• DataFest 2021
    What can data tell us about the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the University of Cambridge Museums’ audiences? This question and more were explored by the University of Cambridge Museums Team at March’s Datafest. You can catch up on the series of bitesize talks and other resources here. QR Codes in Museums- the basics and latest findings, with Sarah… Read full article
  • Happy Ending for a Tale of Gothic Horror!
    It is always exciting to explore a collection which you have not seen before, and the library at Wisbech and Fenland Museum is a particularly rich source of fascination. Dr Suzanne Reynolds, Curator, and Edward Cheese, Conservator, at the Fitzwilliam Museum, were invited by Robert Bell, Acting Curator at Wisbech and Fenland Museum to carry out an initial assessment of… Read full article
  • Portals to the World: Museum of Classical Archaeology
    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? Justyna Ladosz shares her experience of developing and delivering a remote session designed to engage the University of Cambridge Museums‘ (UCM) Portals to the World participants; people with a dementia… Read full article
  • A new acquisition: Candy Lady by Shawanda Corbett
    The Covid-19 pandemic has affected all areas of the Fitzwilliam Museum, including its ability to engage with contemporary artists and acquire new works by them for the core collection. However, the Museum has been able to acquire a pair of stoneware vessels, entitled Candy Lady, made last year by the artist Shawanda Corbett (b. 1989), a purchase generously funded by… Read full article
  • Working together in lockdown: Sawston Village College
    During lockdown the Whipple Museum of the History of Science has been working with the inclusion unit at Sawston Village College to create fun, interactive science lessons based on collections objects which can be delivered remotely. The sessions have encouraged pupils to take an enquiry-based approach to science and to use historic objects to find out about science both in… Read full article
  • Making a Masterpiece: Reza Aramesh’s Action 125
    I’m often asked how pieces of sculpture in the Fitzwilliam Museum were made, and so here’s an exclusive, step-by-step guide as to how Action 125: Tikrit city, Iraq. Monday, April 14, 2003 came into being. I’ve chosen to focus on this visually stunning piece of polychrome wood sculpture because we’ve just purchased unique version 3/3, the last of the three… Read full article
  • Women in the Sedgwick Museum Archives – A virtual exhibition
    Inspired by the fantastic ‘Wonderchicken’ exhibition, I set about pulling together facts, stories, and records to create a new virtual exhibition in Shorthand in 2020. This would look at women’s learning experiences and contribution to Geological science from 1885 until the First World War. This blog looks at the processes involved in creating a new virtual exhibition, and what the… Read full article
  • The Chemical Experimenter
    Various individuals influenced the Egyptian collections here at the Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology (MAA). There are some very unusual characters – like the banjo playing Lady Meux – and there are some more reserved antiquarians and entrepreneurial collectors. They all, however, contributed to what we now see in the museum in one way or another. The Chemical Experimenter Joseph… Read full article
  • Portals to the World at the Museum of Zoology: plan B, a virtual course for adults with dementia and their care partners
    Sara Steele, Museum of Zoology Learning Assistant, shares her experience of developing and delivering a remote 4-week course designed to engage the University of Cambridge Museum’s Portals to the World participants; people with a dementia diagnosis or cognitive impairment and their care partners. In its tenth year, Portals is a partnership programme delivered with Dementia Compass and combines regular courses… Read full article
  • In My Mind’s Eye – Producing podcasts in lockdown
    The In My Mind’s Eye podcast series, is a response to the national closure of Museums and Art galleries during lockdown in Spring/Summer 2020. The Fitzwilliam Museum invited Ali Smith, Halima Cassell, Issam Kourbaj, Jackie Kay and Matt Smith to talk about how works of art continue to exist in our memories and imaginations even when we can no longer… Read full article
  • Gravel Hunters
    Last summer at the Sedgwick Museum of Earth Sciences, we challenged our selves to get families back outside after being locked-down all spring and to find out more about the geology local to Cambridge. Flint gravel was the answer. It is easily recognised and easily over looked as a good fossil hunting ground. It has also been important to the… Read full article
  • An interview with street artist RUN
    Italian-born street artist Giacomo Bufarini, known as RUN, has created two bold and colourful wall murals for The Human Touch exhibition. One of the murals can be found in the Fitzwilliam Museum while the other is situated at Parkside Pool in Cambridge. Find out more about RUN and his inspiration behind his murals, and how he explores the theme of touch…. Read full article
  • 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