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First Impressions
Weston Gallery

8 June – 12 August 2018
Discover the fascinating story of printing in St Albans in this flagship opening exhibition.
Taking pride of place within the newly-created Weston Gallery, this exhibition will explore the rich history of a vital industry, charting the development of printing techniques, technologies, and typographic design through the centuries.
This free exhibition will reveal the local, national, and sometimes international, impact of the City’s 500-year-old printmaking heritage.
Visit to learn how St Albans became home to the third printing press in the country in 1479, aiding the spread of enlightenment and knowledge by supplying the University of Cambridge with its texts. Witness the birth of an industry and see up close one of the first texts to have been printed in colour.
From printing now-iconic London Transport posters to producing fake Daily Telegraph newspapers as part of the war effort, the printing history of St Albans is rich and surprising at every turn. 

Masquerade by Susie MacMurray
Assembly Room, Old Waiting Room
8 June  - 5 August 2018
In the dramatic splendour of the Assembly Room, internationally renowned artist, Susie MacMurray, showcases a range of her artworks as well as a specially-commissioned site-specific installation.
With a reputation for poetic interventions in historic spaces, MacMurray’s large scale piece, Masquerade, takes inspiration from the history of St Albans' Georgian Town Hall and raises questions about the relationship between place and people.
Originally used for balls, galas and concerts, the Assembly Room has been fully restored to its former glory, meaning visitors can now admire the stunning Georgian architecture, ornate chandeliers and lustrous gold leaf.
With its double height ceiling and large windows which flood the space with light, this breath-taking room is perfect for hosting immersive, large-scale artworks such as MacMurray's.
In partnership with UH Arts, the University of Hertfordshire’s arts and cultural programme.

Accumulate (Artists in Residence)
Keeper’s Galleries
8 June – 8 July 2018
Responding to the intriguing history and collections of the museum, Lyndall Phelps, Abi Spendlove and Katie Gillam-Hull present Accumulate, an exhibition of artworks and interventions created over three years that shine a light on the hidden elements of the museum collection.
Katy Gillam-Hull: Katy’s delicate objects reference the remarkable Salaman tool collection. Exploring the aesthetic and functional qualities of the tools, she creates small-scale copper and wire pieces that invite us to reconsider these artefacts.
Lyndall Phelps: Lyndall invites conversations between selected collection objects and her own exquisite handmade artworks. She examines St Albans’ industrial past, from Ballito’s ladies’ stockings, Ryder & Sons packet seeds to H. Rose & Sons’ handmade brushes. Research led her to consider the origins of the museums’ collections; the first collectors, acquisitions and absent objects.
Abi Spendlove: Abi has been inspired by fragments of stained glass found in the museums’ collections and has created a range of reflective, highly-coloured pieces. She re-sizes selected shards to large proportions, using scale and transparent materials to celebrate their historic significance, detail and craftsmanship.
This exhibition is the final celebration of their work bringing together art and history. In partnership with UH Arts, the University of Hertfordshire’s arts and cultural programme.

Flutter (Artist in Residence)
Across the building
8 June -  5th August 2018

A flutter of butterflies has settled inside St Albans Museum + Gallery, gently landing on unexpected surfaces across the building’s three floors.
Inspired by the Alexander Hopkins British Butterfly collection which were once part of St Albans Museums’ collection, artist Lyndall Phelps presents a playful artistic intervention which reintroduces the butterflies back into their previous habitat.
Re-imagined in decorative and reflective kaleidoscopic form, visitors are invited to find Purple Emperor, Swallow Tail and Clouded Yellow butterflies which are scattered across the building.
In partnership with UH Arts, the University of Hertfordshire’s arts and cultural programme.

Keeper’s Galleries

14 July – 26 August 2018
Inspired originally by Dave Kotula’s photographs of squatted premises in St Albans in the 1980’s, Squatlife highlights historical and contemporary responses to homelessness, giving insight into this previously under-researched aspect of local history.
In conjunction with this exhibition, Cardboard Citizens will work with homeless or recently homeless residents from the district to create a piece to be performed at the Abbey Theatre, whilst a professional photographer will work with attenders of Herts Young Homeless to capture snapshots of their lives.

