Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of RAMM’s Centenary Exhibition
22 October 2019
On Thursday 17 October staff, Friends and members of the public got together for a celebration of RAMM’s history and to welcome back eight of the staff members who put together its centenary celebrations, fifty years ago.
The centenary exhibition
In October 1969, 100 years after the Museum originally opened to the public, a centenary exhibition, Treasures of the Exeter Museums, was mounted with an accompanying illustrated catalogue, launching the museum into its second century. As part of the centenary activities, the Friends (also known as FEMAG) was established. Alan Caig, the current chair of the Friends, introduced the event and it was wonderful to be able to share the news that the organisation is still going strong and continues to support the museum today.
The centenary exhibition team
The 1969 exhibition was researched, prepared and mounted by a team of eleven professional and support staff, the majority young and recently appointed to the expanding museum and art gallery staff. Remarkably, fifty years on all but one of the exhibition team are still alive and we invited them all back to the celebration. The eight who were able to attend, had a wide range of distinguished professional or other working histories across England, Scotland, Wales and internationally, are:
- Professor Patrick Boylan (Director)
- Professor Susan Pearce (Curator of Archaeology and Antiquities)
- Dr Pamela Inder (Curator of Costume and Decorative Arts)
- Alexander Hidalgo (Conservation Officer)
- Michael Griffiths (Field Archaeologist)
- Robin Paisey (Graduate Trainee)
- Derek Duff (Graphic and Exhibition Designer)
- Steffi Bray, (Director’s Secretary)
- Joan Griffiths, (Admin. / Secretary, Secretary of the Friends)
The afternoon included short talks from four of the contributors to the original exhibition. Professor Susan Pearce, now Professor Emeritus of the University of Leicester, talked about collecting today. Dr Pamela Inder, talked about the first women dressmakers. Professor Patrick Boylan, now Professor Emeritus at City, University of London, talked about Charles Darwin’s remarkable expedition from Valparaiso, Chile, to Mendoza, Argentina, and back. Michael Griffiths delighted the audience with stories about the city’s archaeological digs, and some of the characterful ‘dirt’ on the archaeologists he worked with.