Jun 13 2019
Museums Sheffield Project Manager, Ayesha Heaton, on the major improvements happening at Weston Park Museum over the next year.
Weston Park Museum celebrates Sheffield’s stories and showcases the remarkable collections that have come to the city over the years. In 2016 we completed major refurbishments of the museum’s archaeology and visual art galleries and created new displays celebrating the city’s history. This summer more changes are underway as the museum’s activity rooms get a makeover. Now, thanks to a £187,000 grant from DCMS/Wolfson Museums and Galleries Improvement Fund and support from key funders, we’re delighted to announce the creation of two brand new galleries making their debut in early 2020.
The first of the new galleries will feature displays exploring a subject that’s hugely popular with visitors to Weston Park – the mysteries of Ancient Egypt.
The new Ancient Egypt-themed gallery will provide an opportunity to see much more of Sheffield’s extensive Egyptology collection. There are lots of fascinating stories around Ancient Egypt, so we’re really keen to find out which ones you’d particularly like to see in the new displays. Over the next few months we’ll be hosting a series of events and opportunities for you to tell us what you’re most interested in, so look out for more info on those coming soon.
The new Ancient Egypt gallery will replace the current Arctic World displays. Arctic World has been very well-loved over the years but is now starting to look a little tired. Thanks to the DCMS grant and the support of our funders, we’re able give the space a new lease of life. But what will happen to Snowy the Polar Bear? Don’t worry – we know Snowy is close to everyone’s hearts, so she’ll be moving to a comfortable new home in the museum’s What on Earth gallery.
The second of our new galleries will champion the very best thing about Sheffield – its people.
Opening in early 2020, the new Sheffield Stories gallery will celebrate our diverse communities and people’s experiences of life in the city. We understand there’s no one better to tell Sheffield’s stories than the people who have lived them first-hand. As such, all the displays in this gallery will be created in partnership with Sheffield residents from across the city. The first exhibition will focus on Sheffield in the 1950s, 60s and 70s and will be co-curated with the help of local community groups from the South East of the city.
The new Sheffield Stories gallery will replace the current Treasures displays, just next to Arctic World. In order to create the new spaces, the existing Arctic World and Treasures galleries will close later this year.
Arctic World will be closing in September, with the new Ancient Egypt gallery set to open in early 2020. In the meantime, you’ll be able to see Snowy take up residence in her new What on Earth home towards the end of this year. The Treasures gallery will then close in November before the reopening with the new series of Sheffield Stories displays next spring. You can keep track of all the latest updates through our website, as well as on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
These latest improvements to museum have been made possible thanks to DCMS/Wolfson Museums and Galleries Improvement Fund, funding from The Charles Haywood Foundation and The Foyle Foundation, and of course, the amazing generosity of our visitors. We’re hugely grateful to everyone for their support and can’t wait to welcome you to the new galleries!
Main image: Coffin of mummified Ancient Egyptian woman called Nesitanebetasheru.
Image (right): Fragment of ancient Egyptian coffin showing Anubis, the jackal-headed god associated with the afterlife.
Image (left): Glazed rosette tiles from the palace of King Ramses III at Tell Yahudiya, dated to around 1186-1155 BC.