• Time with the Museum at Bramley Court Care Home
    Bramley Court Care Home joined the Dance and Time with the Museum programme at the end of 2019. For two weeks we visited residents in the familiar comfort of the care home setting, taking high quality images of paintings to promote conversation and enquiry, inviting them to share their thoughts and feelings about the paintings, introducing music to complement the… Read full article
  • Illustrating Ancient History: Bringing the Past to the Present
    What do you do when you mount an exhibition – and then close for lockdown two days later? Pivot online, of course! If these past months have taught us anything, it’s been the sheer power and potential of digital to reach audiences both old and new. But for small museums, without large teams to strategise or resources to draw upon,… Read full article
  • Virtual Work Experience in 2020
    Could a work experience placement work in the virtual world of the 2020 lockdown summer? We decided to find out in the best possible way: by putting our apprehensions away, and just trying to do it. The Museum of Classical Archaeology runs a work experience programme for A-level and university students every summer. We advertised for it at the beginning… Read full article
  • Conserving Medusa
    Plaster casts aren’t just small objects which sit in tidy museum storage drawers. Oh no. Here at Museum of Classical Archaeology (MOCA), we have some pretty big plaster casts – and some of them are hung up really quite high on the walls. So what happens when we need to access them for essential conservation work? Read on to find… Read full article
  • RePresent
    The RePresent Project, led by researcher Danika Parikh, aims to bring the voices of historically excluded communities into museums. This year, the project worked with the Cambridge African Network and the Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology (MAA) to bring the voices of people of African descent into the museum’s galleries. Tell us a little about the project   Danika: The… Read full article
  • Powerful, Provocative & Profound: Sensual/Virtual Sculpture at The Fitz
    As a curator, I want to make visitors stop in their tracks, look, think, and engage. I want to confront, critique, and challenge. High ideals for sure but great art is powerful, provocative and profound, and has the ability, especially when mediated through careful curation, to transcend and transform. Sensual/Virtual: Two Coloured Sculptures juxtaposes two masterpieces of carved and painted… Read full article
  • Museum gifting goes online
    The University of Cambridge Museums Shop is going online! In the quest to find new ways to connect with our visitors, we’ve teamed up with Click It Local, a service that encourages sustainable, community-focused online shopping. In common with other areas of museum life, this year at the UCM Shop we have had to think differently about what we do… Read full article
  • Nine collections, six months
    On 19 March, the University of Cambridge Museums and Botanic Garden closed to the public following Government advice. This week, we will be fully or partially open again across all sites for the first time in over six months. This post describes some of the activity we have delivered in that time, how we continued to serve our audiences, and… Read full article
  • InstaPhish: Do you crave that blue tick?
    On Friday 9 October, the Fitzwilliam Museum unfortunately fell prey to a simple phishing technique that caused the loss of their Instagram account.  This post is to explain what happened and to help our colleagues within the sector and elsewhere to avoid the heartache that follows such an event.  Last Fri we were devastated to lose our Instagram account. We… Read full article
  • Arts Award at Home
    During lockdown the University of Cambridge Museums wanted to offer children and young people the chance to complete a Discover Arts Award from the comfort of their own homes for free. We hoped this would be a great way to encourage creativity among young people, keep them busy during school closures and school holidays, and give them a sense of… Read full article
  • Museum Remix: Unheard
    The University of Cambridge Museums’ Museum Remix programme has been welcoming fresh perspectives onto our collections since 2018. In 2018, we worked with members of Museum Detox to create a workshop format bringing together students, early career museum professionals, activists and volunteers from across the country to explore and critique the collections.  In 2019, we built on that experience, working… Read full article
  • Engaging children and young people with Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) virtually through lockdown
    During the Covid 19 lockdown University of Cambridge Museums wanted to engage remotely and maintain relationships with our pre-existing audience of children with special educational needs and disabilities. According to government statistics in January 2020 12.1% of all school pupils have a special educational need, and we have two main programmes for children with special educational needs and disabilities. Arts… Read full article
  • From the Sedgwick Museum to my living room
    With their doors closed, staff at home and social distancing the new norm, how did museums continue to play an active and relevant role in people’s lives? Nicola Skipper shares her experience here of developing and delivering a remote session designed to engage the University of Cambridge Museums’ Portals to the World participants: people with a dementia diagnosis or cognitive… Read full article
  • Look Think Do
    Look Think Do is a set of starter activities the Fitzwilliam Museum learning team have been creating since the start of lockdown. They are aimed primarily at schools to use as remote learning activities for students, but are also written with families in mind, given that we recognised the majority of children would be learning at home supported by family… Read full article
  • Where Chemistry and Anthropology meet
    Fourteen objects held at the Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology and originating from the First Nations people of the Northwest Coast of North America were analysed as part of a PhD research project by Lenore Thompson. Using a handheld XRF machine (also known as an XRF gun) she determined the elemental composition of pieces of copper used in several types… Read full article
  • Fakes in the Whipple Museum Collection
    Are there fakes scientific instruments hiding in our collections, and if so, how do we identify them? Dr Joshua Nall, Curator of Modern Sciences at the Whipple Museum of the History of Science, introduces a research collaboration between the Whipple Museum  and James Hyslop, Head of Department, Science & Natural History, Christie’s, London. The Whipple team included Nall, Professor Liba… Read full article
  • From the Museum of Zoology to our Garden
    With their doors closed, staff at home and social distancing the new norm, how can and how are Museums continuing to play an active and relevant role in people’s lives? Sara Steele and Matt Hayes share their experience of developing and delivering a remote pilot session designed to engage the UCM’s Portals to the World participants; people with a dementia… Read full article
  • Campaign for Empathy x Arbury Carnival
    Campaign for Empathy: A Message, 2020, Enni-Kukka Tuomala The “Campaign for Empathy: A Message” is a travelling audio artwork spreading messages of hope, joy, togetherness and empathy from the future generation, in their own voices and their own words. The “Campaign for Empathy: A Message” marked what would have been Arbury Carnival 2020, the popular local event which normally brings… Read full article
  • How do you create a museum session connecting art objects and people when there are no objects and there are no people ?
    We have been working with Arts and Minds since 2015, delivering sessions for their Arts on Prescription courses and providing spaces for the groups to meet in. Arts on Prescription is a series of weekly meetings, led by a counsellor and an artist, for people experiencing mental health challenges. In the museums, we usually speak to the group in the… Read full article
  • ‘There is a piece of me inside this painting now’
    The idea of dance within a Museum When we began the Dance with the Museum programme, one of our core aims was to engage participants with the beauty and inspiration that is the Fitzwilliam. Exquisite architecture, beautifully proportioned rooms, graceful decor – the very experience of being in those rooms was integrated into appreciating the art. Together, Ruth Clarke (Inclusion… Read full article
  • From Summer ‘at’ to Summer ‘with’ the Museums
    How do you deliver a cross – Museum hands-on summer programme for families under social distancing? The University of Cambridge Museums launches its Summer with the Museums… with a few changes. Well, without wanting to state the obvious, what a year this has been. Six months ago, the University of Cambridge Museums was delivering one of its key large-scale family… Read full article