Keswick Museum is evolving its exhibitions with National Lottery support

Keswick Museum has received a National Lottery Heritage Fund grant of £48,000 for its innovative Evolving Exhibitions project. Made possible by money raised by National Lottery players, and by a grant from the Friends of Keswick Museum, the project will build on the Museum’s successful 2020 gallery redevelopment to tell new stories in new ways.

Supported through The National Lottery Heritage Fund, the project will allow the Museum to run a host of exciting events planned for winter and spring as part of its Evolving Exhibitions project, including dancing, drawing, sewing, and gardening.

The upcoming exhibition Betty’s Back!: The work of James and Betty Durden will celebrate the return of star painting ‘Betty’ by James Durden. It will explore James’s life and works in the context of the 1920s, when the portrait was painted, and will also reveal artwork by Betty Durden for the first time. To give visitors the full 1920s experience, Keswick Museum will run charleston dance lessons, a Flapper Sewing Bee, Durden Doodle Days, and a range of 1920s-inspired craft activities.

The Museum will also be using this funding to build on its Nurturing Nature exhibition, which uses objects from the Museum’s collection to tell stories of how people have used Keswick’s outdoor spaces throughout history. The upcoming events programme continues the Museum’s mission to expand the Museum beyond the gallery walls and deliver events with minimal Covid risk. As part of this, the Museum will run a host of activities for people affected by Long-Covid or other chronic illnesses, inspired by convalescent activities at Blencathra Sanatorium in the 20th century, including gardening, quilt-making, and reading. The project will also offer flexible volunteering opportunities, both in person and online, giving people the opportunity to develop new skills.

Mr Fox and Old Badger, the Museum’s mascots, will become stars of their own podcast, Mr Fox and Old Badger’s Day Out. Listeners will follow them on adventures in the past, and people can also Borrow a Badger from the Museum reception to take on an adventure of their own.

Commenting on the award, Chair of the Trustees Clare Poulter said: We are immensely grateful to The National Lottery Heritage Fund and National Lottery players for this grant. Building on our redevelopment last year, this funding will help us continue to be an active part of our community by telling stories we haven’t shown before, and ensuring everyone has a chance to get involved.

Curator Nicola Lawson said: “Our Evolving Exhibitions programme will be a joyful celebration of Keswick and the seven Derwent parishes’ history. Whether you like dancing, gardening, drawing, or sewing, Keswick Museum has something for you coming up!”

Keswick Museum is open every day from 10am to 4pm. Nurturing Nature is on now and runs until 10th July 2022. Betty’s Back! opens on 20th November 2021 and runs until 22nd May 2022.

Check the Museum website and social media channels for further details of events and volunteering opportunities as they develop.