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18 November 2011

New Staffordshire Hoard display at BMAG

While Dave Symons and the Staffordshire Hoard have been wowing American audiences the team at BMAG have not been idle.  A new Staffordshire Hoard display has just opened at BMAG in Gallery 12

Standing in for Dave as curator I joined Exhibitions Manager Andy Horn and designer Simon Meddings in co-ordinating the move.  Stepping into Dave’s shoes was made easier as he and Andy had provided a large file of plans for the new display.

None of this would happen without the technical team, who arrived hotfoot from the installation of the beautiful  ‘Lost in Lace’ exhibition to work on the gallery.  The techs swiftly transformed the space – re-painting Gallery 12, moving old displays of Peruvian pottery into storage, mounting labels and bringing in cases from Gallery 16.

New panels explore key themes in the story of the hoard.

Gary wields a drill

Kate marking up

If you have ever wanted to know what happens in a museum at night, here we are with the Conservation team installing the gold hoard in the cases!

Deborah M and Gemma make it look easy

‘Left a bit!’ Magnification and lighting help even tiny garnets to shine

Hands on from start to finish! Final touches from Andy and Simon.

The New Gallery

More than a hundred Staffordshire Hoard objects can be seen in Gallery 12.  The display also highlights the developing story of the hoard with a new panel explaining the important work being done in the Conservation Studio.

A film clip from the National Geographic introduces the discovery and you can touch and feel Anglo-Saxon helmet mail or test the weight of an Anglo-Saxon sword and seax made by Paul Binns.

Replica Anglo-Saxon helmet

This is a fantastic opportunity to try out new touch-screen interactives, developed with Stoke Museum and our Mercian Trail partners for the summer exhibition.  These contain added information on major finds, such as the cross and the eagle mount.

Hoard interactives

As the British Museum curatorial placement I will be working with Dave and Andy for the next year on plans for a permanent Staffordshire Hoard gallery.

If you would like to help us input into the process please try out Gallery 12 and let us know what you enjoyed or what you would like to see more of here.

Morn Capper, British Museum Future Curator at Birmingham Museums and Art Gallery.