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Free entry at Shrewsbury Museum & Art Gallery in heritage celebration

In celebration of Heritage Open Days, we are delighted to be offering free entry on Sunday 9 September 2018.

Visitors to the Museum will be able to experience the amazing collections on display that bring over 650 million years of history to life.

As well as free entry, we are thrilled to be offering FREE guided tours of the Museum giving you the opportunity to explore the collections more intimately than ever before. These tours will run at:

  • 12pm – 1pm
  • 2pm – 3pm

During your visit, you will come face-to-face with some of the best preserved mammoth bones

An image of a mother and daughter posing on a replica of the prow of the Titanic at Shrewsbury Museum and Art Gallery. Shrewsbury Museum and Art Gallery are offering free entry and guided tours as part of the Heritage Open Day celebrations.

Family ‘reliving the voyage’ in Titanic: Honour and Glory

in the UK, take in one of the UK’s finest fossil collections, experience the Roman Gallery, and relive the voyage in the latest special exhibition, Titanic: Honour and Glory.

Come and discover the stories that make this county unique. Explore millions years of history through a thousand remarkable objects in the extraordinary set of buildings that house Shrewsbury Museum & Art Gallery. From a medieval town house to an early Victorian Music Hall they span more than 750 years of history.

An image of brilliantly preserved Roman Tombstones in the Roman Gallery at Shrewsbury Museum and Art Gallery.

Roman Stones

During your visit, you can also visit stop. café bar, the Museum’s vibrant café bar, which provides the perfect spot for relaxing after visiting the Museum’s galleries or taking a break from taking in the town of Shrewsbury.

Heritage Open Days is the largest heritage festival in the country; in 2015, over 4,800 events welcomed around three million visitors across England.

Heritage Open Days operates as part of the National Trust with funding from players of People’s Postcode Lottery.

 

NOTE: Participation on the guided tours will be on a first come, first serve basis.

Shrewsbury Museum & Art Gallery Getting Edible for Food Festival

Shrewsbury Museum & Art Gallery are offering exciting opportunities to plant, grow, make and eat as part of the Shrewsbury Food Festival in June.

An image of a banner for the workshops that are taking place at Shrewsbury Museum and Art Gallery in partnership with the Shrewsbury Food Festival

The Museum & Art Gallery have invited Lovelyland (a local social enterprise who inform, educate and inspire community groups and schools about where food comes from) to work with the local community to install an edible community garden at the museum. The garden be open from Saturday 23 June. It will tell fascinating stories about the plants and draw inspiration from the nationally significant Caughley blue and white ceramic collection at the museum.

Members of the public are invited to drop into the courtyard for a seed planting and potting up session with Lovelyland on Saturday 16 and Saturday 23 – Sunday 24 June from 11am–2pm. These sessions are FREE, appropriate for all ages and all materials will be provided. Participants are welcome to bring their own small ceramic container (for example a tea cup or tea pot) to plant and takeaway or, if they wish, add to the edible garden.

Thank you to everyone who has donated their blue and white china to be included in the edible garden. These may be planted up or incorporated into a new piece made by local mosaic artist Lindsey Kennedy.

During the festival weekend Shrewsbury Museum & Art Gallery are also hosting workshops with ceramicist and teacher Stephanie Kelly:

  • On Saturday 23 June from 10am-12pm, create a textured tile good enough to eat!
    Inspired by the edible garden and the museum’s exciting ceramic collection. The workshop is £9 per participant and appropriate for all ages. Under 7s must be accompanied by an adult
  • On Saturday 23 June from 1pm-3pm, create a stunning and realistic cauliflower bowl. The workshop is £12 per participant and appropriate for adults and children aged 7+.

Booking is essential for both ceramic workshops. To book your place, please call 01743 258881 / 258888 or email [email protected]. All materials will be provided and your tile or bowl will be fired and made available to collect from the museum at a later date.

As well as these exciting one off opportunities the museum’s resident rodent Maximo Mouse will be leading a fruit and veg trail around the museum from May and June.

