Rachel and the Learning Team have been working hard on ideas for interactives for the Collections Gallery. These will be very flexible and will include trails, handling objects, toys and dressing up. Maddy, our UEA placement student, has also been working on interactive books for families to enjoy together which encourage our visitors to be inspired by the books to go and look for objects in the gallery. We have ordered some items and they have started arriving so we were all excited to try on the animals and occupations dress up kits.
This afternoon we have been working on the installation of costume into the gallery. We know these items will be popular with our visitors and we have a bay dedicated to costume at the clock end entrance to the gallery to draw visitors in. The first rotation of items (we have to change costume on display regularly to prevent it from fading) is an ATS uniform which belonged to a lady called Pip. This donation was one of the first Lauren dealt with when she first started in her curatorial role at Gressenhall. It has never been on display before so it is great we can get it out to give visitors a chance to see it. The second mannequin will feature the popular Scout’s uniform. This belonged to Alex Yates – son of Bridget, the founding curator of the museum. Both outfits will eventually be accompanied by photographs of their owners wearing them.
Apart from the costume we have also continued to clean more objects, now there is room in the library for them. Thanks so much to our Collections volunteers who must be sick of cleaning by now! Without you we wouldn’t have been able to transform the gallery so quickly – we are all really grateful for the long hours of gentle brushing and vacuuming you have done. Every object in the new gallery (over 2000 of them) will have been cleaned and assessed before it has gone into the new displays – a gargantuan task!).
We only have a week left before the Collections Gallery re-opens so we are making the most of it and trying to get as far ahead as possible. Even so the visitors will very much see work in progress – an ideal opportunity to see a gallery in evolution. We hope they will enjoy seeing how much work goes into new displays.