Beaney House of Art & Knowledge
The Beaney Museum in Canterbury is all about the local history and community. It’s collections are founded by local victorian boys who made good. Part of giving back to their home town was bequeathing their collections and some money.
Today, the museum is up to date featuring work by artists from this year and community curated exhibitions. I really loved this lamb sculpture that greeted visitors at the entrance.
The painted stained glass at the staircase landing was a highlight for me. It creates a sense of continuity as Canterbury is one of the oldest market towns in the UK and features a lot of wonderfully old buildings from the Tudor Era. The stained glass pieces would be a home in any of those buildings.
On the upper floor of the building was a room devoted to the museums more eclectic collections and donors. It includes objects like butterflies and items from ancient Egypt. I thought the screen in front of the windows was incredibly clever as it allows some light in while also protecting the objects from long term damage and deterioration.
The upper rooms of the building were arranged thematically which allows for engagement across a wide and varied collection and time periods.
Their dress-up station was particularly good! It’s fun to use the collection as inspiration.
Other of their more interactive elements included this super cool doll’s house! It was a great idea and helped to tie in all the homeware found in this room. Also look how cool those cases are!
Pros: Great collection, interesting interpretation, clear story, excellent interactive elements (which do not depend on technology), cute shop & café, lovely staff, great for all ages!
Cons: Never got a good picture of the front!