The events are part of a series of events aimed at welcoming new visitors to Shrewsbury Museum & Art Gallery.

To find out more about Lovelyland and their growing projects visit their website www.lovelyland.co.uk.

Shrewsbury Museum & Art Gallery // The Square // SY1 1LH

Sensory Garden project: We need your help

We need your old blue & white china cups, plates, teapots and bowls for an exciting growing and planting project during Shrewsbury Food Festival in partnership with Lovelyland.

Lovelyland and Lindsey Kennedy will use your old crocks as part of a project to transform the courtyard outside stop. cafe at Shrewsbury Museum & Art Gallery into a beautiful sensory garden.

Bring your unwanted china to our museum reception before Monday 11 June! Any donations for use in this project will be non-returnable.

An image of the blue and white china porcelain on display at Shrewsbury Museum and Art Gallery. This is part of one of the most important Caughley collections in the world.

Some of the Caughley collection on display

Shropshire Museums’ care for an internationally important collection of blue and white Caughley porcelain.

The Salopian China Manufactory was founded at Caughley, near Broseley in Shropshire by Thomas Turner around 1775. It was one of the most important factories of the late 18th century.

You can see a snapshot of this collection on display in our Shropshire Gallery.

For the latest news and updates from Shrewsbury Museum & Art Gallery, follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Blog: EDU-tainment in Brick History by Katy Rink

If it is EDU-tainment you are after, look no further than the Brick History exhibition at Shrewsbury Museum & Art Gallery. This is the latest marvellous model show to arrive in town from the Warren Elsmore emporium – of Brick City fame – and features defining moments and discoveries on earth from the big bang right through to modern day.

Snapshots of history are presented in vibrant, multi-coloured 3D, arranged in themes such as Transport, War & Conflict, Exploration, Equality and the Arts – from intricately recreated scientific triumphs such as the double helix and smallpox vaccine (complete with little vials!), to terracotta warriors, Vesuvius, Concorde and the Titanic. Stars of the show are a 1.5m recreation of Rochester Castle – the real one dates back to 1088 with 12 ft thick walls. The Lego® ‘stonework’ is astonishing and the children loved spotting the different foods and animals in the outbuildings.An image of a father and his son looking at the Lego model of Rochester Castle with intrigue in the Brick History exhibition which is open at Shrewsbury Museum and Art Gallery until Sunday 15 April 2018.

I loved the first silent movie theatre – the audience all in colour and the screen in black and white – with the intricate mechanics of its projection booth and the Hong Kong skyline, to mark the handover in 1997.

We also enjoyed hearing about some of the techniques involved from lead creative designer Guy Bagley, such as ‘bram sphere’ to create special plates for globes and ‘Studs Not on Top’ or (SNOT) for building models outwards, rather than upwards.

Guy had a hand in most of the models, as he says, he is ‘paid to play’ and has been designing Lego® models for more than 35 years, all over the world. All the models are made with unglued, standard Lego bricks, put together by human hand: “The only way you can tell if something looks right is by good old-fashioned human eye,” Guy said.

An image of Guy Bagley, of Warren Elsmore Ltd. addressing the first people to visit Brick History at Shrewsbury Museum and Art Gallery.

Guy Bagley introducing Brick History

Opening the exhibition, he explained: “We hope children will be enticed by the models and may notice something that might spark their curiosity and make them want to go away and find out more. They might say ‘look mum, why is that lady chained to the railings?’ and it will prompt further discussion.

“We have 13m years of history going right back to the dinosaurs and everything in between.”

The three winning models in the museum’s Brick History competition are also on display, including a spectacular design of The Flying Scotsman from Alfie Hembrow-Forrester (5-11 category) – spot the hidden Homer Simpson! – Super Mario gaming figures from Roger Lewis (17+) and Mount Vesuvius erupting in Pompeii from Cal Adlard (12-16).

Cal was at the opening with his famous dad – comic laureate Charlie Adlard (of the Walking Dead comics) – and mum Lynette. Cal said: “I wanted to capture how much of Pompeii has been preserved after the eruption and also the perspective, with the big volcano looming in the background.”

