Inside the Museum
Welcome to Inside the Museum – each week we’ll be releasing a new short film, giving you incredible insight into what goes on behind the scenes here at RAMM.
You’ll discover how we preserve our collections, learn what it takes to install an exhibition, explore a day in the life of our Front of House team, and much more. Follow us on social media – Facebook, Instagram and Twitter – to keep up to date with Inside the Museum.
Week One – Friday 2 July – Natural Sciences
Have you ever seen the leg bone of an extinct moa? Our curator Holly provides a wonderful insight into RAMM’s extensive Natural Sciences collection. From birds to starfish, large mammals to snails, our collection requires special care and protection. Holly shows us around the museum stores and talks about the historical importance of some of the most fascinating items – discover our beautiful insect collection, and the history behind our most famous resident, Gerald the Giraffe.
Week Two – Friday 9 July – The Evolution of RAMM
The Royal Albert Memorial Museum & Art Gallery is just over 150 years old. From its origins as a museum, library and school of art through to how it is seen today, its historical development is explored in this fascinating film. Senior Collections Officer Julien takes us on a walk through the museum and talks about the building’s architecture and how the museum’s displays have changed over time. Learn about our more modern exhibition galleries and the story of the evolution of RAMM.
Week Three – Friday 16 July – Caring for the Collection
What is the best way to preserve our collections and ensure they don’t deteriorate? Morwena explains how RAMM’s conservation team work on conserving delicate items in the textiles collection and reveals their specialist skills and tricks of the trade. Find out about how the damp and mild conditions of the South West causes problems for textiles, see Morwena prepare a mannequin for display and discover the emotion behind conserving stunning garments from history.
Week Four – Friday 23 July – Fashion and Textiles
Changing tastes and fashions from the 18th century though to the 1980s can be seen in our remarkable collection of fashion and textiles. Many of the fascinating items we look after have associations with the South West, including two pieces from Queen Victoria’s wardrobe and garments once owned by the actress Vivien Leigh. RAMM’s curator Shelley also reveals items from the museum’s large collection of boots and shoes, including shoes that have survived since the 17th century.
Week Five – Friday 30 July – The Team Behind the Displays
The technical team play an essential part in the museum, helping RAMM to present spectacular exhibitions and displays for our visitors to enjoy. Our technician George takes us behind the scenes to the workshop and highlights the challenges of caring for and displaying objects in a way that shows the collections at their best. Hear about the privilege of being able to hold, and sometimes smell, the objects, as well as experiences of managing the safe installation of visiting exhibitions.
Week Six – Friday 6 August – Archaeology
Discover how RAMM is an important part of the jigsaw when understanding the past. RAMM’s curator Tom provides a glimpse into the museum’s extensive archaeology collection, including a recently discovered Bronze Age hoard, a collection of Roman coins, and bones from the very first turkey that came to Britain. Tom explains the importance of archaeologists and museums in preserving historical evidence from fascinating discoveries and how they attempt to tell the story behind the people who used these objects.
Week Seven – Friday 13 August – World Cultures
RAMM’s World Cultures collection shows Exeter’s connections to the wider world. We have over 13,000 objects in our collection and only a small proportion of them are on show at any time. Curator Tony talks about some of these objects and how RAMM aims to open up the real stories behind them. He tells the fascinating story of the Australian Aboriginal cricket team’s visit to England and gives an insight into how many of the objects were acquired in the 19th century.
Week Eight – Friday 20 August – Welcome to RAMM
Meet some of the team from visitor services and retail. Lisa, the museum’s visitor services supervisor, talks us through a typical day and explains how the building and its collections are kept safe. From ensuring the museum is secure, clean and ready for opening, to meeting with and looking after the variety of visitors we welcome and ensuring, this team’s responsibilities are varied and essential to the functioning of the museum.
Week Nine – Friday 27 August – Fine Art
Safely racked in RAMM’s store are around 7,000 pieces of art that have been collected since the museum opened. From historical, well known paintings, many with a local connection, to more modern pieces, these works are brought into the museum for fine art hangs, allowing visitors to enjoy the breadth and talent demonstrated in our collection. Take a closer look at some of the most treasured pieces in our collection in this fascinating film.