Yesterday (20 October 2015) a new exhibition, ‘Stuffed, Pickled & Pinned – 50 Wonders of Nature’ was launched at Powysland Museum, kick starting a week-long series of events and exhibitions at museums across the country to celebrate and promote Wales’ outstanding cultural offer.
During the second ever Welsh Museums Festival (24 October – 1 November), museums across Wales will host over 100 events and exhibitions for the whole family from sleepovers, talks, walks, hunts and handling sessions to archaeologist digs, re-enactments, dressing up, tea parties and Halloween themed activities.
One of the Festival highlights this year is ‘Stuffed, Pickled & Pinned – 50 Wonders of Nature in Welsh Museums’ which will showcase some of the amazing natural history treasures in museums across Wales from a mounted fox’s head and a platypus from Australia to a rare aurochs bone from the Severn estuary and a collection of British birds’ eggs.
Curated through the Linking Natural Science Collections project, the exhibition is the culmination of three years’ work researching behind the scenes at 18 local museums across Wales to find rare, beautiful and often unexpected natural history objects, some of which have never been seen before.
Visitors to Powysland Museum will be able to enjoy minerals, taxidermy, fossils and insects – to name a few – which have been examined and identified by experts from Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales who worked with local curators.
Supporting the exhibition and Festival is TV Presenter and Wildlife Expert Iolo Williams –
“I am delighted to be supporting the Welsh Museums Festival. As a four-year-old child, I remember staring in awe at the skeleton of a woolly mammoth and even now, I am amazed by the wealth of items held by our museums. With almost a hundred Accredited museums all over the country caring for around 5.5 million items, no matter what your interests, there are treasures waiting to be discovered by the whole family.
The Powysland Museum is one of mid-Wales’ hidden gems and as a naturalist, I am so pleased that the exhibition ‘Stuffed, Pickled & Pinned’ is being launched here as part of the Welsh Museums Festival. Hopefully, it will help inspire the next generation of naturalists and who knows, a future David Attenborough may soon be walking through the museum’s doors.”
This year’s Welsh Museums Festival programme will also give visitors an opportunity to experience culture and heritage in a totally unexpected way – at night! Rosie Clarke, Museums at Night says:
“We aim to inspire new visitors to discover the fascinating arts and heritage highlights on their doorstep by creating exciting after-hour experiences. We’re delighted to join forces with the Welsh Museums Festival to work together to reach even more visitors. Wherever you are, there’s sure to be something interesting going on in a museum near you – so check out the event listings and get exploring!”
The Deputy Minister for Culture, Sport and Tourism, Ken Skates, commented,
“We have some fantastic museums across Wales, filled with fascinating items that help tell the story of our past. They are a valuable resource in helping us to learn about and understand important historical events in a way that books alone cannot. The Welsh Museums Festival will give visitors more opportunities to discover and be inspired by the unique collections, and I am pleased to see a range of events being held both in and around Communities First areas, ensuring there are opportunities for all to participate in a range of exciting experiences.”
Rachel Silverson, President of The Federation of Museums and Art Galleries of Wales added:
“We are thrilled to be involved in the Festival once again as it offers an opportunity for our members to promote their museums and to be proud of the work that they do. At a time when museums need support from their communities, we hope that more people will be amazed by all that Welsh museums have to offer. ”
Find out what events and exhibitions are taking place in your local area by visiting www.museums.wales.