An image of two Brick History competition winners with Mary Mckenzie, Lezley Picton and Guy Bagley in the Brick History exhibition at Shrewsbury Museum and Art Gallery.

Build your own model competition winners with Lezley Picton, Shropshire Council Cabinet member for leisure and culture, Mary Mckenzie, Shropshire Museums and Archives Manager and Guy Bagley of Warren Elsmore Ltd.

Guy Bagley added: “We loved the black figure climbing out of the lava. We call him charcoal man.”

Get your Brick History tickets online to avoid the queues. You will be delighted, diverted, engrossed, occasionally startled – and you might even learn a thing or two. The kids won’t let you miss the huge LEGO® play zone on Level 2. My 9-year-old managed to balance on top of a 7ft Lego tower he built himself. Maybe don’t try that.

Brick History will be at Shrewsbury Museum & Art Gallery until 15 April 2018. Admission £10 a family ticket (two adults and up to three children aged 5-17), or £7 family ticket (one adult and up to three children aged 5.17), or £4.50 adult, £2 child.

The March/April edition of My Shrewsbury is available now.

The plight of the Passenger Pigeon: How Museum collections are helping us to better understand their Story

Sat in Shrewsbury Museum and Art Gallery, surrounded by other natural history specimens, is a small pink and grey passenger pigeon on a branch.  She is just one of many creatures in the museum’s collection that can now only been seen in books or museum showcases.  Like many museums worldwide, Shropshire Museums ensures that specimens like her survive as both a reminder of our impact upon the environment but also a vital resource for future research.

An image of a preserved pink and grey passenger pigeon sitting on a man made branch on display at Shrewsbury Museum and Art Gallery.

Passenger Pigeon on display at Shrewsbury Museum & Art Gallery

The passenger pigeon was once the most abundant bird in North America and possibly the world. A single flock could contain more than a billion birds. John James Audubon, awed by the spectacle of passenger pigeons in Kentucky in the fall of 1813, writing that “the light of noonday was obscured as by an eclipse; the dung fell in spots, not unlike melting flakes of snow; and the continued buzz of wings had a tendency to lull my senses to repose.” As mass shooting for sport and food reduced their numbers, museums collected examples to illustrate their plight.  Today, scientists are still trying to answer the question as to how they became extinct so quickly.

A new study of the passenger pigeon’s genome, published recently in the journal Science, outlines new research into this puzzle.  This recent investigation suggests that passenger pigeon populations were stable for thousands of years, even during periods of dramatic climate change.  Studies of small samples taken from museum specimens have found that the pigeon population, although huge, lacked genetic diversity.  The study concluded that much of the bird’s genetic code shows signs of strong natural selection, but very little evidence of ongoing small genetic changes that would help it to adapt if the ecosystem changed.

“Our mass murder of them over the course of decades was just too fast for their evolution to keep up,” said Beth Shapiro, a professor of ecology and evolutionary biology at UC-Santa Cruz and one of the paper’s co-authors.

It is therefore no wonder that Shropshire’s Passenger Pigeon is looked down upon rather wistfully by a portrait of Charles Darwin, who first fully published the process of evolution.  Her, like many other specimens cared for by generations of museum curators, is all science have left to understand her species’ story.

Museums are Magic!

Shrewsbury’s Museum & Art Gallery will be hosting a Halloween weekend of mystery and magic on Saturday 28 & Sunday 29 October.An image of the Museums are Magic poster. It includes an owl, parchment and the starry sky. The event runs on 28 and 29 October 2017 at Shrewsbury Museum and Art Gallery

Visitors to the historic town centre venue will have the chance to have their very own personalised spell written for them, make a magic wand using simple woodworking tools and create their very own magic potion. The first fantastic adventure in the Harry Potter series, Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone (PG) will be shown on both evenings in the magical setting of the museum balcony.

In addition to the wealth of hands-on activities available, on Saturday 28 October bestselling author and illustrator Matt Sewell will be showing visitors how to create their own beautiful bird book in his Spot and Jot Owl’s Workshop.

