£100,000 grant awarded towards new Birthplace exhibition


The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust has been awarded a grant of £100,000 from the DCMS/Wolfson Museums and Galleries Improvement Fund.


03 February 2014

The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust has been awarded a grant of £100,000 from the DCMS/Wolfson Museums and Galleries Improvement Fund towards a brand new exhibition which is expected to welcome more than 1.2 million visitors to Shakespeare’s Birthplace in Stratford-upon-Avon over the next three years.

The new, permanent exhibition will explore the extraordinary story of William Shakespeare and invite visitors to discover how and why the boy from Stratford-upon-Avon became a household name all over the world.  Opening in March,  ‘Famous Beyond Words’, will reveal  how Shakespeare’s work has fascinated people of all ages and backgrounds for four centuries, what sparked  his imagination and how he continues to shape our lives today.

The exhibition is part of a wider £0.5m project to improve the visitor welcome and create a contemporary exhibition where people can make their own connections with Shakespeare.  

Delia Garratt, Head of Collections and Interpretation at the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust said, “The eyes of the world will be on Shakespeare and his hometown as we celebrate the 450th anniversary of his birth this year and commemorate the 400th anniversary of his death in 2016.  We are delighted that the DCMS/Wolfson Museum and Galleries Improvement Fund has chosen to support our project, which will allow us to present Shakespeare’s Birthplace and the treasures we hold in the best possible light during this important period.  This investment is critical to meet the needs of the higher numbers of visitors we are anticipating.  For many people, a visit to Shakespeare’s Birthplace is a once in a lifetime opportunity, and it is important that we provide an excellent welcome which sets the context and tone for their visit.”

The grants, jointly funded by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport and the Wolfson Foundation, will contribute towards the costs of new, climate-controlled display cases and audio visual technology that will allow visitors to explore Shakespeare from different perspectives and examine some of the key items from the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust’s priceless collection at their own pace.

‘Famous Beyond Words’ will also feature a multi-lingual audio-visual zone for groups visiting on a time-limited schedule.

The new exhibition will replace the ‘Life, Love & Legacy’ exhibition which had welcomed some two million visitors from its launch in 2009 until its closure at the end of 2013.

Notes to editors:
Press release date: 3 February 2014.
For more information or to arrange a media preview of the new exhibition please contact Press and Public Affairs Officer Nurinder Mantell on 01789 207132/ 07824 137638 or email Nurinder.Mantell@shakespeare.org.uk
 
Pic cap: One of the many images of William Shakespeare which will feature in ‘Famous Beyond Words’, a new exhibition which will open in March at Shakespeare’s Birthplace, Stratford-upon Avon. William Shakespeare in the Globe Theatre Phillip Sutton, R.A.  Oil on canvas, 1988, England.

The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust is the independent charity that cares for the world’s greatest Shakespeare heritage sites in Stratford-upon-Avon, and promotes the enjoyment and understanding of Shakespeare’s works, life and times all over the world. The charity runs formal and informal educational programmes for people of all ages. It holds the world’s largest Shakespeare-related museum and archives open free to the public, a collection which is designated as being of international importance. The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust receives no public subsidy or direct government funding; it depends on income generated through the support of visitors, donors, volunteers and Friends.