And So She Did – artist residencies
Assembly Room

21 August - 23 August and 28 August - 30 August 2018
Join paper engineer, John O’Leary, in the magnificent Assembly Room and help create a large-scale collaborative artwork inspired by the pioneering women of St Albans.
During the first week of our 'And So She Did' season, explore the fascinating lives of three local women through the ages: from the fierce and revolutionary queen Boudicca, to noblewoman and shrewd business woman, Sarah Churchill, and local Suffragette, Constance Lytton.
Fold, construct and use paper engineering techniques to render these incredible women's lives into a collaborative art piece. Artworks created by the community will be displayed in the space, celebrating the feminist heritage of the region.
Join local textile artist, Flea Cooke, in the magnificent Assembly Room and help create a large scale collaborative artwork inspired by the stories of the pioneering women of St Albans.
During the second week of our 
'And So She Did' season, explore the fascinating lives of three local women through the ages: from the trail-blazing Margaret Wix, to community activist and campaigner Syeda Momotaz Rahim, and local philanthropist Muriel Green. 

Hand Drawn Action Packed
Weston Gallery
2 September – 11 November 2018

Hand Drawn Action Packed is a new major exhibition curated by Hayward Gallery Touring, showcasing the works of ten artists whose practice springs from drawing, and reveals the medium’s infinite possibilities.
The artists come from around the world (Belgium, Canada, China, India, Nigeria, the Netherlands, South Africa, Turkey and the USA), but their works all deploy narrative forms for fantasy, social critique, political allegory and autobiography to engage the viewer and hold their attention.
This never-before-seen exhibition opens at St Albans Museum + Gallery before touring the UK and features artwork from: Marcel Dzama, Marcel van Eeden, Inci Eviner, Yun-Fei Ji, William Kentridge, Nalini Malani, Otobong Nkanga, Raymond Pettibon, Amy Sillman and Rinus Van de Velde.

Lasting Peace?
East Keeper's Gallery + film showing in the Guard Room in the cells
8 September - 18 November 2018

Even before Armistice Day in 1918 St Albans had started creating monuments to the soldiers who wouldn’t come back.
This exhibition explores how the way we remember the First World War has changed from those early memorials to our centenary commemorations today.
As part of the St Albans Remembers season.

St Albans Legacy
Assembly Room
27 October - 15 November 2018

St Albans Legacy is the culmination of a multimedia art competition showcasing the artworks and creative responses of local pupils to the First World War.
The display gathers creations which explore what the Armistice means to a new generation and sheds light on the experiences of those 100 years ago.
Accompanying the artwork will also be a world map recording where the ancestors of St Albans' residents were living 100 years ago. 
As part of the St Albans Remembers season.

Imprinted  - works by Jane Glynn and Suman Gujral
Keeper's Galleries

24 November 2018 – 3rd February 2019
Working from studios in Hertfordshire, artists Jane Glynn and Suman Gujral present solo exhibitions in neighbouring galleries.
Each with a particular style exploring the experience of time and memory, this exhibition shares personal autobiographical subjects through sensitive paintings, prints and associated ephemera.
Jane Glynn's practice explores her personal experience of time and memory through a diverse range of materials such as oil painting, drawing, bookmaking, sculpture, animation and graphic memoirs.
For this exhibition, Glynn will be presenting twelve oil paintings of garden flowers, with twelve silk pockets of dried flowers and vases, all originating from her family home which she collected and painted over the course of a year. These temporal artefacts map the passage of time just like personal diaries, calendars or memoirs.
Suman Gujral’s use of etching and monoprinting echos how life experiences and family histories leave their trace; the acid of the etching process leaves both intentional and accidental marks on the plates. Her own personal experience of cancer and her mother’s experience of 1947 Partition in India are both examples of significant life events, which have left an enduring trace upon her.

