Our South Asia Gallery Journey

A guest post from Stephen Welsh, Curator of Living Cultures, with an update on the development of the Museum’s South Asia Gallery. Since spring our South Asia Gallery has undergone somewhat of a radical transformation, shifting from a gallery primarily focused on chronology and collections to one embedding co-curation and lived experience. So how did…

A Visit to China

A guest post from Bryan Sitch, Deputy Head of Collections, about his recent trip to China. It is almost a year since Dr Lee Kai Hung’s generous gift to the University of Manchester with the intention of creating a new China Gallery at Manchester Museum. Having been asked to be lead curator on the project,…

Gdansk trip part 2: Exhibiting Solidarity

This blog is the second in a series of four posts about my recent trip to Gdansk where I spent some time at the European Solidarity Centre, thanks to funding provided by the University of Manchester’s Investing in Success staff development scheme. As described in my previous post, the European Solidarity Centre (ECS) is more…

Gdansk trip part 1: Re-imagining the Civic Museum

This blog is the first in a series of four posts about my recent trip to Gdansk where I spent some time at the European Solidarity Centre, thanks to funding provided by the University of Manchester’s Investing in Success staff development scheme.  As Learning Manager, my role has focused on the ‘formal’ programmes and resources…

Manchester Museum’s Human Bower

As mentioned in a previous post, we will be opening our Heritage Futures exhibition in December. In addition to the Polar Tombola activity, the Museum will be running a programme around our new Human Bower installation. In this guest post, Shelly Castle of Encounters Arts, describes how the idea for the Human Bower came about,…

Inspiration from across the pond: part 1

A guest post from David Gelsthorpe, Curator of Earth Sciences: Myself and colleagues from across different areas of the Museum have just returned from a fantastic trip to visit the best museums in New York and Washington. The trip was generously funded through Manchester University’s Investing in Success fund that supports professional development across the…

Behind the scenes

A guest post from Kate Sherburn, Curatorial Assistant (Natural Environments) about some of the work that has been taking place behind the scenes: Before embarking on our hello future development, we carried out a lot of preparation work behind the scenes. One of the first steps was to empty the large object store on the…

Polar Tombola

Alongside the Heritage Futures exhibition that is due to open on 14 December, we will be holding a series of events and programmes that will encourage visitors to think what should or can we keep for future generations and what we should let go, both personally and in terms of the Museum’s work. Last week,…

Re-writing the future

On 14 December we will be opening a new exhibition on our third floor; Heritage Futures explores the choices we make as individuals and organisations, about what to preserve – what is ‘important’? The exhibition builds on a 4-year long research project and will present international case studies alongside our own collections to prompt visitors…

All Staff Day

A guest post from Cat Lumb, Secondary and Post-16 Humanities Co-ordinator On Monday 1st October Manchester Museum closed its doors for only the second day of this year (previously only closed on New Years Day), for an All Staff Day; giving the whole museum a chance to briefly pause, take stock, and prepare for the…

Boost season 2

A guest post from Olivia Brett, Arts and Health Programme Assistant During this phase of capital redevelopment and exciting change, as we head towards hello future, we’ve developed a wellbeing programme based around the 6 ways to wellbeing; be active, keep learning, give, connect, take notice and care for the planet. Change can be scary…

After hours at the Museum

Guest post from Lowell Walbank and Emma Horridge Last week we bid a (temporary) farewell to our beloved Egyptology gallery with “It’s A Wrap”, a spectacular feast of music, film, performance and interactive workshops. Our director Esme Ward and Campbell Price (curator of Egypt & Sudan) spoke passionately about the future of the Museum and…

Wrapping things up

We know that our Ancient Egypt gallery is very popular and that certain objects will be missed. While the gallery is closed, Manchester Museum would like to offer visitors the opportunity to host an Ancient Egyptian artefact. While the objects are taken off display, we want to try out new ways to connect visitors with…

Transformation

A guest post from Rowena, our Projects Coordinator at the Museum. At the end of September some of our galleries are closing in preparation for the hello future building work to begin. The original Alfred Waterhouse-designed building that houses our Natural History collections will remain open throughout the redevelopment and we are very excited to…

A Culture of Lates

Guest post from Lowell Walbank, Events Supervisor at the Museum. Earlier this year, the people behind the “Museums At Night” festival published a series of Arts Council funded reports (A Culture of Lates / An International Culture of Lates / Late like a Local) on the future and culture of “Lates” in Museums and other…

hello future brochure

A guest post from Alia Ullah, our Media and Marketing Officer Have you seen our hello future brochure which tells you all about our plans to transform Manchester Museum into the most inclusive, caring and imaginative museum in the world? On our cover we have hello future translated into 50 of the most spoken languages…

‘Museum of Me’ project

A guest post by Amy, our Primary Learning Coordinator. During our hello future redevelopment, the Inflatable Museum will be bringing the wonder and curiosity of a museum experience to school halls and community venues across the region. A big part of this will be helping to help keep the magic of ancient Egypt – and…

Out and About: Terracotta Warriors

A guest post from the curatorial team about their trip to see the Terracotta Warriors Earlier this year several curators visited World Museum Liverpool to see their current show, China’s First Emperor and the Terracotta Warriors. The hype surrounding the exhibition owes as much to clever marketing as to the popularity of the subject. The…

