Spotlight on... M Shed

  • 11 April 2012

M Shed lives and breathes the history of Bristol, from the converted transit shed that houses it to the stories told by its collection. We sat down with the waterfront wonder to discuss Bansky, Brisuanadons and an alluring crane

Interior of M Shed

Interior of M Shed

M Shed lives and breathes the history of Bristol, from the converted transit shed that houses it to the stories told by its collection. We sat down with the waterfront wonder to discuss Bansky, Brisuanadons and an alluring crane…

Age: Not quite as old as the Bristol Dinosaur (210 million years old) that I am proud to display, or the Bristol Blue Glass made especially for me (1 year old) – my new doors opened 10 months ago but my structure is a sprightly 60 this year!

Describe yourself in three words: Relevant, Provocative, Playful.

What is your most treasured possession?  The relationships I have created with Bristol’s communities and my visitors, as well as being able to present millions of their voices, past, present and future.

Your most famous visitor is: The Princess Royal, Wallace & Gromit, Jonathan Dimbleby, Deborah Meaden, Billy Bragg and of course Banksy… we think!

What is your best shop success: A fantastic series of postcards showing Bristol’s iconic buildings (including me!), my objects and artworks and the local landscape.

Any museum pets? M-Ted – a lost bear adopted by my Visitor Services Assistants until his young owner came in to claim him. Otherwise I would have to say Brisuanadon!

One thing that could make you better is... A brand-new bridge, running from M Shed over the harbour to Millennium Square, to help even more of our visitors explore the rest of the city.

You have a museum crush on... Crane Number 30, who I can see from my windows everyday and looks particularly fetching when at work on the dockside. (Don’t tell the other working exhibits – especially the trains!)

What do you most dislike about your appearance? Nothing! I’m proud to be a bit of a fifties throwback with a thoroughly modern twist.

You’re most happy when… My trains are steaming, my boats are gliding, my cranes are lifting, my volunteers are working, my visitors are talking, my children are laughing, my communities are contributing, my tourists are discovering, my bloggers are blogging, my staff are welcoming and my stories are shared.


Tell the judges why M Shed should win the Art Fund Prize 2012.

See the rest of the Art Fund Prize 2012 longlist.