Our four partner museums have explored their collections and found objects that tell the untold stories of our region’s women and their past
Our four partner museums have explored their collections and found objects that tell the untold stories of our region’s women and their past – from the unexpected to the ground-breaking and intriguing.
Visit the museums to uncover the fascinating stories that lie behind the objects – and remember to ask about children’s activities. The objects will be displayed at each museum in turn until October 2020.
26 October 2019 – 5 January 2020 (each museum displays its own object)
What local materials would inspire you to create a sculpture? Canadian-born artist Elizabeth Muntz (1894 – 1977) settled in Dorset in the 1920s and created carved stone pieces in Purbeck stone, sourced from local quarries. She also sculpted in wood and bronze, and painted.
How would you cope without an alarm clock? In the 1800s and 1900s the alarm clock hadn’t been invented. Workers were woken up very early in the morning by ‘knocker-uppers’ like Granny Cousins. She woke the workers of Poole from their sleep by tapping on their windows with a long pole and was only paid a pitiful threepence a week.
Wessex women played a large part in local trade, particularly in the Downton Lace industry. A woman named Mrs Robinson moved to Wiltshire and became an enthusiast for lace making. Along with her associate Mrs Plumptre, she played a vital role in preserving a local industry.
In the not-so-recent past it was socially expected that women, if not invisible, should certainly be in the background. Thankfully, ‘trowelblazing’ Maud Cunnington took no notice of this. She is famous for her work on the prehistoric sites of Wiltshire, excavating multiple sites around the region.
Wessex Museums Partnership
Wessex Museums Partnership
Four museums working together to tell the amazing story of Wessex. It’s a story of the land and its people. From old bones and carved stone, to ancient treasure and dazzling jewels. Mighty ships to menacing weapons. Paintings, pottery and much-loved literature.
Our partner museums will be swapping ideas, sharing expertise, exchanging objects and hosting joint exhibitions. Our aim is to inspire you to explore and enjoy the fantastic art and heritage of Dorset and Wiltshire… and discover what makes Wessex so special. Dorset County Museum – Explore 250 million years of the county’s history, from fascinating fossils to Roman remains, Victorian life to much-loved Wessex literature. Poole Museum – Marvel at the unique collection of shipwrecks and seafaring items from Poole’s days as the maritime centre of Wessex, as well as the world’s greatest display of Poole Pottery. Salisbury Museum – Discover 500,000 years of history – from the archaeology of ancient Wessex to contemporary art – all in a stunning medieval building. Wiltshire Museum – Be dazzled by gold from the time of Stonehenge, see Britain’s best Bronze Age archaeology collection, and admire the weapons and jewellery that tell Wiltshire’s Saxon story. Wessex Museums is a National Portfolio Organisation, funded by Arts Council England to deliver ‘Great Art and Culture for Everyone’.