Transforming Collections: The Staffordshire Hoard
- 31 January 2018
Marking 40 years of Art Fund's partnership with the Wolfson Foundation, we profile four key acquisitions made possible through our joint funding. Episode one uncovers the incredible Staffordshire Hoard.
Over the last four decades, Art Fund and the Wolfson Foundation have worked together to help museums and galleries across the UK acquire over 170 works of art and historical interest. In 2010, we led a national campaign to raise the £3.3m needed to save this awe-inspiring find of Anglo-Saxon treasure for Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery and the Potteries Museum & Art Gallery in Stoke-on-Trent.
In this short film, Toby Watley, Director of Collections at Birmingham Museums Trust, shows us around the dedicated Staffordshire Hoard gallery at Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery, in the heart of the city.
He explains history of the discovery, the fundraising efforts and the major impact the acquisition has had on the two galleries and the wider region. He reveals the incredible breadth of items the hoard contains and also takes us behind the scenes at the museum's conservation studio where much of the painstaking cleaning and restoration work was done.
With over 300,000 visitors to see the Hoard at Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery alone since 2014, it remains a big draw for the public in the West Midlands and beyond. The initial investment has unlocked further funding, enabling more research, public engagement programmes, exhibitions, touring and the continuation of award-winning conservations efforts.
'Visitors, when they come and look at our displays of the Staffordshire Hoard are just fascinated with the exceptional detail and the exquisite nature of the find,' Watley says. 'The acquisition of the Hoard, it's fair to say, has had an absolutely transformational impact on both Birmingham Museums & Art Gallery and the Potteries Museum & Art Gallery.'
Transforming Collections looks at key acquisitions made possible with Art Fund support. The other episodes in the series feature: