Spotlight on: Katie Wylie, Marketing and Digital Intern at Royal Cornwall Museum

After five fantastic months, I am now nearing the end of my placement as the Marketing and Digital Intern at the Royal Cornwall Museum in Truro. My role at the RCM has primarily involved assisting the Marketing and Digital Lead, Sophie Meyer, in promoting stories from the museum’s collections. This has mainly been achieved through a mix of social media, blogs and online exhibitions.

I have also had the opportunity to attend a number of talks and conferences, including the Museums Association ‘Digital Basics Bootcamp’ at the Science and Industry Museum in Manchester. I have learnt a lot about the importance of creating great content – using my knowledge to explore the collections, stores and archives, and to bring hitherto unknown tales to the fore.

Knowing that my term at the RCM would take in International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month (both in March), I have been particularly inspired to focus on the women that are represented in the museum’s collections.

Staff and patients, including Red Cross nurses, outside the Royal Cornwall Infirmary, Truro, Cornwall. 21st July 1916. © From the collection of the RIC (TRURI-TRUhrc-9). As featured in the online exhibition ‘Behind the Lines: Personal Stories of the First World War’.

For example, with the recent online exhibition ‘Behind the Lines: Personal Stories of the First World War’, I was keen to incorporate pieces on both Red Cross nurses and the Women’s Land Army in Cornwall. The RCM’s photographic collection clearly shows their remarkable contribution to the war effort – training to help the sick and wounded and taking on demanding agricultural work. It was a privilege to research their time at the Royal Cornwall Infirmary and Tregavethan Farm near Truro.

Members of the First World War Women’s Land Army at Tregavethan Farm, Truro, Cornwall. April-May 1917. © From the collection of the RIC (TRURI-1972-2-56). As featured in the online exhibition ‘Behind the Lines: Personal Stories of the First World War’.

Likewise, I am currently participating in a campaign devised by the National Museum of Women in the Arts. Using social media, they have been asking the public whether they can name five women artists. Many cannot, calling attention to the fact that women have not been treated equally in the art sphere, and today remain dramatically underrepresented and undervalued in museums, galleries and auction houses worldwide.

In a bid to help the NMWA promote gender equality, we have joined the #5WomenArtists movement – pledging to release a series of blog posts highlighting five women artists that are included in the RCM’s collections. A physical trail has also been put together to emphasise their work within the museum.

The posts will feature artists from a range of time periods, who use a variety of different mediums for expression. The first article was about Esther M. Moore (1857-1934), who worked as a colliery agent before becoming a sculptor in 1891. Her Art Nouveau and Symbolist piece ‘At the Gates of the Past’ is one of my favourite objects at the museum. The following instalments will be published on each Friday in March.

‘At the Gates of the Past’ by Esther M. Moore (1857-1934). As featured in the #5WomenArtists blog series with the National Museum of Women in the Arts.

I have thoroughly enjoyed my internship and look forward to making the most of my last few weeks at the RCM.

– Katie Wylie
Marketing and Digital Intern, Royal Cornwall Museum

You can follow #5WomenArtists here: https://www.royalcornwallmuseum.org.uk/5womenartists

The online exhibition ‘Behind the Lines: Personal Stories from the First World War’ can be found here: https://www.royalcornwallmuseum.org.uk/exhibition/behind-the-lines-personal-stories-of-the-first-world-war

Job Vacancy: Digital Coordinator (Maternity Cover) – Cornwall Museums Partnership

Job title: Digital Coordinator (12 month maternity leave cover) 0.5 FTE

Salary £28,000 pro rata

Closing date: 20 March 2019, 5pm

Interview date: 3 April 2019

Are you passionate about the potential of technology to help museums share their stories? Do you see technology as a tool to help museums develop sustainable business models? Are you interested in the culture of organisations that thrive in the internet age?

We’re looking for a Digital Coordinator to lead our programme of support for museums in Cornwall and Scilly. This is a part time role working with our small, friendly team based at Cornwall Museums Partnership at Krowji, Redruth. We will consider a range of applications including freelance, consultancy or secondment.

See below for the full job description and application form.

