Wednesday, 11 November 2015

Museum Redisplay: Models On The Move

On Monday mornings when the Museum is closed we are busy doing jobs in the public areas that are difficult to do during opening hours. At the moment we are upgrading some of the model displays on the ground floor, thanks to an award of nearly £40,000 from the DCMS/ Wolfson Foundation's Museum and Galleries Improvement Fund.

This entails removing the old cases to make way for the new displays. Below you can see staff dismantling a case containing some of the building and housing models. This isn't a job that can be rushed, as each object needs to be carefully lifted out of the case. The models then need to be carefully moved out of the public gallery space.

We use trolleys to transport the objects around the Museum building. On the right you can see some of the models on a trolley ready to be moved.

They are placed into temporary storage in the areas closed to the public. This means they are easy for us to access, even during opening hours, while they are being prepared for redisplay. Below you can see some of the models in the Collections Department where we catalogue and research the objects.

They will all be individually checked by Conservation staff and will be moved to the Conservation Lab to be worked on if necessary. After Collections and Conservation staff have completed their preparatory work, Technical Services will start to design the new display.

Being able to examine the models close up provides an opportunity to see all of the details. The house model you can see below is really intricate; if you look inside you can see miniature hammocks, numerous utensils, as well as little figures.
Arawak house PRM 1901.19.1 © Pitt Rivers Museum
The new displays will be finished sometime next year. I will keep you informed of progress via this blog site. We are really grateful to the DCMS/ Wolfson Foundation's Museum and Galleries Improvement Fund for making this redisplay work possible.

Zena McGreevy
Senior Assistant Curator