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Norwich Castle

Norfolk Museums Service - Latest News

Manet and Koons: Coming soon in 2015!

Two giants of the art world will be celebrated in exhibitions at Norwich Castle Museum & Art Gallery in 2015.

Homage to Manet

Saturday 31 January – Sunday 19 April

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This major loan exhibition examines the legacy of one of the most important and controversial artists of modern times, the French artist Edouard Manet (1832-1883). Central to the exhibition and the undisputed star of the show is Manet’s stunning Portrait of Mademoiselle Claus recently acquired for the nation by the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford.

Unique to Norwich Castle Museum & Art Gallery, Homage to Manet presents a fascinating opportunity to look at this wonderful portrait and explore the exhibition’s central theme – how Manet influenced the way future generations of artists depicted women and paved the way for professional female artists of the early 20th century to represent themselves.

Featuring approximately 60 works, including examples by Claude Monet, John Singer Sargent, Philip Wilson Steer, Walter Sickert, Gwen John, William Orpen, Vanessa Bell and others, this exhibition breaks new ground in tracing Manet’s legacy in Britain.

We are grateful for the support of the Principal Exhibition Sponsor, Birketts Solicitors. Homage to Manet is also supported by the East Anglia Art Fund and the Eastern Daily Press.




Saturday 9 May - Sunday 6 September

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This is a rare opportunity in the UK to experience the work of American artist Jeff Koons, widely regarded as one of the most important, influential, popular, and controversial artists of our time.

The exhibition will feature works in a variety of media to showcase his originality and remarkably diverse art practice, and will include some of his most iconic works such as Winter Bears, 1988.

Advance tickets are on sale now for the period 8-24 May – click here to book your place!

Adult £6
Concession £5
(registered disabled, jobseekers, over 65s and full-time students)
Child £4 (4-18 years)

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In partnership with the Norfolk & Norwich Festival

NMS launches first crowdfunding campaign – to turn wood into gold!

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On 8 December we are launching our first ever crowdfunding project to re-gild the frame of one of our rarest and best loved paintings: The Paston Treasure.

Painted by an unknown Dutch artist at Oxnead Hall in Norfolk over 350 years ago, it depicts treasures collected by the famous Paston family. In the 17th century, the ornately carved frame would not have looked as it does today – plain wood – but would have been gilded.

We have until 31 March 2015 to raise the £14,500 needed to transform this unique piece of Norfolk’s heritage. Donate today through the Art Happens website and receive a special thank you, with a whole range of exclusive rewards only available online. 100% of contributions will go directly to the restoration work.

And with Christmas just around the corner, why not give a donation as an unusual Christmas present to an art-loving friend?

We want to return this masterpiece to its former glory in preparation for a once-in-a-lifetime exhibition planned for 2018. This will bring together as many of the Paston treasures as possible, and reunite them with The Paston Treasure painting for the first time since the 17th century.

Don’t miss this golden opportunity to make a Norfolk treasure shine!

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John Wonnacott and John Lessore: The Life Room and the City

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Norwich Castle Museum & Art Gallery
John Wonnacott and John Lessore: The Life Room and the City
4 October 2014 to 4 January 2015

Norwich University of the Arts, The Gallery at NUA
John Wonnacott and John Lessore: About Life
4 November 2014 – 10 January 2015

This autumn complementary exhibitions will celebrate Norwich’s iconic Art School as it reaches its 170th year by showcasing the work of two former tutors: John Wonnacott and John Lessore. These influential artists championed the role of drawing from life in formal art training at a time when this tradition was under threat. The Norwich Castle exhibition will reunite the distinguished set of paintings of the city and of their teaching in the Life Room which they made at the art school between 1978 and 1986, while the NUA show will explore their careers more fully. Together these fascinating exhibitions will re-examine British figurative painting in the twentieth century through the contribution of two of its most outstanding exponents.

What's On, Autumn and Winter 2014 at Norwich Castle

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The latest What's On leaflet is now available. Find out about all the events at the Norwich Museums for Autumn/ Winter 2014, including John Wonnacott and John Lessore: The Life Room and the City - a great exhibition at Norwich Castle. Click here to download a copy.

