If you’ve been walking along the High Street in Old Aberdeen recently then you may have seen that the new King’s Museum at No. 17 is now open! Neil Curtis, Head of Museums, and the University Museums team have at last been able to display a very special selection of the University’s many extraordinary objects, which go on show after months of intensive planning and preparation. The launch of this inviting wee exhibition space has received a great deal of media coverage, featuring in the Press and Journal and Evening Express as well as on STV, NorthSound 2 and Original 106 FM.
King’s Museum is a place for the whole community. Entry is free, and all are invited inside to enjoy some of the treasures from the University’s 500 years of collecting. Some are stunning, some are strange and many are surprising! The exhibition area is the perfect size to pop in as you’re passing by on the High Street, and there are even seats and tables where you can bring a drink or snack if you fancy a slice of culture with your cuppa!
King's College Mace, Aberdeen 1650 and Painting of King's College from the South East by James Cassie, 1848
We’re keen to make this as engaging and interactive a place as possible and will be offering a increasing variety of events and opportunities for students, staff, schools and the wider public to get involved with this local trove of history and heritage. Look out for frequent updates on exhibitions, workshops and projects, or visit www.abdn.ac.uk/kingsmuseum/ for the latest news.
In the few short weeks since opening on April 18th the new museum has welcomed well over 500 visitors. The opening exhibition, ‘100 Curiosities’ displays 100 objects from the collection, selected by 100 people who each wrote 100 words to explain their chosen item’s significance. Ranging from the silver ceremonial mace of King’s College and a fossil Cretaceous mosasaur to a Pictish carved stone and a confiscated tiger penis, the objects show the variety of items that the university has looked after for hundreds of years. The people who have chosen them are almost as diverse, including university academics and students, local adults and children, overseas donors and experts, artists, authors and poets. Among the many visitors, Sheena Blackhall, the well-known North-East poet has written poems inspired by the exhibition, which are now on display in the museum.
Neil Curtis, Head of Museums explains, “Although this exhibition was inspired by 17th and 18th century cabinets of curiosity, I hope that the exhibition shows the continuing importance of curiosity as we try to understand the meanings of objects. It has been fascinating to see the variety of ways in which people’s curiosity have been inspired by the collection”
Curious? Come in and see for yourself!
King’s Museum is open on weekdays (9.30-4.30) and Saturdays (11-4).
Georgia Brooker, email@example.com