- Date: 24 August 2011
- Artform: Museums, Visual arts
- Region: National
museumaker was a prestigious national project involving 16 museums across the country. The vision of the project was to 'unlock the creative potential of museum collections'. It worked to achieve long-term sustainable change in the way the historical is brought to life by the contemporary.
The programme encouraged museums and makers to collaborate by providing financial support and expert advice, which enabled them to draw on each other's rich resources, take creative risks and trial new ideas. Each museum commissioned one or more outstanding makers to create intriguing new work in response to the venue, its associations and collections. As well as offering new experiences for existing museum visitors, museumaker established innovative ways of developing audiences, including young people.
Some of the many highlights of museumaker included: three thousand black butterflies by Clare Twomey taking over Brighton's Royal Pavilion; Susie MacMurray installing a maze of golden thread in the Marble Hall at Kedleston; and Bompas & Parr creating a culinary and film extravaganza in the underground ballroom in Welbeck Abbey.
museumaker was initiated by Arts Council England, Museums, Libraries and Archives Council (MLA) and Renaissance in the East Midlands, with match funding from the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, and was piloted in the region in 2005-7. During 2008-9 events were run across the country to develop and stretch the knowledge and skills of museums and makers to help them to understand the programme and to stimulate ambitious ideas.
The national museumaker programme built on the learning of the pilot and took place between April 2009 and June 2011. It involved leading and emerging makers from across the UK working in collaboration with museums from four regions and participation from the National Trust.
Download the museumaker summary document to browse the full list of participating artists and museums.
It created a blueprint for joining together the historic and contemporary by:
museumaker has created a toolkit to share the good practice it has pioneered and distill lessons learnt through hands-on experience. This kit is a compendium offering a generous mix of inspirational ideas to stimulate ambitious joint working and pragmatic information to guide and support delivery. It is intended to provide a springboard to inspire museums and makers to:
We will be continuing to add individual project case studies to this section to share the learnings from museumaker.