WE HAVE A SHORTLIST FOR THE GUARDIAN FAMILY FRIENDLY MUSEUM AWARD…
…And it’s smelly, dirty, messy, noisy and very tasty.
From the Highland Folk Museum in Inverness-shire, to St Nicholas Priory in Exeter, they provide sensual, hands-on experiences from which families emerge not only wiser, but grubbier.
Although the museums’ collections are diverse – from Great North Museum’s Egyptian mummies to The Potteries’ Staffordshire ceramics – not one of them is clean and clinical.
At Beningbrough Hall, an 18th century red brick mansion in York, hands get sticky from cooking edible insects. St Nicholas Priory, a Tudor town house in Exeter, asks visitors to help clean up, scrubbing their pewter plates with ground eggshells. The Herbert Museum in Coventry is proud of its pong; it asks visitors, ‘What did a medieval toilet smell like? Sniff here to find out.’ At Highland Folk Museum, visitors found chickens and ducks running around loose.
Thanks for all your nominations. Here’s what you chose!
What Happens Next?
From this shortlist, families will decide who’s this year’s winner. Each shortlisted museum will be visited, anonymously, by several families ofall shapes and sizes. They will measure the museum against the Kids in Museums Manifesto – 20 ways to make a museum family friendly – compiled entirely from visitors’ comments. The winner will be announced in April. The prize is 500 Mammoth Activity Sheets, designed and donated by Foldedsheet.com.
If you’d like to be considered as a judging family for the Award, just email [email protected] and we’ll get back in touch.
The winner will be announced in the Guardian and receive 500 folded sheet Mammoth Activity Sheets, especially designed for the Award. We still have a few Quentin Blake illustrated Award posters left, so if you’d like one just email [email protected] and we’ll pop one in the post. Photo of Shetland Museum © PhatSheep Photography
AWARD NEWS ARCHIVE
GUARDIAN FAMILY FRIENDLY AWARD WINNER PITT RIVERS MUSEUM IN OXFORD REOPENS – After almost a year of building work, the Pitt Rivers Museum of the University of Oxford has reopened to the public, and the results of a £10 million revamp have been revealed. Here, in the words of its director, Michael O’Hanlon, ‘you can learn about anything from cows to colonialism, from feet to Fiji’. Click here to read more.
AWARD WINNER INSPIRES SHOW – Comedian Josie Long tours her show , inspired by visiting Guardian Family Friendly Museum Award winner the Pitt Rivers museum, Oxford. Here’s a description of the show:”Josie Long hated science at school, but in this show she sets out to reconnect with science and nature, which at the very least should make her unbeatable at Trivial Pursuit. Inspired by the Pitt Rivers Museum, an overcrowded, seemingly ramshackle collection of objects, it’s a show about curiosity and enthusiasm, bizarre private collections and about making sense of the world.” Kids in Museums believes that a museum visit can change your life. As it did for Josie.
DESIGN COMPANY FOLDED SHEET SPONSOR PRIZE FOR 2009 GUARDIAN FAMILY FRIENDLY MUSEUM AWARD – Design company Folded Sheet are providing the winner of the 2009 Guardian Family Friendly Museum Award with 500 customised folded activity sheets, following the innovative and highly original folded sheet design.