A new Archaeology Gallery is to open next Summer at Maidstone Museum. To be called ‘Lives in Our Landscape’ it will replace the existing gallery, which the Foundation said was in need of a revamp in its presentation, interpretation and themes.
Funding for the gallery, which totalled £600,000, was secured at the beginning of the year. Sources of funding for the new gallery include £100,000 from the William and Edith Oldham Charitable Trust, matched by £100,000 raised by Maidstone Museums’ Foundation, together with £389,000 from the Council.
The new family friendly gallery will offer physical and digital interactives including a touchscreen map, and costumes. The museum is now working in partnership with the Kent Archaeological Society (KAS) to select the objects for display.
Paul Oldham from The William and Edith Oldham Charitable Trust, who kicked off the project with a £100,000 donation, said: “Maidstone Museum needs new displays to attract visitors. The William and Edith Oldham Charitable Trust took the initiative with the offer of a grant of £100,000 for a new archaeology gallery. This project has attracted the strong support of the Borough Council, the Maidstone Museums’ Foundation and the Kent Archaeological Society. Working together we can present a wonderful collection of objects for public education and enjoyment.”
Mike Evans from the Maidstone Museums’ Foundation (MMF) added: “The gallery will appeal to all ages, but particularly young people. As MMF is very supportive of youngsters, running its own Youth Ambassador programme, we think the new gallery will enrich the understanding of those who are the future. Their better appreciation, through imaginative, eye catching and interactive displays, is to be very much welcomed.”