Please send a completed application form to emmie@cornwallmuseumspartnership.org.uk by 5 pm on 20th March 2019.

NB: The current postholder also works as the Digital Coach for our partners Creative Kernow (also based at Krowji). Applicants for the Cornwall Museums Partnership role are also welcome to apply for the Creative Kernow role. Click here for more details.

Cornish Object of the Year 2019 Vlog 6 – ‘St Mary’s Church Clock Hand’

In the run up to the Cornwall Heritage Awards, I have been visiting each of the museums with objects shortlisted for Cornish Object of the Year Award 2019, hearing from the staff and volunteers about the amazing stories behind the objects.

In my final vlog I speak to Tony Greenbank, a volunteer at The Old Guildhall Museum and Gaol in East Looe, to hear about their shortlisted object the ‘St. Mary’s Church Clock Hand’.

The story surrounding the clock hand is fascinating. The clock hand dates back to 1737 and is from one, of only two, single handed clocks located in Cornwall. In an intriguing act of local rivalry, the clock face of St. Mary’s Church located in East Looe is hidden from the view of residents in West Looe, likewise, the clock in West Looe is hidden from the view of residents of East Looe.

To vote for your favourite Cornish object click here.

Voting closes at midnight on Tuesday 12 February 2019 and the winner will be announced at the Cornwall Heritage Awards on Thursday 21 March 2019.

Peter Lower, Marketing and Events Intern

Cornish Object of the Year 2019 Vlog 5 – ‘The Gurney Stove’

In the run up to the Cornwall Heritage Awards, I have been visiting each of the museums with shortlisted objects nominated for Cornish Object of the Year Award 2019, to hear from the staff and volunteers about the amazing stories behind the objects.

In this vlog I speak to Janine King, Heritage Development Officer at The Castle, Bude, to hear about their shortlisted object the Gurney Stove.

The Gurney Stove, a predecessor to the modern radiator, was patented by Cornish inventor Sir Goldsworthy Gurney in 1856 and heated many public buildings including the Houses of Parliament and St. Paul’s Cathedral. The stove is an object belonging to Britain’s industrial age, yet aspects of the design can still be seen in radiators today, particularly the fins for radiating heat. Viewing all of Sir Goldsworthy Gurney’s different inventions made me think, once again, how the Cornish inventors of the industrial age, such as Sir Humphry Davy and Richard Trevithick had a great impact on Britain.

To vote for your favourite Cornish object click here.
Voting closes at midnight on Tuesday 12 February 2019.

– Peter Lower, Marketing and Events Intern

Cornish Object of the Year Award 2019 Vlog 4 – ‘The Bethlehem Pasty’

In the run up to the Cornwall Heritage Awards, I have been visiting each of the museums with shortlisted objects nominated for Cornish Object of the Year Award 2019, to hear from the staff and volunteers about the amazing stories behind the objects.

In this vlog I speak to Rosie Kliskey, Assistant Curator at Museum of Cornish Life in Helston to hear the story behind their shortlisted object the ‘Bethlehem Pasty.’

I hadn’t visited the Museum of Cornish Life before filming the vlog. The museum specialises in the social history of Cornwall and I was surprised at the variety of objects in their collection, from typewriters to mobile phones, and military uniforms to the gigantic, centuries old, cider press. The ‘Bethlehem Pasty’ – which is carved from stone – is a particularly fascinating example of Cornwall’s social history as it enlightens us to the life of William Jewell, a butcher from Cornwall, who served with the Desert Rats in Africa and the Middle East during the Second World War.

To vote for your favourite Cornish object click here.
Voting closes Midnight Tues 12 February 2019.

– Peter Lower, Marketing and Events Intern

Cornish Object of the Year Award 2019 Vlog 3 – ‘Penzance Market Cross’

In the run up to the Cornwall Heritage Awards, 21 March, I have been visiting each of the shortlisted objects nominated for Cornish Object of the Year Award 2019 to hear from the staff and volunteers about the amazing stories behind the objects.

In this vlog I speak to Anna Renton, Director at Penlee House Gallery and Museum, to hear the story of their shortlisted object, the ‘Penzance Market Cross’.

