Museum Reopens Ready For Summer Holidays

The River & Rowing Museum has now reopened after being closed for nine months following roof renovations and refurbishment and is ready to welcome visitors over the summer holidays with a refreshed new look, layout, shop and children’s area.

The Museum has been undergoing vital repairs on a leaking roof to ensure that the building and collections would be protected for current and future generations.

Whilst the doors have been shut, the popular Wind in the Willows exhibition has been cleaned and restored and the Little Willows children’s area has been designed and installed with lots of interactive play materials.  The shop has been refitted with new displays and product ranges. New and repurposed lighting has improved the rowing and community galleries.

As well as the front-of-house improvements, the curatorial and operational team have been hard at work behind the scenes improving the documentation and processes that maintain the collections.

Acting Museum Director, Paul Owen who will hand over to the new Director Steve O’Connor this week said, “We’re delighted to be back open 7 days a week ready for the summer holidays. We’re pleased with the feedback we’ve already received.  There’s still some work to be done to complete the work.  The John Piper exhibition which was below the leak will open in August.  We’re also looking forward to opening our first touring exhibition in the Kirkham Gallery, A journey along the Thames Islands by Jonathan Goldberg soon.”

Two art exhibitions currently on display are Unlocked Female Artists of the River & Rowing Museum (1812 and 2012) in the River Gallery all of which was rediscovered through the progress of the Collections Audit Project and Living With Brain Injury, an exhibition consisting of individual pieces and group collaborations from Headway Thames Valley clients, their family members and professionals working in neuro rehab.

Future plans include moving the Henley Gallery into the main building working with Henley Archaeological and Historical Group and the Museum team are looking at developing digital museum exhibitions.

Looking after the environment is an important part of the museum’s mission; they are collaborating with the River Action UK Thames pollution campaign and looking at the sustainability of the building.  They are currently carrying out a three month trial to monitor how they are using their energy.

The Studios (formerly the Education Building), five contemporary office spaces with break-out areas are also now available to lease.  The first of these are now occupied with a design agency who have moved from Marlow.  More details here.

Paul Owen added, “We’d like the Museum to become the community hub where we can host all different types of events.  We are looking to secure the future of the Museum financially by looking at different revenue streams. I look forward to welcoming Steve and working him over the next few months to carry-out a smooth handover.”

Up to 2 children go free with 1 paying adult between 24-30 July and 28 August-1 September.


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