Wiltshire Museum's new gallery space to attract exhibitions from national museums

Written by Tony Millett on .


The Wiltshire Museum in Devizes is creating a new Special Exhibition gallery that will be suitable to take exhibits from national museums.

The new gallery will open this November when it will be the only British venue for the international tour of the Winds and Words of War exhibition – an exhibition of American First World War propaganda posters and prints from Texas' San Antonio Public Library which is on a two year tour of Europe.


The Special Exhibition Gallery will be alongside the current Art Gallery in the space that is currently the Recent History Gallery. Full height boards will be installed so that art works can be easily hung, new lighting will be installed with new high security cases.


The new space will meet the requirements of the Government Indemnity Scheme which means we can borrow objects from national museums, including the British Museum.


This new venture for the Museum comes as it has been named as an Arts Council National Portfolio Organisation with new funding as part of the Wessex Museums Partnership, which is led by Poole Museums Service and includes the Dorset County Museum and Salisbury Museum as well as the Wiltshire Museum.


With this new Art Council funding the Museum will be able to employ an Exhibitions Officer to work with the Wessex Museums Partners to bring high quality special exhibitions to Devizes.


The new gallery will put Devizes on the same itinerary for the Winds and Words of War exhibition as Berlin, Darmstadt, The Franco-American Museum in Cháteau de Biérancourt, and the famous Musée de la Grande Guerre in Pays de Meaux.


The work of creating the Gallery is being funded by the Ready to Borrow Scheme, run by the South West Museum Development Programme and the Arts Council and by a donation in memory of Richard Oexmann. 

The work will begin this month with the cleaning and packing of collections from the current Recent History Gallery.


This provides an opportunity over the summer for visitors to talk to the team undertaking the work and to see some of the objects close-up as they are moved.
Many of these objects will now feature in the Story of Devizes galleries, including old favourites such as items from the schoolroom, the Slopers sign and the Cunnington telephone.


A lecture to accompany the Winds and Words of War exhibition is scheduled for Saturday, November 18 - details will be announced later.