HLF Project – Then & Now

Children Then And Now: Marton Museum reinterpreted by artist Faye Claridge

Heritage Lottery Funded Project Summer 2014 – Summer 2015

Marton Museum of Country Bygones worked with artist Faye Claridge to re-interpret their museum collection, to commission photographs for a significant exhibition and to present a free community event exploring rural customs. Photographs from the Stone Collection in the Library of Birmingham (a photographer interested in rural traditions in the 1900s) and artefacts from Marton Museum were used in new photographs, collaborating with young people from Marton as models, culminating in a community event (Marton Rural Traditions Festival, held on Saturday 13 September 2014) The photographs were exhibited for the first time with Stone photographs. There were also workshops and interpretation with various activities such as, wood turning, country crafts and traditional story-telling.

Through this, children, their parents and the wider community learned more about the museum collection, the history of local events and Stone and his work in Warwickshire.

This celebration of the museum and its relevance to community cohesion also found a broader audience with the photographs produced. They formed an exhibition entitled ‘Softly Following Stone’s Footsteps’ at the new Library of Birmingham, between March and May 2015, promoting Marton and its collections in a free exhibition to a large and diverse urban audience. The library houses the Stone collection of rural life in England, so the exhibition also provided re-interpretation of this, as well as being a fascinating link for two diverse sets of audiences. A review of this exhibition from Photomonitor on-line magazine is given below.

The project is was exhibited at Compton Verney Art Gallery between March and December 2015 and will be further exhibited at the Library of Birmingham in 2016.

The twenty photographs that make up the finished project are now permanently embedded in the Marton Museum of Country Bygones Collection. The museum is open all year by appointment and is open to the public through the summer. See ‘Visits’ http://martonvillage.com/index.php/museum/visits

See the photographs and views of some of the activities described above on Flcker: https://www.flickr.com/photos/132729256@N08

Marton Museum of Country Bygones HLF Project: Children Then and Now by Faye Claridge is licenced under Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC)

The Benjamin Stone Photographic Collection at the Library of Birmingham

The Sir Benjamin Stone Collection is housed in the Archives and Heritage collection was the source of Faye Claridge’s inspiration for the Marton Museum project. The collection was presented by Stone’s trustees to the Library in 1921. It comprises some 22,000 mounted prints together with 17,000 surviving glass negatives for the photographs Stone took himself. There are over 600 stereoscopic prints, and more than a hundred albums of commercial prints and cuttings relating to Stone and his interests. There is a section of the collection entirely devoted to local customs and festivals

Benjamin Stone – Customs and Festivals

Sir Benjamin Stone travelled around the country in search of unusual festivals and customs. This gallery includes May Day festivals, the Sherborne Pageant, Corby Pole Fair and the Northumberland Baal Fires.

See more on the Library of Birmingham website http://www.libraryofbirmingham.com/benjaminstonephotographiccollection