Inspiring Journeys: April Blog
We are almost there!
We hit our target of opening the museum parts of the renovation by Easter. On Good Friday we opened our new shop area to the public and had a great Easter Holidays operating from our lovely new entrance, reception and beautiful shop.
We are now operating from the Stable yard entrance, where you have a great view of our new café still being worked on. The shop is made out of two rooms, the first being the former Tea Parlour Kitchen, and the second the kitchen of the former stable yard cottage. Excitingly for staff and volunteers we now also have a little kitchenette, and a volunteer room, to work and grab those all-important cups of tea!
Easter Weekend also saw full access to our new gallery spaces. From the new reception you enter our Orientation Room which introduces Gilbert, Frank and Lawrence and Robert Washington Oates that man that links them.
The finishing touches have been added to the other galleries in the museum, including this wonderful quote in our Discovery Room. The library returned the museum and a team of ten volunteers and staff ferried boxes into the Discovery room to adorn our new shelves. Finally our fantastic collection will not be hiding behind the scenes anymore!
The Discovery Room has one final addition left to go, and that’s the installation of our first temporary exhibition ‘Illustrating The Natural History’ the exhibition will guide our visitors through the various artists that have been drawn to White’s work and world from John Nash to Eric Ravillious. The Exhibition will premiere on the 12th May to coincide with our official re-opening.
Our Frank Oates Gallery is complete, and on the 9th April we welcomed Dr John McAleer and Dr Chris Prior to the Museum to give a talk on the context around Frank Oates’ travels in Africa. The talk was prefaced with a tour of the new gallery given by our collection manager Josh Godfrey. By the time I write our next monthly blog we will have officially re-opened the museum to the public and press! On the 12th May we are delighted to have Countryfile’s Tom Heap with us on the day to cut the ribbon, and Hampshire’s Lord Lieutenant Nigel Atkinson to say a few words. On the 12th May the museum will be open for free, with lots of extra things to see and do such as talks, tours and our life lab will be in action. We will be also joined by the Lions of Zululand who will be performing for us throughout the day.
Don’t forget that we are now fully open apart from our café, but still have our fantastic popup café which will be running until White’s opens in May. The Galleries are looking amazing so if you can’t join us on the 12th May please come and visit as soon as you can!