of mint.
See a display of the coins
A few of the coins will be on display for visitors to enjoy while conservation work continues on the main collection. You can catch an early glimpse of a small part of the hoard from Tuesday 26 July. A new display will be created for the entire hoard in 2017.
- Any age
The Great Big Rhino Trail
- 30 July — 9 October 2016 *on now
A life-sized painted rhino sculpture is visiting RAMM along with another, smaller rhino. Part of Paignton Zoo’s Great Big Rhino Trail of sculptures painted by local artists to inhabit the English Riviera and Exeter, the rhinos will be auctioned for charity in October and the funds raised will be used by Paignton Zoo to support rhino conservation. The project showcases local artistic talent, while highlighting the significant threats facing wild rhinos.
Wednesday 24 August, 2 to 3pm, (£6) - Talk: Will the Rhino survive the 21st Century?
- Any age
Kurt Jackson: Revisiting Turner’s Tourism
- 10 September — 4 December 2016 *on now
Contemporary British artist Kurt Jackson visited 12 locations in Devon and Cornwall depicted in the work of J.M.W. Turner – one of Britain’s greatest landscape painters.
Kurt Jackson has worked within the landscape for over 30 years. Largely influenced by current concerns and seen with an environmental slant, he has become fascinated by the dynamic element of change through both our own pressure and the Earth’s natural processes. From Land’s End to Exeter he investigated and recorded the profound changes that have occurred between the 19th century and the present.
The exhibition showcases a diverse body of work in a variety of media with accompanying film, sketchbooks and other relevant material. Jackson’s new works will be shown together with the Turner engravings that inspired them.
Kurt Jackson is based in Cornwall and his practice has taken him throughout the country and Europe. He was given access to the University of Exeter’s collection of Turner engravings, produced to promote tourism through ‘the picturesque’.
Organised in collaboration with the University of Exeter.
- Any age
Michael Shaw: Sculpting the Museum
- 17 September — 13 November 2016 *on now
Artist Michael Shaw’s sculpture is original, dynamic and fun. He has created a massive, inflatable sculpture to inhabit RAMM’s gallery. Shaped by the gallery walls, high ceiling and annexe, and animated by cyclical inflation and deflation, it becomes a living, breathing object. Michael Shaw’s responses to artefacts from the museum collections are made in metals, plastics and natural materials, using laser cutting and rapid prototyping. They sit alongside the originals which are displayed as a 21st-century Cabinet of Curiosities.
Michael Shaw is best known as a sculptor who works with inflatable structures to express his interest in space, light, translucency and transparency. He has responded to other historic buildings including Burghley House in Lincolnshire; Bethesda Chapel in Stoke-on-Trent; the Victoria & Albert Museum, London; and the Varna Palace in Aarhus, Denmark.
He has also exhibited in Berlin, Florence, Hamburg, Paris, Rome and Tokyo and was shortlisted for the Jerwood Sculpture Prize and the Lynn Chadwick award at the Royal West of England Academy.
- Any age
Creative Collaborations Conference
- 3 November 2016 10:30am-4pm
Contemporary Artists & Cultural Heritage - Artists working in different media share their experiences of exploring and responding to historic collections and creating new perspectives on cultural heritage.
Organised and hosted by RAMM, the conference is an opportunity to hear about the visual arts ecology in Exeter from partner organisations and the Arts Council Collection during its 70th anniversary year. Presentations from artists and curators and plenary sessions are combined with a chance to view current exhibitions in Exeter Phoenix and RAMM.
Participants include artists who have worked with RAMM’s collections: Mark Anstee, Professor Sonia Boyce MBE, Rod Dickinson and Serena Korda; and curators Matt Burrows (Curator, Exeter Phoenix), Jill Constantine (Head of the Arts Council Collection at Southbank Centre) and Kathy Norris (Project Manager, Spacex).
Special dietary requirements
The £6 admission charge includes refreshments and lunch. If you have any specific dietary requirements please advise us by email: HYPERLINK "mailto:email@example.com" firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Any age
Queen Victoria in Paris: Watercolours from the Royal Collection
- 20 December 2016 — 23 April 2017
An exhibition showcasing forty-four watercolours of Queen Victoria’s remarkable visit to Paris in 1855, all commissioned by or for Queen Victoria.
The historic ten day visit was on the invitation of the Emperor Napoleon III and his wife Eugénie. The first time a reigning British monarch had visited the French capital in over 400 years, the visit ostensibly celebrated the military alliance between France and Britain against Russia in the Crimean War. It also cemented a great personal friendship that had developed between the two rulers, just forty years after the Battle of Waterloo.
Never before displayed in their entirety, the watercolours capture the magnificence of the occasion, showing dramatic illuminations, spectacular balls and exquisite Second Empire interiors.
- Any age
Commemorating the First World War: Museum Activity 1914 to 1918
- 23 May — 1 November 2016 *on now
This small display recalls the activities at the museum during the First World War. New acquisitions, public talks and field trips, requisition of a museum building for a military hospital and the opening of St Nicholas Priory as an historic attraction are revealed using RAMM’s collections.
During the 2014 to 2018 commemoration period, the theme of the First World War display will change regularly to show objects from the museum’s collections that reflect life in Exeter and Devon during the First World War.
- Any age
Live at RAMM: The Blockheads
- 1 October 2016 7:30-11pm
See The Blockheads playing live. The band behind Ian Dury’s poetic lyrics, is famous for songs such as Hit Me with your Rhythm Stick, What A Waste, Reasons to be Cheerful (Part 3), and many others.
Rarely off the road since the death of Ian Dury in 2000, and with Derek Hussey fronting the band, The Blockheads remain an English institution. Interest in Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll, the recent biopic of Ian Dury and the musical Reasons to be Cheerful, has introduced the band to a new audience.
- Any age
Midge Ure: Something from Everything
- 10 December 2016 From 7:30pm
Enjoy favourite hits and something unusual, all played with Midge’s usual commitment and experienced in the intimacy of RAMM’s gallery.
His latest shows, on the “Something From Everything Tour”, cover at least one song from every album he has released from the Rich Kids in 1977, via Visage and Ultravox, to his solo albums such as the Gift, Pure and Answers to Nothing. Playing with three-piece India Electric Company adds texture and depth to the material, this time Joseph O'Keefe will be adding keyboards to the mixture providing a more electronic nature to some of the songs.
Midge Ure has a career that spans over 40 years – from his “pop band” beginnings, “almost” joining the Sex Pistols, the electronic groundbreaking work with Visage (Fade To Grey is still voted #1 in its genre across Europe), via the mainstream success of Ultravox to the twists and turns of his solo releases.
- Any age
Royal Albert Memorial Museum and Art Gallery
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