It was amazing to hear the story of the cross, which has been a mainstay of Penzance for over 1000 years. It was fascinating to find out about the meaning of the inscriptions, and how the cross has moved to seven different locations around the town.

The Cornish Object of the Year Award 2019 is open to public vote, vote for your favourite object here.

Voting closes Midnight 12 Feb.
The winner will be announced at the Cornwall Heritage Awards, 21 March 2019.

– Peter Lower, Marketing and Events Intern

Cornish Object of the Year Award 2019 Vlog 2 – ‘Spirit of Ecstasy’ Hood Ornament and Mould

In the run up to the Cornwall Heritage Awards, 21 March, I have been visiting each of the shortlisted objects nominated for Cornish Object of the Year Award 2019 to hear from the staff and volunteers about the amazing stories behind the objects.

In this vlog I speak to Si Durrant, Trainee Curator at Wheal Martyn Clay Works, to hear about their object the ‘Spirit of Ecstasy’ Hood Ornament and Mould.

I have always been fascinated by the industrial heritage of Cornwall and the many different links that Cornwall has to industry all around the world. The story of this Rolls Royce icon and its accompanying Molochite mould is another great example, with Cornish clay (forming the Molochite mould) being influential in the present day aviation industry.

The Cornish Object of the Year Award 2019 is open to public vote, vote for your favourite object here.

Voting closes Midnight 12 Feb.
The winner will be announced at the Cornwall Heritage Awards, 21 March 2019.

The next vlog will feature Penlee House Gallery.

– Peter Lower, Marketing and Events Intern

 

 

 

Board Development: Succession Planning

By now you know how much I love a sporting analogy. So it should come as no surprise that I’m going to use another one here to look at why being strategic about your board development and succession plan will help your organisation to deliver greater impact and focus resources more effectively.

After England won the Rugby World Cup in 2003 a lot of the experienced squad retired, and we had a hiatus of about ten years when frankly we weren’t that great. Mike Catt, one of that winning squad summed it up, “There was no legacy from our win. We didn’t pass anything on.” This has often confused me with British sports, why’d we get so good and then suddenly after a great achievement we’d seem to have to begin all over again.

I asked a friend of mine, a professional rugby player, why this was. His answer was succession planning. Well, his answer was a bit longer than that, but that was a large part of it. He used the example of the All Blacks, a team that has dominated the game for decades, they are the most successful sports franchise in history.

Museums and other charities can learn a lot from how the All Blacks, and other great sporting teams evolve and develop, continually striving to be better and do better.

 

“We always want to make sure that the place we go to, we leave it in as good if not better shape than when we arrived.”

– Sam Whitelock, City AM 2015

The All Blacks have a clear culture and values that they embed in every player, from the grassroots to the elite and all the support staff of coaches, trainers, in fact everyone involved in the game. ‘Better people make better All Blacks’ is the mantra that underpins the team’s culture.

Steve Tew, CEO of New Zealand Rugby says, “You have to live those values and live them 24/7 otherwise they end up being just words on a strategic plan or brand poster or some other fancy document.” They unite behind a shared vision of what success looks like.

The All Blacks never lose sight of who they are playing for: family, friends, their team mates and every single Kiwi scattered across the world. This is a lesson for every charity, to keep your stakeholders at the heart of everything that you do.

The All Blacks train relentlessly, elite players constantly hone the fundamental basic skills of their game, continually improving. An All Black would never consider they have nothing left to learn or suggest that they have all the necessary skills to deliver the best they can. The All Blacks have as high expectations of themselves as their fans do. Resting on their laurels is not an option.

To learn more about effective board development, please see our Governance eLearning modules (coming soon) or get in touch with us about our Good Governance programme by emailing clare@cornwallmuseumspartnership.org.uk.

– Clare Pennington, RPR Programme Manager

My Experience of Firm Foundations – Elisa Harris

Presentation by CMP CEO Emmie Kell

The invitation to go on the Firm Foundations course came at the perfect time for me. Krowji had secured the match funding for Phase 2 of our redevelopment project and we were waiting for news of our ERDF bid – we have since been told it was successful!

