Museums swap objects to tell stories of inspirational women

Four museums are swapping objects to tell stories of inspirational women from the past.


Elizabeth Muntz Stone Carvings – Dorset County Museum © 2020‘Wessex Women’ is the theme of the latest objects tour between Poole Museum, Dorset Museum, The Salisbury Museum and Wiltshire Museum. Each has chosen an item from its collection which best fits the theme.

In the second round of swops, Poole Museum is displaying stone carvings that come from Dorset Museum. The carvings are by pioneering artist, Elizabeth Muntz, who lived in Dorset from the 1920s-70s. She used Purbeck stone from local quarries to create her sculptures, many of which gained worldwide recognition. She also ran an arts summer school for young people. Elizabeth was the first woman to become a freeman of the Ancient Order of Purbeck Marblers and Stone Cutters, and was a founder member of the Guild of Memorial Craftsmen.

The objects in the other museums tell the stories of a tireless Victorian ‘knocker-upper’ who walked the streets of Poole in the early hours to wake up its workers; a lace-maker whose efforts preserved the local industry, and a ‘trowel-blazing’ archaeologist who became famous for her excavations of prehistoric sites in Wiltshire.

In mid-April, the objects will rotate around the museums again. The tour is just one of the joint projects between the partners of Wessex Museums, working together to bring exciting new events and exhibitions to the region.

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