Visitors will also be treated to a chance to see some live Owl’s courtesy of Battlefield Falconry Centre!

On Sunday 29 October magician Rob Chapman will mystify and delight with his super magic show suitable for all ages.

stop. café will be putting on a special spooky menu for children and Hot chocolate and Halloween themed treats will be available to buy throughout the film screenings.

Visitors are invited to come along in fancy dress.

For further details and to book your tickets, go to:

https://friendsofsmag.wordpress.com/museums-are-magic/

The weekend of activities is part of the national ‘Museums at Night’ programme.

Programme

Saturday 28th & Sunday 29th October

11- 4  The Spellwright – Our resident spell scribe will craft a personalised spell on a scroll for you to take away.

11-4 The Wand Whittler – Use simple tools to create and decorate your own magic wand with the ‘Wand Whittler’

11-4 Potion’s Class – Create your very own magic potion to take away

11 – 11.30 Spooky story time – a selection of toe-tingling stories (ages 3 – 10)

4pm – Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone (PG), Warner Bros Films, 2hrs 39m. Snuggle up with a STOP Café hot-chocolate and watch the first film in the Harry Potter series in the magical setting of the museum balcony. Parental guidance recommended, places limited, book in advance, £1 per person.

PLUS

Saturday 28th only

1-2 Care of Magical Creatures – A chance to meet a selection of Battlefield Falconry Centre’s beautiful Owls

2-3 Spot & Jot Owls workshopMatt Sewell. Best-selling author and artist Matt will show you how to create and draw your own beautiful bird book. Open to all ages, all children must be accompanied, no artistic skills required, everybody must draw! – booking essential, suitable for ages 6+, workshop £8 per person includes museum admission.

Sunday 29th only

1.30 – 2.30 Magic Show – magician Rob Chapman mystifies and delights with his super magic show suitable for all ages.

T: 01743 258881/258888

E:  [email protected]

Or you can drop in to the Museum Visitor Information Centre.

Free entry at Shrewsbury Museum & Art Gallery for Heritage Open Days

To celebrate Heritage Open Days, Shrewsbury Museum & Art Gallery are offering visitors free entry on Sunday 10 September 2017.

Usually £4.50 for adults, visitors to the Museum will be able to see the amazing collections on display that bring over 650 million years of history to life completely free!

An image of mammoth bones on display at Shrewsbury Museum and Art Gallery that visitors can see over the Heritage Open Days.

Mammoth bones found in Condover on display at Shrewsbury Museum Art Gallery

During your visit, you will get to see some of the best preserved mammoth bones in the UK, one of the UK’s finest fossil collections as well an entry to the wonderful special exhibitions, Antarctica: Life in a hostile land and Synthetic Landscapes.

Lezley Picton, Shropshire Council Cabinet member for Culture and Leisure, said:

“Heritage Open Days is the largest heritage festival in the UK so it’s great to see Shropshire Museums and Archives getting involved.

“As well as the amazing things to see and do at each site, visitors will get to go behind the scenes and see and do things that are only available a very limited number of times a year.

“I’d encourage everyone to make the most of this great opportunity and get to our sites… and it’s free!”

As well free access to the Museum’s galleries on Sunday 10 September, you can explore the Medieval town of Shrewsbury on a free guided town tour, which usually cost £7.50. Advanced booking is advised to ensure your place.

These tours take place on Thursday 7 September and Friday 8 September and start at 2pm at the Visitor Information Centre housed in the Music Hall.

Loyd Grossman, Patron of Heritage Open Days, said:

“At a time when many of our heritage sites, museums and buildings of cultural interest are under increasing economic pressure it’s heart-warming to see the number of Heritage Open Days events continue to grow.  Our army of volunteers play an important role in championing our wonderfully diverse local heritage, opening up doors and keeping access free for these very special four days every year. We are keen to encourage people to stand up for the places that are important to them by bringing to life their stories for everyone to enjoy.”

