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The Millennium Galleries (Sheffield)
Member Name: Ophelia
The Millennium Galleries (Sheffield)
Date: 26/04/02, updated on 26/04/02 (123 review reads)
Advantages: Lots of hands-on exhibits, variety of galleries
Disadvantages: Too much steel, pricey gift shop
It consists of four separate galleries containing a mixture of permanent exhibits and special exhibitions. Entry to the majority of the galleries is free and a visit is highly recommended for both adults and families.
TEMPORARY EXHIBITIONS GALLERY
The first gallery houses a temporary exhibition, which changes every few months. Until 19 May 2002 the current exhibition is 'Moving Pictures', an exhibition exploring the moving image of television and cinema.
There are famous props and costumes from your favourite films and television shows, including Harry Potter's school uniform, Russell Crowe's 'Gladiator' outfit (shame no hunky man filling it though), Marilyn Monroe's dress from 'Some Like it Hot' and the battle attire of a Stormtrooper from 'Star Wars'
You will also encounter K9, canine companion of the Tom Baker Doctor Who. No sign of his stripy scarf though! Beware the daleks, one of whom is also lurking in the galleries. Rather amusingly this enemy of Doctor Who is to be found at the bottom of an escalator and, as we all know, the daleks could never have conquered Earth, as they can't climb stairs!
This is not just a museum-like trawl through items, however, as there are also exciting 'hands-on' activities to amuse children and adults alike. You will have the opportunity to create your own cartoon and take part in a gameshow.
Under 5s free
Family ticket £9
22 May - 16 June 2002: A Time to Celebrate
In honour of the
Queen's Golden Jubilee an examination of the history of jubilees and coronations with exhibits from art and history collections and exhibits contributed by the people of Sheffield. (Admission free).
22 June - 15 September 2002: The Power of the Poster
On tour from the Victoria and Albert Museum, an exhibition examining the history of the poster from its creation in the 1870s to the present. Posters on display from the worlds of politics, art and commerce. (Admission prices as above).
THE METALWORK GALLERY
As Sheffield is most famous for its steel you will not be surprised to find a gallery devoted to its history of manufacturing metal. There are examples of cutlery, silverware and tools and information on manufacturing processes from the 14th century to the present.
This may sound as though it might be rather tedious for the younger visitor, however this is not the case. There are headsets around the exhibition, which can be picked up and you can select what you want to listen to. The tapes consist of interviews with people from the Sheffield area who lived and worked within the metalwork community talking about their experiences in the trade.
There are also touch-screen computers with further information and footage of the manufacture of penknives, cutlery, sheet metal etc. There is a selection of silver/pewter/stainless steel items, which you must handle and try to identify which is which. You have the opportunity to create your own hallmark on a silver piece of card, which you can take home with you. There is also a magnetic board containing pieces of silver teapots, from which you have to create your own version.
In this gallery some of my favourite exhibits included a child's training set of cutlery, which had little dimples on the handles where the child should put their fingers when eating. There was a knife designed especially for eating peas with a groove down the middle on which t
o balance those tricky round vegetables. For the more discerning cutlery user there was a knife to be used especially for eating caviar (as you do) with a mother of pearl blade, as metal would spoil the taste of the delicacy.
CRAFT AND DESIGN GALLERY
This gallery houses temporary exhibitions of both old and contemporary craft and design (would you have guessed if I hadn't told you?).
The present exhibition, on until 12 May 2002, is The Chosen Letter consisting of works of art where each artist has chosen a different way to represent a letter of the alphabet. This lead to quite a varied exhibition with paintings, sculptures and living items!
Some of my favourites included a Ralph Steadman painting of the letter X, with his characteristic messy ink splots. The letter why was created from ivy growing around twigs in the shape of the letter. There was also a first edition book of Edward Lear's illustrated alphabet containing my favourite rhyme for the letter R:
'R was a Rabbit.
He hopped - O, so funny!
He had such long ears,
And his name - it was Bunny.'
27 May - 27 June 2002: Metalwork and Jewellery from Sheffield Hallam University
A display of work by graduates from the Metalwork and Jewellery department at the University from 1992 - 2002. If you visit the gallery during this month it seems that you may get metalwork overload!
THE RUSKIN GALLERY
This gallery houses a permanent collection of paintings, drawings, rocks and minerals accumulated by the renowned artist and writer John Ruskin in 1875.
It is displayed in such a way that it examines how the artist takes inspiration from nature and how patterns found in a bird's feather, a wasp's nest or a rock can be used within a painting.
Once more the curators have tried to add int
erest for the younger visitor by having an area where you have to try to examine and recreate various knots, including making a replica model of the boss of a cathedral. There are some portable seats and paper and pencils provided in the corner of the gallery and you are encouraged to try your hand at drawing.
There is also another touch-screen computer cataloguing over 40,000 items from contemporary local artists.
A shop! This contains rather expensive merchandise ranging from the work of local artists to pencils (a pack of 6 for £8!). There is also an area dedicated especially to art, containing numerous books, posters and postcards. Don't let your kids run rampant, as if breakages must be paid for you might need to take out a loan!
Also on site is the Café Azure, where there is a range of drinks, snacks and meals. This is reasonably priced and the room is light and airy and in keeping with the atmosphere of a modern gallery.
Monday - Saturday: 10am - 5pm
Sunday: 11am - 5pm
On the A621 behind the Winter Gardens. The nearest NCP is at Arundel Gate and if you enquire at the reception to the gallery you will be given a voucher entitling you to stay at the car park for up to three hours for only £3.
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