A Bright Future at Weston Park Museum

Feb 19 2015

Museums Sheffield’s Exhibition & Displays Manager, Kirstie Hamilton on our plans for A Bright Future at Weston Park Museum. 

It was a wonderful early Christmas present to receive the news in December that the Heritage Lottery Fund had agreed to support the A Bright Future project at Weston Park Museum. We’ve just launched our I Love My Museum appeal, which we hope will take us the rest of the way to our £1million target.

At the heart of A Bright Future is our goal to display more of Sheffield’s wonderful collections and ensure more changing displays in the future. It is an ambitious project which will see the museum’s History Lab and About Art galleries totally refurbished and will allow us to show significantly more of the city's Archaeology, Decorative Art, Social History and Visual Art. The History Lab displays will reflect the wealth of history Sheffield and the surrounding area has to offer. From prehistory to the 1800s, we will shine a light on Sheffield’s star artefacts, exploring the significance of treasures such as the Bronze Age canoe and the Benty Grange Helmet. The new plans also include working with community groups to share their knowledge and bring different perspectives on the city’s history into the museum.

The About Art gallery will have a brand-new Sheffield theme. The Visual Art, Social History and Decorative Art collections hold many intriguing works of art and objects that illustrate the city both past and present. We will turn the gallery into a sumptuous celebration of Sheffield; a gallery where people can enjoy the many works of art that illustrate the city, see how the city has changed and appreciate Sheffield’s buildings, landscape and people. There will be elements of regular change with loaned works from contemporary artists, works selected by community groups and changing highlight works.

As well as these full gallery refurbishments we will be introducing new displays to the Sheffield Life & Times and the What on Earth galleries. Each gallery will have two new flexible displays; in Sheffield Life & Times, these will focus on Sheffield’s Sporting History and the geography of the city, while in What on Earth the new displays will concentrate on geology and local ecology.

To complement the new displays we’ll be creating a series of new trails and workshops. There will be trails for adults as well as young people, all with the aim of helping visitors to discover more about the remarkable stories that have made Sheffield what it is today.

The project will be complete in late 2016, but we’ll be keeping the museum open as we install all the new displays. With our enthusiasm to get started comes the knowledge that we have a lot of work to do in the two years. We’re currently finalising the plans, making the final object selections and putting the finishing touches to design schemes. It is all very exciting and we hope the project will make Weston Park Museum a favourite destination for Sheffielders for years to come.

Do you love Weston Park? Then help us make it even better by supporting our I Love My Museum appeal – find out more and donate here


Pupils from Totley Primary School show their support for the launch of our I Love My Museum appeal © Museums Sheffield.

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