The latest exhibition at Peterborough Museum is bringing some of the city’s treasures together for the first time ever.
Thanks to National Lottery players, we now have the rare opportunity to view an array of awe-inspiring objects at Vivacity’s brand-new exhibition ‘Treasures’ at Peterborough Museum in Priestgate.
The show features objects either found in or associated with the city that are now displayed in the collections of national institutions such as the British Museum and the Victoria and Albert Museum. For the first time ever, these objects have been reunited in the city, and are now on display together at Peterborough Museum.
Many of these objects in the exhibition hold international significance due to their outstanding craftsmanship and unique historical value. Highlights include:
The Casket of St Thomas Becket – An ornately decorated casket commissioned by Abbot Benedict of Peterborough after the saint’s death and believed to have held his relics.
The Water Newton Treasure – a collection of precious silver objects from Roman Britain
The Peterborough Chronicle – a monastic record of what life was like in Saxon England which contains the first-known written use of the female pronoun ‘she’ (written as scae) in English.
The exhibition is the first phase in Vivacity’s two-part ‘Treasures’ project for the city and will be followed by a community focused exhibition ‘Treasured People and Possessions,’ opening in 2019. This will feature diverse stories and objects from modern day Peterborians with the aim of celebrating the diversity of the city’s culture. The beginnings of this project were launched at Peterborough Heritage Festival in the ‘Cultural Treasures’ tent and saw a dozen local community groups come together to share art forms treasured by their specific culture as part of the celebrations.
The exhibition is supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund through a grant of £87,200 as well as by the Weston Loan Programme with Art Fund. Created by the Garfield Weston Foundation and Art Fund, the Weston Loan Programme is the first ever UK-wide funding scheme to enable smaller and local authority museums to borrow works of art and artefacts from the national collections.
Vivacity’s Director of Culture Richard Hunt says: “This year has been a momentous one for Peterborough in terms of treasures. We have had Antony Gormley’s iconic sculptures resited in Cathedral Square, astronaut Tim Peake’s famed Soyuz spacecraft is at Peterborough Cathedral from now until 5 November and now these national, historical treasures arriving at Peterborough Museum.
“It just goes to show how Peterborough has been nationally important throughout history and continues to be so in 2018 when the city is celebrating the 900th anniversary of the cathedral.
“We are thrilled to receive support from the Weston Loan Programme with Art Fund and National Lottery players for the exhibition and wider project. We are of course also very grateful to our lenders which include The British Museum and V&A, without whom we could not bring these treasured items back to Peterborough.”
Treasures runs from now until January 6 and is FREE to enter (excluding advertised special event days). You can find out more about the exhibitions, or submit your stories for the community exhibition ‘Treasured People and Possessions’, at www.vivacity.org/treasures