Saturday, 16 February 2019

Looking back at Local Treasures

Looking back indeed: Local Treasures featured locally found archaeological pieces, from the most modest to the most spectacular - celebrating over 2,000 years of occupation of Kettering and surrounding areas.

(From a broken sword to the Duddington hoard: local treasures reunited at Kettering Museum)

It was also a landmark in that, in assembling the exhibition, the Kettering team were able to have some genuine treasures brought back to Northamptonshire on special loan (probably - for some of us, at least - the only time it will happen in  our lifetimes) ... the Desborough Mirror and the Desborough Necklace are first rank exhibits usually on show in the British Museum.

(the Desborough Necklace in its usual display at the British Museum)

(Phil and Emma at the BM check out the local treasures while collecting the Roman ring acquired with funding from the Friends)

(that beautiful Roman ring, recently dug up in Kettering and now in the Museum collection)

The exhibition was funded by the Weston Loan Programme and Art Fund.  Councillor Scott Edwards, KBC's portfolio holder for Community, Leisure and Youth said it was 'fantastic news to hear that these treasures are coming back to our Borough for the first time and that local people will get a chance to see them.'

Philippa Charles, Garfield Weston Foundation director said -

'We have been blown away by the ambition and creativity of museums and galleries across the UK and Kettering's idea really stood out.'

Councillor Paul Marks reviewed the exhibition for the Friends ...

I went to see the Local Treasures exhibition several times - and each time I became aware of different aspects ... there were a great many aspects to try to grasp.  And what is hard to see, must have been far harder to actually make - the standard of craftsmanship is very high, people in the past were certainly not stupid brutes.

The styles of craftsmanship in the different periods were distinct. But there was a common thread.  What would have been considered beautiful in the Celtic Iron Age would have been considered beautiful in the Roman age, or among the Anglo Saxons.   Yes each style is different - but with a common core understanding of what is beautiful and what is not beautiful ...

Paul adds, ruefully ...

The Modern age, from the 20th Century onward, appears to have decided that the previous standards of aesthetics (what is beautiful and what is not) no longer apply - we have lost that common thread of understanding that united previous generations over time.

(this tiny silver coin was a favourite of mine - depicting a 4-horse Roman chariot)


Reflecting the success and quality of the Local Treasures exhibition, Art Fund featured Kettering's Museum Officer as their Curator of the Month.  A deserved accolade for Karen and a pat on the back for the whole team -click on the picture to read more of the feature.

Wednesday, 23 January 2019

London lecture on Anglo American connections

Dr Alison Clarke, 6pm to 8pm, 27th February at the Paul Mellon Centre, WC1B 3JA

More about Tickets ... More about Dr Clarke

Friday, 30 November 2018

Armistice commemorated

(11 11 2018 ... Kettering remembers)

November saw the centenary of the end of the Great War ... Armistice Day, the 11th day of the 11th month fell on Remembrance Day ... and there was a good and special turn out at the War Memorial outside the Art Gallery

Just over a week later, Phil gave the monthly talk at the Gallery on the theme of 'Armistice! 100 years on' and ga ve a brief account of what prompted the end of hostilities and how we have marked that (both then and now) ...

Members of the audience had been encouraged to bring in family objects special to them, and time was set aside at the end of the talk to enable people to come up and share a few thoughts related to their objects.

The Friends of the Art Gallery and Museum greatly appreciated people taking the time to support this, and thank them for bringing things along.

Tuesday, 6 November 2018