The course is true to its name – designed to enable you to create a solid foundation before embarking on a capital project, there was a huge amount packed into just two days with a good balance of talks, site visits and tasks making it very engaging. During the first half of the course we were given direct access to an impressive list of experts covering everything from board structure to funding and marketing to risk management.

Highlights for me included a talk by Eden’s CEO Gordon Seabright, in which he spoke very candidly about the successes and challenges he’s faced during his time at Eden, and an informal surgery with Phil Gendall of Wolf Rock focussed on creating a clear message in your marketing materials. The risk assessment of preparing and eating a cream tea was also a lot of fun!

Firm Foundations has been designed for small groups of delegates in order to create an open, honest and safe environment in which to share experiences and ask questions. It’s relevant to all levels so there’s a good mix of people who have worked on capital projects and those who have never done anything like this before.

CMP have generously paired each of us with a mentor, one of their team of experts, so that we are supported in the months between the two halves of the course – an invaluable resource which I intend to make full use of. I’m now very much looking forward to diving into second instalment of the course come February, in particular attending an exclusive evening with Jamie Fobert over supper at the Tate!

– Elisa Harris, Krowji Studio Manager

To find out more about the Firm Foundation programme click here

Pool School Gallery celebrates National Lottery Funding

Photograph from left to right shows Pool Academy students, Leah Matthews, Harry Kessell and Leia Knight

Pool School Gallery, a community interest company, has been awarded £45,400 by the National Lottery to work with the Cornwall Council Schools Art Collection. This important and culturally significant collection was created with the intention that children in Cornwall should have access to great art. Artists represented include Jacob Epstein, Barbara Hepworth, Alfred Wallis and Terry Frost.

During 2018 Pool Academy students worked with artists to transform the school’s old caretakers’ bungalow into a new art gallery. Thanks to National Lottery players, the grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) will support an exciting project using the Cornwall Council Schools Art CollectionStudents will research its history and create exhibitions and learning materials based around it. The project examines not what art means, but what art means to us. Students will be responsible for telling its story and they will help to shape and secure its future. The project is supported by Pool Academy, The Royal Cornwall Museum, Cornwall Museums Partnership and Cornwall Council.

Claire Meakin, Pool Academy’s Principal, says: ‘I am really proud that our students are working with this culturally significant collection.’

The Chair of Governors at Pool Academy, Clive Bramley, says: ‘We are very grateful to the National Lottery for awarding us the grant.’

 Ian Wall, Director of the Royal Cornwall Museum, says: This initiative, supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund, is a great example of partnerships coming together to nurture the creative talent of young people’.

 Emmie Kell, CEO of Cornwall Museums Partnership says: ‘We are delighted to support this project as it completely aligns with our values of collaboration, innovation, and inclusivity. We look forward to seeing students realise their creative potential through the range of projects the gallery will enable them to be involved in.’

 Nerys Watts, Head of HLF South West, said: ‘Thanks to money raised by National Lottery players, this project will put Pool Academy students at the heart of telling the history of Cornwall’s Schools Art Collection and the cultural heritage it has built for them to explore and enjoy!’

 Cllr Bob Egerton, Portfolio Holder for Planning and Economy at Cornwall Council says: ‘Cornwall Council is thrilled to see this innovative project getting underway. The purpose of the Council’s Schools Art Collection has always been to bring great quality art into the heart of our schools and this project achieves exactly that. It will give students the time to study the artworks more intensively and to be inspired to make their own creative and critical responses. The students will also develop a series of exhibitions and activities that will enable the local community and other schools to appreciate the works. We very much look forward to seeing the new approaches to working with the Collection that the students will develop.’

EB Year 7 says: I think it’s important to work with the Cornwall Council Schools Art Collection because it’s a great experience to go to the gallery, enjoy making things for it, and being able to come back and look at the work you’ve created and what you’ve achieved. I think that they (artists) are inspiring children to achieve what they want to achieve. Let’s say an artist showed some children his or her work, then the children might want to create something like that.

Spotlight on: Si Durrant, Trainee Curator at Wheal Martyn Clay Works

We catch up with Si Durrant at Wheal Martyn, one of the Trainee Curators supported by Cornwall Museums Partnership’s NPO programme, to talk about his showcase ‘Clay Stories: unearthing stories from our villages and towns’.

