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Salisbury Museum, home of the Wessex Gallery of Archaeology, is hosting a new Festival of Archaeology during the weekend of 18/19 July 2015.
The grand opening of the new Wessex Gallery attracted 2,241 visitors in the space of 6 hours on the 12th July last year. The
gallery is beautifully designed to display many important finds from the Stonehenge World Heritage sites and England’s “Valley of the Kings”.
Alex Langlands, archaeologist and presenter of BBC TV’s Wartime Farm said, “With Stonehenge, Avebury, Old Sarum and the cathedral at Salisbury, there are few counties in the south of England that boast a better line up of archaeological sites. However, as an archaeologist, the real jewel in the crown for me is the Salisbury Museum.
“Following enthusiastic responses to the Wessex Gallery from both public and press, the museum has planned this larger Festival, fuelled by a passionate ambition to inspire further public engagement in archaeology. The Wessex Gallery, led by energetic museum Director Adrian Green, has set its sites to become a major international resource at the centre of England’s ancient archaeological heartland.
“The Festival falls within the ‘Digging Season’ and before the schools summer holidays. The weekend will include presentations and lectures, set against a big showground event. Leading figures in the British archaeology community will be present to debate, make presentations and engage with the public.
“Tucked away in the cathedral close, the Salisbury Museum is an absolute treasure trove of archaeological goodies. In particular, the Wessex Gallery is a hugely impressive exhibition that will have any visitor beguiled. I’m really looking forward to the Festival weekend that the museum is hosting.”
Full article in the Blackmore Vale
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Salisbury Museum is extremely proud to announce a new exhibition of national importance, throwing new light on the earliest work of the young artist J.M.W. Turner in and around Salisbury and its magnificent cathedral.
The museum is situated a few meters from Salisbury Cathedral in the historic town of Salisbury, where the 800 year-old Magna Carta will be displayed in 2015. Salisbury Museum is also less than 20 minutes by car from the ancient monument of Stonehenge, and houses a fabulous new gallery where the archaeology of Stonehenge can be explored.
Building on recent successes, particularly the 2011 exhibition exploring Constable’s links with the area, Salisbury Museum will showcase Turner’s meteoric rise as he worked for two very rich patrons in the Salisbury region.
Turner first visited Salisbury in 1795 when he was 20 years old. As his career developed, he returned to paint an area that captivated him as an artist. Set in the vast plains of the Wessex landscape, his depictions of Stonehenge in particular proved to be among his most hauntingly atmospheric works.
In the late 1790s, Sir Richard Colt Hoare commissioned Turner, then barely into his twenties, to produce a series of watercolours of Salisbury, the most impressive of which depict the newly restored great cathedral. Hoare was a wealthy gentleman-antiquarian who inherited the nearby Stourhead estate in 1784. His involvement in the first archaeological surveys of the ancient landscapes around Salisbury led him to publish volumes documenting the history of Ancient and Modern Wiltshire.
Another local patron, who gave the young Turner invaluable work, was William Beckford, described by Byron as ‘England’s wealthiest son’. Turner turned down a commission to work with Lord Elgin in Greece for a year, in favour of Beckford’s much more lucrative commission to paint the famous folly that Beckford was building at Fonthill.
The third part of this exhibition will chart Turner’s fascination with the wider Wessex region – spanning the area of Wiltshire around Salisbury, as well as the Dorset coast, Hampshire and the Isle of Wight. It culminates in Turner’s record of the historic visit made by the French King, the first such visit to England since the fourteenth century, to Queen Victoria in 1844
The exhibition has been selected by Turner scholar Ian Warrell to build a picture of a brilliant young artist, driven by self-belief and limitless ambition, grafting his way in the world.
The inventive and dizzying watercolours at the heart of the exhibition, reassembled for the first time since 1883, will show how commissions from Wiltshire’s great patrons provided the crucial springboard for the career of one of England’s best-loved artists.
The Salisbury Museum
The Kings House
65 The Close
Another great reason to visit Salisbury in 2015!
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ANTHROPOLOGIST and BBC TV Coast and Origins of Us presenter Dr Alice Robertswill open Salisbury Museum’s new £2.4m Wessex Gallery on Saturday (Salisbury Journal).
The new gallery will house one of Europe’s most extensive collections of Stonehenge and prehistoric artefacts including the Amesbury Archer – popularly dubbed the King of Stonehenge and the Wardour Hoard.
To mark the event the museum will be hosting an admission-free day of action-packed celebrations, special events, living history displays and demonstrations of traditional skills and crafts.
There will also be other celebrity guests including Channel 4 Time Team presenter and field archaeologist Phil Harding, who will be demonstrating flint knapping – the ancient art of shaping tools and weapons from stones – which early the Britons used.
Along with a free view of the new Wessex Gallery, members of the public will have the opportunity to see Norman falconry displays, try on Norman dresses, or get suited and booted in a knight’s hefty chainmail armour complete with sword.
There will also be ancient coppicing, stone masonry, pottery-making and wool dyeing demonstrations as well as a chance for people to try their hand at reconstructing a prehistoric face, carve a Stone Age chalk animal and experience an Anglo Saxon burial ritual.
Museum director Adrian Green said: “The grand opening of our new Wessex Gallery is going to be a fantastic all-day event with lots of exciting activities to see and do for all age groups.
“It’s also a great opportunity for people to see our amazing new Wessex Gallery which brings the prehistory and history of Stonehenge and Wessex to life.”
The Wessex Gallery Grand Opening is on Saturday, 12 July from 10am to 4pm at Salisbury Museum, The Close.
For more information call 01722 332151 or visit: www.salisburymuseum.org.uk.
Read the full article in the Salisbury Journal: http://www.salisburyjournal.co.uk/news/11321466.New_gallery_set_to_open/?ref=var_0
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