Creating the Cabinet of Curiosities Gallery has allowed the museum to work on a number of different projects

The honorary curators

In the past, museums would invite honorary curators to select artefacts for exhibitions and displays. Warrington Museum has revived this custom and selected a group of nine honorary curators to help in the refurbishment of Gallery 7, known to many as ‘the bird room’

Over the past 12 months they have been given unprecedented access to the ‘behind the scenes’ areas of the museum. As a result they have learned much about how their local museum works. They have all come up with projects that show the rich potential of the museum’s collections to tell stories and make people think

The results of their hard work are on display in The Cabinet of Curiosities gallery at the museum and also on this website. The project represents nine people’s voices and shows us their interests, enthusiasms and determination to say something different about their museum.

The gallery is a space to celebrate the richness of the Museum’s collections through changing displays. It will encourage visitors to think about Warrington, its people and how they are connected to their museum.

The first group of honorary curators are:

Object of Our Affection The Carers Project

In March 2013 a group of adult carers began meeting at the museum on a weekly basis. Guided by experimental art group Arthur and Martha they began to look at the museum collection in terms of how the objects made them feel. The result was a remarkable ten week project in which the museum and its objects helped the carers to talk laugh and create artwork, poems and prose that revealed something of their lives and what it’s like to be a carer. More >

The Music Project

As part of the project, the Museum’s rare 17th Century Virginals – a forerunner of the harpsichord - has been fully restored for display in the Cabinet of Curiosities gallery. A level students from Lymm High School and Riverside College attended a recital at Tabley House in Cheshire, which houses a similar instrument, and used this as the inspiration to compose original music for the virginals. Their work and the Tabley recital will feature on film in the gallery. More >

Creative Remedies

Art and mental health group Creative Remedies worked with the museum on making three short films about some of the most popular objects in the museum’s collection. You can see the results on the website and in the Cabinet of Curiosity Gallery. Over the next year creative remedies hope to add new films to the selection. More >

Collecting our thoughts

In what we hope will be an ongoing project, members of the Warrington Council of Faiths will select items from the museum collection to talk about in terms of how they make us think about the spiritual side of life. The programme starts with the Reverend Stephen Kingsnorth who selected a number of items from the Cabinet of Curiosity Gallery and recorded his thoughts on them. Museum objects have enormous power to make us think about our own lives and core human values. More >