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Sheffield Museums reopen this week

New charitable trust which manages city’s best-loved museums announces timeline for openings, with free admission across all sites.

1 Cecil Beaton The Bright Young Things at Wilsford 1927 The Cecil Beaton Studio Archive The Cecil Beaton Studio Archive

Cecil Beaton, The Bright Young Things at Wilsford, 1927, The Cecil Beaton Studio Archive.

© The Cecil Beaton Studio Archive

The city’s best-loved museums will start reopening this week as coronavirus restrictions are lifted.

Sheffield Museums, a new charitable trust which includes Museums Sheffield and Sheffield Industrial Museums Trust, will restart free exhibitions and activities at Kelham Island Museum, Millennium Gallery and Weston Park Museum from Thursday 20 May.

The Millennium Gallery will host Cecil Beaton’s Bright Young Things, featuring stunning photography of the socialites and partygoers of the 1920s and 30s. The exhibition, which is open until 4 July, only ran at the National Portrait Gallery in London for one week before it shut its doors due to the pandemic.

The city centre venue will also exhibit My Path, curated in partnership with Koestler Arts and the Sheffield Youth Justice Service, which showcases artwork created by people in the criminal justice system in Yorkshire.

Visitors to Weston Park Museum will see its newest display immediately when they enter the space, a four-metre skeleton of a pilot whale created by local biology lecturer Dave Clay. Elsewhere at the museum, The Sheffield Project: Photographs of a Changing City looks at how drastically Sheffield changed in the 1980s and 90s, while the new Sheffield Stories gallery traces life in the city in the 50s, 60s and 70s.

Museum whale Dave Clay

Dave Clay's model of a pilot whale at Weston Park Museum.

Sheffield Museums

Abbeydale Industrial Hamlet will reopen on Saturday 29 May and the historic Shepherd Wheel will welcome visitors from Saturday 1 June. The Graves Gallery, located at the Central Library, will stay closed for renovations.

Kim Streets, Chief Executive of Sheffield Museums, said, “The city’s museums and the collections they house belong to the people of Sheffield, so we’re delighted that free entry at all sites will make them available to everyone.”

Dave Clay, whose pilot whale model is displayed at Weston Park Museum, said it was great that people could see the installation after a “strange, surreal year.”

“I’m so pleased that things are now opening up and for people to be able to see the skeleton in Weston Park Museum. Hopefully it will spark the imagination and stimulate thoughts on the wonders of adaptation and evolution, and of our place in nature.”

Visitors should pre-book their free visit to any of the Sheffield Museums sites to avoid disappointment.

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