Fresh designs for Bolton Museum’s new Egyptology gallery have been drawn up for consideration.
This is the second set of conceptual images for the gallery, by Huddersfield-based museum exhibition designers Leach Studio.
Initial interpretations were revealed in December and shared on social media.
The new images reflect suggestions from members of the public and partners, plus more detailed consideration has been given to the museum collections and how artefacts can be best displayed.
The artist’s impressions will continue to evolve as part of the design process and will be once again shared on social media.
There will also be a display in the library and museum building, in Le Mans Crescent, to give visitors the opportunity to have a closer look.
Each area will continue to depict a different stage of the visitor experience to the gallery, named Bolton’s Egypt: the Portico; Rotunda; Land & People; and Preparing To Live Forever.
In addition, there will be a section devoted to Chadwick Museum – depicted as a doll’s house set in parkland - and how Bolton came to acquire such an extensive Egyptology collection.
Local mill owner’s daughter, Annie Barlow, was a member of the Egypt Exploration Fund in the 19th Century and helped to raise funds for excavations in Egypt. In return for her generous contributions, she was gifted a number of finds which she donated to the Chadwick Museum.
Chadwick Museum was the town’s first museum; opened in 1884 in Queen’s Park. When it became too small for its growing collections, the museum in Le Mans Crescent was built in the 1930s and eventually opened in 1947, where it still stands today.
Also, central to the new gallery will be a full-sized recreation of the tomb of Thutmose III.
Bolton Council’s Cabinet Member for Culture, Youth and Sport, Cllr John Byrne, said: “This is such an exciting and unique project, and it’s fantastic that members of the public as well as the library and museum service have been able to input into the gallery’s new design.
“We are incredibly lucky here in Bolton, to own some truly magnificent historical artefacts and we want to develop something really special to showcase the town’s Egyptology collection, which is one of the most significant in the UK. We also want to capture people’s imaginations, and create an experience that will appeal to visitors for many years to come.
“The designs are still at the concept stage, and there is still work to be done to develop the final plans, but having seen the early proposals I am confident the end result will be something amazing that we can all enjoy and be proud of.”
Helen Mort, Creative Services Manager, Leach Studio, said: “It is fantastic to collaborate, create and share in the town’s passion for Egyptology.
“With such an historic and impressive collection of artefacts, we are delighted to work with the wonderful team at Bolton Museum to showcase the collection within our designs and help bring this unique visitor experience to life.
“Our creative team are now looking forward to moving these concepts into reality!”
The museum is set to re-open to the public in 2018.
To keep up to date with what’s happening at Bolton Library and Museum Services, follow them on Twitter @BoltonLMS or like their Facebook page.
*Portico – This will tell the story of all our collectors who donated to the museum. Artefacts suspended from the ceiling will make a striking installation against a backdrop of original architecture, revealed as part of the project.
*Rotunda – An entrance space with a stunning centrepiece that will serve as an introduction to Bolton’s Egypt
*Chadwick Room – A doll’s house-style recreation of Bolton’s first museum will show how we acquired our collections
*Land and People – This gallery will tell the story of everyday life in Egypt. Glass archways will provide a modern and innovative display case, and guide visitors through the exhibition.
*Preparing to Live Forever – In contrast to the light, glass-filled gallery, this darkened exhibition space will show how Egyptians prepared for death – and prepare visitors for the facsimile tomb.
*Tomb – This full-sized recreation of the tomb of Thutmose III will transport visitors to ancient Egypt but with a modern twist. Through contemporary animation on the walls of the tomb, visitors will learn about the Egyptians’ journey to death.