December 2014 sees the opening of an all new Treasures Exhibition at the Shakespeare Centre. Most recently the treasures display has had a 1964 theme, to celebrate the building of the Centre and the 400th birthday celebrations of Shakespeare. The new exhibition sees a different theme and a fresh selection of objects, this time going back much further in time.
It has been inspired by the sealing of Magna Carta, the 800th anniversary of which is coming up in June 2015. Meaning “Great Charter”, Magna Carta established individual rights and the idea of the law as a powerful force which applied equally to everyone. This theme has given us the chance to display items relating to the political, legal and financial world in which Shakespeare lived, such as the great seal of Queen Elizabeth I, a deed box and a ceremonial mace from Stratford. We’ve also focused on Shakespeare’s play King John, with displays featuring photographs and images from different productions. King John was forced to accept the Magna Carta by his rebellious barons, though Shakespeare doesn’t mention this event in his text.
The rotation has given us the opportunity to highlight the constant development and growth of our collections, with a look at recent acquisitions. And we are welcoming back to display the Millennium Atmos Clock given to the Trust by George Pragnell Ltd of Stratford in 2000. For children and families, there’s also a new Treasures Detective quiz.
Shakespeare's Treasures Exhibition will be on display at Shakespeare's Birthplace until summer 2015. Visit our website for more details and to plan your next visit.