What lies beneath

An update from Dean, Buildings and Operations Manager and Museum Client Representative Exploration work has started in the museum’s courtyard area. We need to know what the ground is made up of to allow us to remove parts of it and build the Exhibition Hall and South Asia gallery safely on top of it. As…

Catalyst Event 1: Food for thought…

  A guest post from Harriet Manchester Museum is entering an exciting period of change led by Esme Ward, our first ever female director. hello future will see a transformed building along with new exhibition spaces and new ways of working with our visitors and communities. We have a £13 million 3 year project to…

Manchester Mango Festival

A guest blog post from Bryan Sitch, Louise Watson and many others Staff from the Museum arrived bright and early on the morning of Saturday 14th July to set up our Inflatable Museum and the brand new gazebo for the Mango Festival in Manchester’s Albert Square. We were invited by the Pakistani Consulate to participate…

Manchester Museum: hello future

An update from our new Director, Esme Ward, about our plans. Our 2 year £13 million development is about to begin… Manchester Museum, at the University of Manchester, aims to become the UK’s most imaginative, inclusive and caring museum. Its vision to promote a sustainable world and understanding between cultures has never been more timely….

It’s all in the name

A guest post from Alia Ullah, our Media and Marketing Officer We are renaming the Courtyard Project and we’re looking for a name that reflects the ambition and excitement of the project as well as our values as being inclusive, caring and imaginative.The Courtyard Project is not only about a new build, it is also…

Donations at the Baltic

A guest post from Andrea Winn, our Curator of Community Exhibitions Back in March a group from the Museum took a trip to Newcastle to meet with colleagues at Tyne and Wear Archives and Museums. The team were really generous with their time and told us all about their projects, audiences and the challenges of…

The evolving museum

  With the fantastic news that we have received a confirmed grant of £4,415,800 from the Heritage Lottery Fund, we are really excited to be exploring new ways of engaging with our visitors as we work towards our ambition to become the UK’s most imaginative, inclusive and caring museum. This guest post from Peter Fallon,…

Making a Difference

As we continue to plan our new South Asia Gallery, its really great to hear about the difference that our work can make, as Harriet Morgan Shami shares in a guest post below: On the evening of 1st May, the Memories of Partition team were invited to attend the University of Manchester’s prestigious Making A…

Out and About: Thinktank

To help us think differently about how we engage with schools both at the Museum and off site, we have been keen to look for inspiration and ideas from other venues. A few weeks ago, Jason Lau, who works across both the Visitor Team and the Learning and Engagement Team, visited Thinktank in Birmingham to…

‘Discover India’ Music Day

A guest post from Amy, our Primary Learning Coordinator One element of the Courtyard Project that we are particularly excited about is the creation of a performance space in the new South Asia gallery. Building on the rich tradition of performance and storytelling, this space will provide a platform for sharing and celebrating South Asia’s…

Delving into Manchester’s Islamic Collections

A guest blog from Amy McDowall, our Primary Learning Coordinator Manchester Museum’s new South Asia gallery will touch on the many religions and faiths of modern and historic South Asia: Hinduism, Sikhism, Buddhism and Islam to name a few. Many of the children living in communities local to the museum belong to one of these…

Final Farewell

A guest post from Nick Merriman, on his last day as Director of Manchester Museum “My only slight regret about leaving Manchester Museum after 12 years (to go to London to be CEO of the Horniman Museum & Gardens) is that I won’t be around to see through the completion of the Courtyard project. However,…

Engaging with architects

A guest blog post by Laura Sherliker from Purcell Architects. Back in February, Architects, Purcell led a public consultation event at Manchester Museum with the support of the Museums Learning and Engagement team.  The event saw 250 visitors of all ages, along with key stakeholders have the opportunity to engage with the architect’s development plans…

NHS at 70: Stories of Our Lives

A guest post from Wendy, Arts and Health Partnership Manager at the Museum and Whitworth. There has been a growing understanding that people’s health and wellbeing is influenced by a range of interconnecting factors, and the role the arts can play in health has been increasingly recognized over recent years. By supplementing medicine and care,…

Thinking about the future of museums

A guest blog from Amy McDowall, our Primary Learning Coordinator As part of our thinking and researching around the plans for the redevelopment work we hope to begin later this year, we’ve been looking at how museums around the world work with their school visitors. We’ve found some fantastic international practice, but often the best…

Thoughts on museum-tech

In search of inspiration and ideas that could inform our work back in Manchester, and in an effort to widen my horizons and think differently about museum practice, I decided to spend a day of my recent trip to Helsinki visiting some of the city’s museums. While I had just one day to do this,…

Conversations around Contemporary Collecting

A guest post from Irit, Cat and Harriet on contemporary collecting Throughout the content planning and development process for our new South Asia Gallery, a small group of us (from across the collections, conservation, learning and engagement teams) have been doing some background research into contemporary collecting as a means of gathering objects and stories…

Heart to heart with Sunday Assembly

A guest post from Shanna Lennon about Sunday Assemblies at the museum. At the heart of the Courtyard Development is our vision of a Museum for Life. This vision sees the museum as an engine for civic engagement: promoting joy, curiosity, personal wellbeing and social change. We are not alone in our ambition, and are…