End of the line for nature gallery after 28 years

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The popular Derbyshire Nature Gallery at the Museum and Art Gallery will be closing after 28 years.

The gallery will be refurbished ready for the start of the museums’ next project Your Place in the World.

A favourite of Derby Museum’s visitors, the gallery hosts dioramas of Derbyshire wildlife scenes, a cave containing rocks, minerals and fossils and even live stick insects.

Within the 19th century part of the Museum and Art Gallery, the decant of objects along with the refurbishment of the room will expose architecture and décor that hasn’t been seen in 30 years. The stick insects will no longer have a presence at the museum, and will be rehomed.

Jonathan Wallis, head of Derby Museums said: “We know that the gallery is well-loved amongst our visitors but we are keen to reignite the space and ready for the next project at Derby Museums.

“The space is in need of some TLC, some of the interactives no longer work and the majority of the taxidermy specimens are looking a little tired – it’s time the space had a makeover.

“We want to ensure that the visitors have the best experience possible and we’re hoping that a refurbishment of the gallery will do this.”

The Your Place in the World project will be co-produced, working closely with communities of Derby to create a museum relevant to people’s lives now, within a global context.

Participants will select, present and interpret our collection in a way that reflects the diverse communities in the city and increases access to and awareness of the museum. Derby Museums will create a gallery that engages people’s heads, hearts and hands, explores the multiple narratives of the objects and creates a space for everyone to understand and reflect on these historical and contemporary meanings.

Andrea Hadley-Johnson, co-production and engagement manager at Derby Museums said: “The Derbyshire Nature Gallery played a valuable part in the development of the museums’ award winning ‘notice nature feel joy’ gallery, helping us to understand how visitors wanted to interact with our natural history collection in new ways.

“We’re sorry to see it go but are excited to have the opportunity to work closely with our visitors again to co-produce a brand new exhibition, Your Place in the World.”

The last day to visit the Derbyshire Nature Gallery is Sunday, February 19, (open 12noon-4pm)

Derby Museums is open Tuesday-Saturday 10am-5pm and Sunday 12-4pm

To find out more, please go to www.derbymuseums.org