THE BROADS MU­SEUM

EDP Norfolk - - County Life - For a full pro­gramme of events see www.mu­se­u­mofthe­broads.org.uk

WHAT STARTED as a hand­ful of bor­rowed ex­hibits in a small rented boat­shed is now a thriv­ing mu­seum burst­ing at the seams with fas­ci­nat­ing arte­facts chart­ing the rich her­itage of our mag­i­cal wa­ter­ways.

This year marks the 21st birth­day of The Mu­seum of the Broads and it will cel­e­brate with a host of events through­out the sum­mer – lead­ing with the Broad­land in Pic­tures ex­hi­bi­tion.

The mu­seum, which is nes­tled on the wa­ter­side on Stal­ham Staithe, looks at all as­pects of life on the Broads, from the vi­tal role they played in agri­cul­ture and in­dus­try to the boom­ing tourism in­dus­try; from boat­ing par­adise to con­ser­va­tion won­der­land.

“When the mu­seum opened in 1996 at Pot­ter Heigham, we only had a few dis­plays and we were lent the ma­jor­ity of the ob­jects be­cause no-one thought it would last,” says cu­ra­tor Ni­cola Hems.

“Now we have 5,000 ob­jects, al­most all of which we own. We have a lovely col­lec­tion of large boats, but also I love the mem­o­ries of peo­ple’s hol­i­days; the post­cards, the sou­venirs, the snap­shots, and then of course we have the his­tory of life on the Norfolk Broads. But such is the size of col­lec­tion we can’t ex­hibit ev­ery­thing all the time – which is why putting on spe­cial ex­hi­bi­tions, such as Broad­land in

Pic­tures, is so fan­tas­tic.” The theme of the ex­hi­bi­tion is how the Broads land­scape cre­ates mem­o­ries through art – from 18th cen­tury paint­ings, to early pho­to­graphs and ad­ver­tis­ing im­ages. A key part of it is the work of ac­claimed artist Philippa Miller, who died in 2010 aged 101.

“We have a lot of her paint­ings here but we have never been able to dis­play them prop­erly be­fore, so it has been won­der­ful to see them all to­gether, to ac­knowl­edge the place that she has in our his­tory,” says Ni­cola.

“She was paint­ing be­fore and af­ter world war two and was a teacher in Nor­wich, liv­ing through the bomb­ings in the city. She had the most fas­ci­nat­ing life. We have some beau­ti­ful scenes painted by her of fam­i­lies en­joy­ing hol­i­days on the wa­ter, as well as her stun­ning land­scapes.”

As part of the an­niver­sary ex­hi­bi­tion, Ni­cola has also in­cluded the work of con­tem­po­rary artists, in­clud­ing Neil Smal­ley, Suzanne Chis­nell, Linda Purdy and tex­tile artist Jo­hanne Coul­drey, some of whom have cre­ated pieces spe­cially for the ex­hi­bi­tion.

An­other key part of the ex­hi­bi­tion is the im­pact of tourism on the Broads and the way in which the de­vel­op­ment of the rail­ways led to a boom in visi­tors.

“To­wards the end of the 19th cen­tury, the rail­way com­pa­nies ac­tu­ally em­ployed pho­tog­ra­phers to travel to ar­eas such as the Broads to take pho­to­graphs. Sur­rey pho­tog­ra­pher John Payne Jen­nings spent a year here trav­el­ling around and pro­duc­ing pho­to­graphs which were then used to pro­mote the area to visi­tors via train. It was very early prim­i­tive tourism ad­ver­tis­ing.

“Then, as the in­dus­try be­gan to de­velop, the hol­i­day brochures came, then post­cards, then sou­venirs. The col­lec­tion very much re­flects the way visi­tors re­mem­ber the Broads through the last 100 years.”

Through­out the sum­mer, there will be a pro­gramme of fam­ily art work­shops, funded by the Norfolk County Coun­cil Arts Project fund. There is also a Boat Jum­ble on May 7, and the pop­u­lar jazz and beer fes­ti­val on June 24.

A pho­to­graph of Stal­ham Dyke taken by Vic­to­rian pho­togra­her JP Jen­nings, whose work is part of the Broad­land in pic­tures ex­hi­bi­tion at the Mu­seum of the Broads

Below: A broad­land scene de­picted by Nor­wich artist Philippa Miller

Above: A head­dress de­signed by Jo­hanne Coul­drey as part of a new ex­hi­bi­tion at the Mu­seum of the Broads

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.