Athelstan Turner Diversity Project.
I visited the Athelstan museum recently for the first time. It’s small but lovely and well worth a visit. And if you’ve got youngsters there’s the inevitable (but fun!) trail to do centred around the cautionary tale of not tickling tigers! But that’s all I’m saying – ‘cos – y’know – spoilers! Anyway – this post is all about the Athelstan museum (in Malmesbury) taking their Turner diversity project out into the community. It’s all part of their outreach programme to bring living history and art to more local people.
Following the museum’s purchase of the watercolour of Malmesbury Abbey painted by the celebrated artist Joseph Mallord William Turner RA (1775-1851) the Athelstan Museum made a commitment to engage with the local community. This they are doing in various ways, to celebrate the town’s art and heritage.
About the project
The Athelstan Turner diversity project is a programme of events both within the museum and without to reach more people. One is a schools’ outreach programme led by Janet Casselden. Another is a series of classes in art. These are free for those who find it difficult to access such classes because of such medical conditions as Parkinson’s disease or dementia.
Susan Mockler from the Athelstan Museum explained: ‘We’ve dedicated our Turner Diversity Project to taking the Turner painting of the Abbey out to as many people as possible.’
One of the ways we’re achieving this is running workshops in April, May and June. They’re for people who tend not to get out to enjoy such activities in the Rausing Building. Artists Rachel Heard, Jill Buckley and Paul Deacon will lead the workshops. They have an interest in Turner and have designed the sessions to engage everyone in enjoying the production of some art.
The schools’ project where we’ve had children involved, will culminate in a display at the museum’s Rausing building in June.
‘We continue to visit local groups and residential homes too. When we visit residential homes, we gift a framed print of the Turner as a reminder of our visit.’
About the Turner
In private hands for the last forty years, funding from the Arts Fund and National Lottery Heritage Fund bought the painting for the museum.
The painting shows Malmesbury Abbey from the north on a summer morning.
The free art classes will take place on April 13, 20, 27; May 4, 11, 18 and 25 and also June 1.
With limited places you must book in advance by calling Susan Mockler on 01666 577526.
To find out more about the Athelstan Museum visit https://www.athelstanmuseum.org.uk/
And away from the art: