ITP UK Partner Meeting in Glasgow: Day 1
Written by Claire Messenger, International Training Programme Manager
Last week the ITP team were in Glasgow for a pre-summer programme meeting with colleagues from our UK partner museums. Kindly invited and hosted by Glasgow Museums colleagues Martin Bellamy, Research & Curatorial Manager and Patricia Allen, Curator of World Cultures, we enjoyed two days seeing the sites of the city that many of our ITP alumni have enjoyed over the years.
Arriving early in Glasgow we set off straight away to Glasgow Necropolis (an impressive Victorian cemetery), Glasgow Cathedral and St Mungo Museum of Religious Life and Art. The last time I had visited was in 2016 with a group of ITP fellows who had come to the UK to attend the Museums Association Conference. Then it had been freezing cold and the sky had been heavy and grey and Rige Shiba (India, ITP 2013) and Ishaq Bello (Nigeria, ITP 2012) had been hoping to enjoy their first experience of snow!!
The Necropolis is incredible. Opened in 1833, it is the resting place for over 50,000 individuals with 3,500 monuments covering the hill-top in the east of the city.
Crossing the ‘Bridge of Sighs’ which would have been the route of many funeral processions, we headed to Glasgow Cathedral, the oldest cathedral on mainland Scotland and the oldest building in Glasgow. The present cathedral was built during the 13th to 15th centuries and there is plenty to admire: the carved stone bosses on the ceiling, one of the finest post-war collections of stained-glass windows in Britain…
The New Scots Project: a display at St Mungo telling the stories of former refugees and asylum seekers living in Glasgow
Finally, we finished the morning with a visit to the award-winning St Mungo Museum of Religious Life and Art. Opened in 1993, the museum aims to promote understanding and respect between people of different faiths and those of none and offers something for everyone.
In the afternoon we moved on to visit Glasgow Museums Resource Centre (GMRC) – a truly ‘open’ storage collection. Housing around 1 million objects and welcoming more than 16,000 visitors a year, the storage ‘pods’ are home to art and painting, arms and armour, natural history, technology and world cultures.
Martin and Pat showed us some of the highlights – and their favourites – in the stores.
We finished our visit with Glasgow Museums’ outreach space – the Open Museum – and heard more about how their collections are shared with the local communities all over the city. Becca, Jess and I each selected one of their loan boxes to peek inside – Travel, The ’80s and Cinema – from over 80 themed handling and reminiscence kits.
That evening, over a wonderful dinner, we were able to catch up with some of our colleagues from the wider ITP network.
Elaine Addington – from Glasgow Museums Open Museum – who had been part of the ITP team in Yerevan for Museums, education and engagement and Jane Batty – previously Interpretation Manager at the British Museum and now Learning, Interpretation and Engagement Manager for Glasgow Museums – who join us in Aswan for the 2018 ITP+ Museum interpretation. We were also delighted to meet Anita Fox from The Collection in Lincoln who had joined Andrea Martin for the trip with plans to meet colleagues at Glasgow Museums working on learning projects to share ideas and experiences.