Time and Time Museum wins Sandford Award for Heritage Education

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Staff at the Time and Tide Museum in Great Yarmouth have been awarded a prestigious Sandford Award for heritage education. This highly coveted national award is given annually to museums which are judged to offer very high standards in the provision of their learning events. Norwich Castle and Gressenhall Farm and Workhouse also hold Sandford Awards for their education programmes.

The museum received a visit from a Sandford Award judge in April who observed a school event and talked to staff about the learning activities at the museum. The judge was ‘very impressed’ with the quality and scope of the learning programmes being delivered at Time and Tide. In summing up the report the judge said that;

“The Time and Tide Museum in Great Yarmouth provides a wide range of learning resources to encourage children to explore the past, not only in the local area but also nationally. Ranging from pre-historic times to within living memory, the displays and artefacts, housed in an historic herring curing works, bring stories to life through imaginative interpretation.”

Explore our wonderful new collections website

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Our new collections website has just launched, with over 87,000 objects for you to explore! For the first time you can search the collections by theme, enjoy specially commissioned photography of some of our most spectacular objects and learn more about the intriguing stories behind key highlights in the collections - like this amazing Balschka glass octopus from our Natural History collection.

Supported by funding from Arts Council England and the Esmée Fairbairn Collections Fund, the website will continue to grow over the coming months so everyone can get the most out of our fantastic collections. Click on the 'Search our collections' button on any of our website pages and start your journey of discovery today!

Ancient House Museum prepare to launch Kids in Museums Takeover Day

On Saturday 24 May, Teenage History Club from Ancient House Museum of Thetford Life will swap their gadgets & games for historical objects and a visit from ‘History Keepers’ author Damien Dibben as they take part in the national launch for Kids in Museums Takeover Day.

Teenage History Club will be giving Damien Dibben, a Kids in Museums Trustee, a tour of their highlights and favourite objects in the Ancient House followed by a workshop to produce a trail aimed at young people visiting the museum. Kids in Museums will then circulate the groups’ top ten tips for creating a teenage trail to museums nationally.

In the afternoon visitors will have the opportunity to meet Damien Dibben and hear more about his ‘History Keepers’ series. Damien will be reading excerpts and signing copies of his books, which will be available from Teenage History Club in the museum shop.

Tickets for the afternoon activities are available from Ancient House Museum of Thetford Life.

Help us to Go Green

Click here to download a copy of the Spring newsletter

By signing up to email bulletins instead of mailed newsletters.

If you currently receive our regular newsletters through the post, but would like to receive email bulletins instead, you will not only get up to the minute information, but you will also be helping us to reduce the amount of print we produce, as we work towards a sustainable future.

• To download the Newsletter, click here>>

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Art Masterpiece from Norwich Castle visits local School for a Day

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A masterpiece from Norwich Castle by one of the country’s most eminent painters was put on show at Benjamin Britten High School, Lowestoft as part of a project to highlight some of the nation’s finest artworks.

Pupils were able to enjoy The Conjuror, painted in about 1847 by John Everett Millais, who founded the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood with Dante Gabriel Rossetti and William Holman Hunt. The painting was accompanied by Giorgia Bottinelli (Curator of Art) and Colly Mudie (Learning Manager). The painting showed a magician performing in front of a fascinated audience.

The day was a great success with over 300 students and 40 staff viewing the masterpiece during the day. One girl commented that she had never seen a painting before. Both BBC and ITV covered the event on their local news programmes.

The event was part of the national Your Paintings: Masterpieces in Schools project which saw 27 schools throughout the country hosting famous works. The initiative was launched by BBC Learning and the Public Catalogue Foundation to help young people explore the nation’s rich and varied artistic heritage.

Shine a Light Project

This is an imageAlthough there are huge numbers of objects in the museums – there is never quite enough space for everything! Some objects are delicate and can’t be on display all the time and others are large, or don’t fit in with current exhibitions. All these objects are kept in store and a large number are kept at the Superstore in Gressenhall. The Shine a Light Project seeks to unlock the potential of our fabulous reserve collections, by making them accessible to all. See the Shine a Light Project blog for more info>>

Follow us on Facebook and Flickr

This is an imageIf you enjoy using social media sites, you can now share your comments and photos with us on Facebook and Flickr.

…I would say that Norfolk Museums Service is one of the best county museum services in the country and it’s doing a great service to the people and visitors of Norfolk.

I am absolutely thrilled. I could never in a thousand years imagine that I could be fortunate enough to find a fossil and have it identified.