These family friendly galleries serve as an introduction to the Museum’s extensive collections of fine art, furniture, textiles, ceramics and archaeology, showing how museum objects are collected, researched and conserved, in adaptable semi-permanent installations and small exhibitions. Their name is taken from the now demolished family home of the Bowes family when they were resident in Teesdale.
The effect of the spaces are of visual drama, engaging interpretation, and resourceful design that juxtapose the history of the building and contemporary display methods. State of the art display cases are being used alongside newly refurbished cases that were purchased by John and Joséphine Bowes at the 1867 Paris International Exhibition. These refurbished cases were formally used for storage in parts of the building that aren’t accessible to visitors.
The Streatlam Galleries uses interpretation techniques that help visitors of all ages and of differing experience to engage with the collections. This interpretation, and the galleries’ location next to the new education and learning suite, ensure that they become an invaluable resource for the Museum’s ever expanding education programme.
It has been possible to transform this prime area on the ground floor of the Museum into new galleries because new spaces have become available on the top floor directly as a result of the roof repairs. Staff who previously worked on the ground floor are now housed in rooms that have previously been damp and suffered from water ingress. They are now watertight and can be fully utilised as offices.
Work started on this project in August 2006 and finished in March 2007.
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