Monday, August 15, 2022
BusinessScotland’s first university re-imagines its past

Scotland’s first university re-imagines its past

The University of St Andrews’ new Wardlaw Museum is set to open its doors in the Spring
The University of St Andrews’ flagship museum will reopen in April following a £2.1 million overhaul.

The Wardlaw Museum (formerly known as MUSA) is named after the University’s founder and first Chancellor Bishop Henry Wardlaw.

Over the last two years, the Museum has been completely re-imagined. The makeover delivers a museum 50% larger, with new displays in four thematic galleries, a temporary exhibitions space, and a remodeled entrance area and shop. This space will provide an exciting cultural venue at the heart of St Andrews’ cultural quarter – which now includes the Laidlaw Music Centre, Byre Theatre, and redeveloped Younger Hall.

Dr Catherine Eagleton, Director of Museums at the University, said:

“The new museum will take visitors inside the University. Exhibitions will draw on the 600-year history of the University as well as the world-leading research being done at St Andrews. We have ambitious future plans for exhibitions, digital projects, and research and teaching at the museums, and plan to innovate and experiment and continuously push ourselves to surprise audiences.”

The University’s collections include around 115,000 objects of national and international interest. Visitors will soon be able to see a broader selection in the Wardlaw Museum, including some that have not been on display before, including a Thai silver zodiac bowl, prototype LEDs developed in the 1970s, models of plants and flowers, and a NASA telegram that accompanied moon rock samples sent to the University for analysis.

An exciting programme of temporary exhibitions are already planned for the year ahead, including a photographic exhibition of 100 women by renowned photographer Anita Corbin. There will also be a display curated by students on the University’s renowned Museums and Galleries course, featuring a book created by photographer Julia Margaret Cameron in collaboration with the poet Alfred, Lord Tennyson in 1875.

Dr Eagleton continued: “Over the next three years we will deliver an exciting programme of events and educational activities, and the Wardlaw Museum will be open seven days a week. People can keep an eye on our social media and website, or sign up to our email newsletter for the latest information on what’s coming up.”

The museum collections of the University of St Andrews are a vital part of the history and heritage of Scotland’s oldest university, including the Bell Pettigrew Museum of Natural History, which displays important Victorian zoology specimens including several extinct species. An exhibition at the Wardlaw Museum in summer 2020 will feature artwork by schoolchildren from across Fife inspired by the natural history collections.

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