“I am now halfway through my placement as Wheal Martyn’s Trainee Curator. My role at Wheal Martyn primarily involves assisting Jo (Curator) and Nikita (Exhibition and Engagement Officer) with unlocking stories from the collection and archives held at Wheal Martyn. As a Trainee Curator, I have been gaining valuable on-the-job experience and attending training sessions at partner museums across Cornwall. I have already seen great variety in the role of a museum Curator. This has included an introduction to museum accreditation, health and safety training, record keeping, working with schools, collections handling, collections hazards, digitising negatives and, more recently, combining these new skills to curate my first ever showcase exhibition.”

“‘Clay Stories: unearthing stories from our villages and towns’, features a selection of curios from the St. Austell china clay area, with each display telling a unique community story from the last 200 years. Village shops, sports, housing, clothing, forgotten trades, industry, and the impact of two World Wars are represented in the extensive collection.”

“The theme of the showcase is stories from our villages and towns. The majority of our collection focuses on the industrial heritage of the china clay industry; however, buried within these c.10,000 items are certain objects that hold hidden stories about a specific area of the local community. For example, our Rolls Royce figurine and mould represents the relationship between the village of St. Dennis and the Aerospace Industry. In fact, this item has just been nominated for an award – Cornish Object of the Year 2019.”

“My research for the showcase began with a map of the St. Austell china clay district – an area which is bounded by St. Austell Bay in the south and the A390 to the north. This map revealed over 50 villages and hamlets that were in close proximity to clay workings. Once I had a list of villages, I was able to search our onsite database for relevant objects, documents, photographs and film. Over the course of several weeks I was able to shortlist these items and then research the stories behind them. Finally, these stories were condensed into a display in the museum atrium and weekly social media posts.”

“I have really enjoyed the huge variety this internship has offered me and greatly look forward to the next three months.”

Colin Vallance, Director of Wheal Martyn says, “It’s been fantastic to have Si as part of the team, uncovering some of the many stories that are hidden within our museum collection and sharing these with our local communities and visitors. Si’s internship is part funded by the European Social Fund, Arts Council England and Cornwall Council, as part of a Cornwall Museums Partnership NPO programme and we are very grateful for their support.”

‘Clay Stories: unearthing stories from our villages and towns’ is free to enter and runs until the end of February 2019. The showcase coincides with Wheal Martyn’s Cornwall Residents’ Pass Offer; for 12 months, admission passes are available at a reduced price of just £6.50 for an adult ticket.

Wheal Martyn would like to encourage visitors during January and February to discover some of these fascinating stories linked to local villages and towns. If you are inspired to share stories from your own village, pop into the museum, email info@wheal-martyn.com or share them on Facebook (@whealmartyncw).

For more information about the Cornish Object of the Year Award 2019 and to vote click here.

Cornish Object of the Year Award 2019 Vlog – Cornish Miner’s Sweetheart Jewellery

Hi, I’m Peter the new Marketing and Events Intern at Cornwall Museums Partnership.

Part of my role at CMP is to help deliver events including the Cornwall Heritage Awards in March. The Cornwall Heritage Awards is a fantastic opportunity for museums and heritage organisations to showcase some of the amazing work they are doing, and this year the Cornish Object of the Year Award has been opened up to the public so everybody can have their say.

One of the great aspects of my internship is visiting the different museums in Cornwall, both big and small, and speaking to the staff and volunteers. Over the upcoming weeks I will be visiting each of the shortlisted objects and finding out from the staff and volunteers about the amazing stories behind the objects and why they were nominated.

In this first vlog, I visit Murdoch House in Redruth to hear about the story behind the Cornish Miner’s Sweetheart Jewellery. Murdoch House was originally the residence of inventor William Murdoch and was the first house in the world to have gas lighting. Murdoch House is now home to the Cornish Global Migration Programme, and it is their director Mike who nominated the object for Cornish Object of the Year Award 2019.

The next vlog will feature the ‘Spirit of Ecstasy’ hood ornament and mould, nominated by Wheal Martyn Clay Works.

– Peter Lower, Marketing and Events Intern