Come and discover the stories that make this county unique. Explore millions years of history through a thousand remarkable objects in the extraordinary set of buildings that house Shrewsbury Museum & Art Gallery. From a medieval town house to an early Victorian Music Hall they span more than 750 years of history.

An image of people walking into Shrewsbury Museum & Art Gallery ahead of the free entry for Heritage Open Days.

Shrewsbury Museum & Art Gallery at the Music Hall

During your visit, you can also visit stop. café bar, the Museum’s vibrant café bar, which provides the perfect spot for relaxing after visiting the Museum’s galleries or taking a break from taking in the town of Shrewsbury.

Heritage Open Days is the largest heritage festival in the country; in 2015, over 4,800 events welcomed around three million visitors across England.

Heritage Open Days operates as part of the National Trust with funding from players of People’s Postcode Lottery.

See what else is happening across Shropshire Museums & Archives other amazing sites: Shrewsbury Castle, Shropshire Archives, Acton Scott Historic Working Farm and Ludlow Museum & Resource Centre.

Museum in School

MUSEUM IN SCHOOL

We bring the museum to you! An experienced museum educator will visit your school to deliver a two hour active learning session. All workshops are supported by a wide selection of original and replica artefacts and specimens from the museum collections.

KS1: Fossils and Dinosaurs

Children become paleontologists digging up and identifying bones, looking closely at real fossils, placing dinosaurs on a timeline and investigating the varying sizes of dinosaurs in relation to themselves and other creatures.

 KS1: Toys

Children handle original toys and look for evidence of how children played in the past. They look for similarities and differences between old and modern toys, play with a selection of replica Victorian toys and help Kipper put all his toys back in his toy box.

KS1: Charles Darwin

Children learn about Darwin’s early life by dressing up in costume of the period, sorting shells into types and organising bugs into categories or groups. They also follow the route of the Beagle to discover some of the specimens Darwin collected during the voyage.

KS1: Florence Nightingale

Through hands-on activities, children explore Florence’s childhood and school days and meet her pet owl Athena. They learn how to tie a bandage and help to make a poultice before identifying the problems faced by the hospital at Scutari, and discovering how Florence addressed them.

KS2 : Ancient Greeks

Children develop an understanding of ancient Greek life through close examination of the clues left behind and costumed role-play. Children discover how ancient Greek pottery can provide direct evidence of the Greek way of life, try on replica armour and explore the differences between Athenian and Spartan society.

KS2: Original Olympians

Through group discussion, object handling and role play, the workshop will guide learners through a range of imaginary scenarios inspired by real events in Ancient Greece and Victorian England to understand how the modern Olympics developed from ancient ideals. Ancient Greece and Original Olympians can be booked together as a whole day experience.

KS2: Ancient Egyptians

Children discover how Egyptian objects can tell us about the life and beliefs of this ancient civilisation. They draw on a variety of sources to find out what the ancient Egyptians believed about life after death before reconstructing the process of mummification.

KS2: Meet the Romans

Designed to develop investigative skills, children will discover how archaeology can teach us about life in the past. Through handling a wide range of original Roman artefacts and replica costume, they will see the wealth and variety of material that has survived from the Roman invasion of Britain.

KS2: Viking Raiders

More than 1000 years ago, fearsome Viking raiders sailed up the River Severn and into Shropshire. Who were they, where did they come from, and why did they come here? This fun workshop uncovers some of the mysteries of the Viking age, with a chance to handle Viking kit, hear tales of Viking gods and goddesses, and to re-enact some of the struggles between the Vikings and their Shropshire foes!

KS2: Anglo-Saxons

Children reconstruct a typical Anglo-Saxon grave to find out what burials tell us about their beliefs, way of life, crafts and technology. They compare this to the royal burial at Sutton Hoo and to the finds from the Staffordshire Hoard. Our Viking Raiders and Anglo-Saxon workshop sessions can be booked together as a whole day experience.

BOOKING INFORMATION:

For information and to book contact: [email protected]     Tel: 01743 258881

Two hour session in the morning or afternoon to suit your timetable. £110 for a two hour session, £190 for two of the same workshop sessions in one day.

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