Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Building work starts

Its been a busy few days at Cecil Higgins Art Gallery & Bedford Museum. Builders have moved in and begun work at the site. We're really excited that this dramatic phase of the redevelopment has begun. We'll be keeping you all up to date with all of the news about the redevelopment here on the main blog - with some more in depth news over at our new Redevelopment Blog.

The beginning of the building work represents a big step towards realising the vision for a new Art Gallery & Museum. Dave Hodgson, Mayor of Bedford said “With the work now under way, we look forward to its completion and to the reopening of the Cecil Higgins Art Gallery & Bedford Museum for the whole community to enjoy.”
Work beginning at the site.
The building works are scheduled to last for 11 months, followed by 6 months’ refitting of the galleries.
Once the works have been finalised, the new galleries will display objects in the collection that have never before been on show, as well as returning some old favourites to pride of place. Among the new displays, nationally significant collections of work by the Victorian architect-designer William Burges and the 20th century designer-printmaker Edward Bawden will be housed in dedicated galleries. New exhibition space will also allow the hosting of touring exhibitions from national museums, as well as displays from the Art Gallery & Museum’s outstanding watercolour and print collections.

The Zodiac Settle by William Burges will be on display in the William Burges Gallery.

There will be lots more space to display the Edward Bawden Archive, including this illuminated manuscript 'A general guide to the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Spring and Easter 1923'

This redevelopment has been made possible by £3.2 million funding from Bedford Borough Council, as well as a grant of £959,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund, £100,000 from the Trustees of the Cecil Higgins Art Gallery, £500,000 from the Wixamtree Trust, £500,000 from The Bedford Charity, £350,000 from the Monument Trust, and £200,000 from Charles Wells Ltd, in addition to funding from a number of other sources.

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