The Museum of Croydon: a repository for our cultural heritage

By 20th June 2014Places

The Museum of Croydon has gone through several changes in recent months. In this blog, the museum’s Interpretation and Learning Officer, Johanna Gummett, explains the exhibits, resources and services available.

The Museum of Croydon collects, conserves and interprets Croydon’s cultural heritage to help people take part in creative and enjoyable learning experiences.

The Museum of Croydon gallery tells the story of the borough from 1800 to the present day. The displays contain over 250 objects interpreted through the voices of local people. ‘Croydon Now’ is a showcase space for our community outreach, project and partnership work.

The Riesco Gallery is home to over 200 of Raymond Riesco’s collection of Chinese ceramics, dating from 2500 BC to the 19th century. Roman and Saxon collections make up the majority of the rest of the museum’s pre-1800 collection.

The Exhibition Gallery is home to the borough art collection of over 2,000 works. These include oils, watercolours and sketches, landscapes, portraiture and abstract pieces. It contains works of local importance featured alongside artists with an international reputation.

The Research Room provides access to the borough’s historic collections, including the borough archives, local history material, and the museum’s non-displayed collections.

We provide a year-round events programme and work with local schools and community groups to engage local people with our collections.

For the second year running we are involved in the Croydon Heritage Festival, a fantastic programme of events promoting the heritage of Croydon. This year we are involved in a number of ways. We are running two family workshops based around the Croydon art collection. ‘Collage a Portrait’ will be held at the museum activities space on 21 June, and ‘Puzzle Pictures’ at the same venue on 28 June – both at 11-1pm and 2-4pm. We are also running a drop-in ‘House Detectives’ session on 5 July at 11-1pm and 2-4pm in the research room, and finally we are offering tours of the Museum store on Saturday 21st June and Wednesday 25th of June at 11am and 2pm showing visitors our behind the scenes work.

2014 is an important year for Croydon with the centenary of the First World War beginning in August. The museum staff and volunteers have been working alongside St Joseph’s College to uncover First World War stories in our collections. From an imprisoned conscientious objector and his moral objections to the war, to schools taken over by the military effort and a brave female soldier in the Serbian army there is lots to discover in the new “First World War: Stories of Croydon” exhibition in the Croydon Now Gallery.

The Museum of Croydon is holding a number of events as part of Croydon Heritage Festival 2014. To find out more visit our events calendar.

For more information on the museum’s galleries, collections and events, to join their volunteer team, or to suggest a way they can work with our local community, visit www.museumofcroydon.com, follow them on Twitter at @museumofcroydon or contact them on museum@croydon.gov.uk or 0208 253 1022.