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Horniman awarded £90,000 for Music Gallery upgrade

  • Music Gallery, Peter Cook
    , Peter Cook

The Horniman is set to upgrade our Music Gallery, thanks to £90,000 of funding from the DCMS/Wolfson Museums and Galleries Improvement Fund.   

The Horniman is among 35 museums and galleries across the country to receive a share of £4 million to increase access to their collections, Michael Ellis, Minister for Arts, Heritage and Tourism and Paul Ramsbottom, Chief Executive of the Wolfson Foundation announced on Monday 14 January 2019.

The DCMS/Wolfson Museums and Galleries Improvement Fund supports national and regional museums and galleries across England to improve the quality of displays, enhance exhibition spaces and public access, and increase awareness of their collections.

The Horniman’s designated Musical Instrument Collection includes more than 9,500 objects that make sound. Around 1,300 instruments can be seen in its dedicated Music Gallery – the largest number on display in the UK.

The Horniman will use its share of the funding to help transform the Music Gallery, improving visitor access, engagement and interpretation, and opening up this important collection to new audiences. Work to the Gallery will include the installation of new lighting which will transform visitors’ experience of the collection, as well as audio visual projectors.  

This work will be fundamental to the Horniman’s Music in the Making project, a major four-year programme to improve understanding of and access to its musical instrument collection and maximise its potential through creative programming, performances, collaborations and commissions.

Nick Merriman, Chief Executive of the Horniman said:

The Horniman’s musical instrument collection is arguably the largest and most diverse in the UK and one of the most important in the world. This grant gives us a wonderful opportunity to both transform our visitors’ experience of the Music Gallery and to engage new audiences with the instruments and their stories within it.

Minister for Arts, Heritage and Tourism Michael Ellis said:

Our museums and galleries are among the best in the world and we are rightly proud of these institutions. The DCMS/Wolfson Fund demonstrates how the government and philanthropic organisations can work together to boost our museum sector.

We want people up and down the country to enjoy culture and heritage wherever they are. The 35 grants awarded today will make important contributions towards improving the visitor experience; ensuring our wonderful collections are open to as many people as possible.

Paul Ramsbottom, Chief Executive of the Wolfson Foundation said:

We are delighted to provide this funding through our longstanding partnership with DCMS – an excellent example of how we as a charity can work together fruitfully with government. We are grateful to DCMS for matching our funding.

One of the great treasures of this country is the sheer quality and range of our heritage collections – stored and displayed in wonderful museums and galleries. This funding will help to provide even better visitor experiences and greater awareness of these fascinating collections. A particular joy of this funding round has been the impressive mix of the projects supported: from a dress collection at Carlisle’s Tullie House to temporary exhibition space in Falmouth’s National Maritime Museum.

The Horniman aims for the work to start on the Music Gallery in May 2019.