Brick Wonders Exhibition opens on 11 July

Ancient, Natural and Modern Marvels in LEGO®

We have revealed today that our ‘blockbuster’ exhibition for summer 2015 will be called ‘Brick Wonders’ – Wonders of the World made out of LEGO bricks. The exhibition opens on Saturday 11 July and runs until Saturday 2 October.

The LEGO models cover thousands of years of history, and every corner of the planet.  There are models of the wonders of the ancient world, through to wonders of the modern age such as the internet, transport and the media.  They include the Great Pyramid of Giza, the Great Wall of China, Old London Bridge, an operating theatre and a huge model of a modern airport.  There will be over 70 models, ranging in size from a few centimetres to several metres.

The models have been made by Warren Elsmore, and are designed to appeal to all ages.  LEGO bricks are unique in having been a top-selling toy for over 50 years.

This special exhibition will be open during the same hours as the Museum of Somerset, Tuesday to Saturday from 10.00 am to 5.00 pm.  It is expected to be very popular so the museum will also open on Mondays during the summer school holidays. Tickets cost £2 per person, with under-3s free.

Susie Simmons, Visitor Services Manager at the museum, said “We are so excited to be bringing this exhibition to Somerset.  It is the first time it has been to the south of England.  Some of the models are incredible.  My favourite is the model of Old London Bridge.“

“We are hoping that lots of people will come along to see the exhibition and be inspired by it.  There will be an area for children of all ages to have a go at creating something themselves.  During the summer holidays we will also have a larger play zone where children can get hands-on.”

Warren Elsmore said “It’s wonderful to be bringing Brick Wonders to the South West – which has so much history of its own! While building Brick Wonders we looked all over the world for inspiration, but much of it came from very close to home. I hope this exhibition can bring some inspiration to all of its visitors – whether young or old.“

Tickets cannot be booked in advance for the exhibition except on a Tuesday evening where there will be special evening viewings.  These can be booked at http://www.themuseumofsomerset.ticketsource.co.uk

Lego EX Poster

War Stories

On Monday 18 May the Museum of Somerset hosted a special event to mark the formal opening of the ‘War Stories’ exhibition.

Over 100 guests gathered in the Great Hall of Taunton Castle to watch a sequence of films which explore how Somerset people were affected by the Second World War. The films were created by the South West Heritage Trust to mark the 70th anniversary of VE Day

The exhibition includes a specially-commissioned film which focuses on five individuals and features personal objects from 1939–1945. The interviewees, all now living in Somerset, include soldiers who fought in Normandy, a Women’s Land Army recruit, a Jewish refugee who escaped Nazi persecution and an army driver who later worked in post-war Germany.

At the opening event contributors met other interviewees who have participated in the project and also talked to history students from Castle School, Taunton. Guests were able to visit the ‘War Stories’ exhibition in the new Hammet Room Gallery at the Museum of Somerset.

BBC Somerset broadcast live from the event and some of the 90 War Stories recordings made by the station in recent months feature in the exhibition and on the BBC Somerset website.

Tom Mayberry, Chief Executive of the South West Heritage Trust said ‘The project has been very important and has ensured that Somerset people’s experiences of the war have been preserved for the future. The exhibition is a fine tribute to a remarkable generation.’

The ‘War Stories’ exhibition will run for the rest of 2015. The interviews can be viewed online at www.somersetwarstories.comWAR STORIES_1

Taverner to Tavener Concert tickets now on sale

COLLEGIUM poster

Tickets are now on sale for a very special concert to be held at the museum on Saturday 23rd May at 7.30pm with a pre-concert talk at 7pm

Making their debut appearance at the Museum of Somerset, Collegium Singers present a musical journey through 500 years of choral music, from the ethereal sounds of Renaissance Europe to the music of modern masters. Their varied and exciting programme will include works by Palestrina, Charpentier, JS Bach, Vaughan Williams, Lauridsen, Homilius, Henry Mancini and the late John Tavener.

Recognised for their diverse repertoire and lively concert-making, Collegium Singers and their conductor Peter Leech are a Taunton-based chamber choir. In recent years they have also performed in Oxford chapels, and in 2013 released a CD featuring the world premiere recording of Requiem For the Fallen by Leech, dedicated to 40 Commando Royal Marines, based near Taunton.

Tickets cost £12 and are available from the museum on 01823 255088, or on-line at http://www.themuseumofsomerset.ticketsource.co.uk

Tickets now on sale for ‘In Praise of Henry Fielding’

In Praise of Henry Fielding

An Illustrated Lecture by Tom Mayberry

In this lecture, Tom Mayberry, a well-known Somerset historian and speaker, will evoke Henry Fielding’s  extraordinary life.  Fielding (1707–1754) was born near Glastonbury and never forgot his West Country roots even after he achieved fame as an author.  His masterpiece, Tom Jones, established the tradition of the comic novel in English.  Fielding also practised the law and is thought to have taken part in cases heard in Taunton Castle’s Great Hall, the setting for this event.

Thursday 23 July 2015, 7.30 pm

The Great Hall, The Museum of Somerset

Tickets £8 available from The Museum of Somerset on 01823 255088 or from http://www.themuseumofsomerset.ticketsource.co.uk

This event is part of the Taunton Live festival