Museums in Motion - installation
Old Waiting Room
23 October 2018 – November 2018

Museums in Motion is a heritage, dance and film project that asks:
‘What is inside your mobile phone?’
Each Museums in Motion installation unpacks mobile technology to explore what objects and technology previously fulfilled the job of apps and functions of a mobile today and how that impacts the way people live, behave and move.  Remembering life before music and film streaming, blogs, on-line gaming, search engines, email, instant messaging and on-line photo sharing.
The film installation has been produced in collaboration with The Links Academy whose students have been the dancers, directors, film-makers and creators for the installation that will be in the museum for 6 weeks following the launch.
Museums in Motion projects are taking place throughout 2018/19 at: British Schools Museum, St Albans Museum + Gallery, North Hertfordshire Museum, Royston Museum, Stevenage Museum and Watford Museum.
Museums in Motion is run in partnership with six Hertfordshire museums, managed by BEEE Creative CIC, with artistic direction from makeAMPLIFY, with funding raised by The National Lottery and awarded by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Game Plan: Board Games Rediscovered
Weston Gallery
1 December 2018 – 3 March 2019

Originally displayed at the V&A’s Museum of Childhood, this exhibition celebrates the joy, excitement and occasional frustration of playing board games.
Come and see some of the most iconic, enthralling and visually striking games from the V&A’s outstanding national collection of board games. Alongside current family favourites such as Cluedo and Trivial Pursuit, and traditional games like chess, the exhibition will look at historical board games including The Game of the Goose and other beautifully designed games from the 18th and 19th centuries.

Liz West: Our Colour Reflection
Assembly Room
6 February – 19 March 2019

See the Assembly Room in new light as a large-scale multi-coloured art installation by Liz West takes over this historic space. Our Colour Reflection uses more than 700 acrylic mirrors of different colours and sizes at different heights to playfully reflect light and project vivid colours up into the historic interior of the Assembly Room. This striking installation animates the room in a new way and accentuates the Georgian architectural details with coloured light.
Brought to St Albans Museum + Gallery in partnership with UHArts.

Wigram’s Wanderings
Keeper’s Galleries
16th February – 19th May 2019

Mayor of St Albans during the 1920s, Edgar Wigram was also a skilled architect and painter. This exhibition explores Edgar Wigram’s love of travel, presenting his explorations of Europe, North Africa and the Middle East. From wild Welsh landscapes to archaeological remains further afield, Wigram’s wanderings by bicycle in the early 1900s took him from Venice to the Rhine and from the Alhambra to Aleppo. With Wigram as a good humoured guide explore a world before mass tourism had taken hold.

Barbara Hepworth: artist in society 1948-53
Weston Gallery
23 March – 8 September 2019

This major exhibition explores a short but significant period in the life of one of Britain’s most celebrated artists. Following a decade of preoccupation with landscape, Hepworth moved naturally between abstraction and the figure in the years 1948 to 1953, capturing the human form across drawing and sculpture. Finding inspiration in  the movements of people in Venice’s St Mark’s Square to dancers into her Trewyn Studio and medical teams performing operations, this poignant exhibition introduces sculptures, drawings and archival material, reuniting works that have not been seen together since they were first created.
Brought to St Albans Museum + Gallery in partnership with UHArts. 

Toy Story: The Us in Museum (UH Creative Design)
Old Waiting Room Gallery
5 April – 9 May 2019
There are many different ways to look at a museum object and this exhibition will explore the design ideas and heritage context behind some of the toys and games in St Albans Museums’ collection. Students from the Design and Crafts programme at the University of Hertfordshire have worked together with museum staff and volunteers to look closely at these toys and discover how they might be designed today in our complex and difficult world. The displays in this exhibition have been curated by the students.

This exhibition is part of The Us in Museum, a wider project looking at how craft and design students can use museum and archive collections.

The Pickling Project
Keeper’s Galleries
25 May – 1 September 2019
Following a period of intense and urgent conservation, a collection of fascinating animal and plant specimens preserved in fluid go on display in this new exhibition. The Pickling Project explores a previously unknown and neglected part of St Albans Museums’ collection, and shines a light on the processes taken to look after the natural history collection. Discover weird and wonderful creatures and learn more about how this important collection was saved from the brink

Conservation 50
Old Waiting Room Gallery
25 May – 21 July 2019

In 1969 the St Albans Conservation Areas were created. 50 years on this exhibition will illustrate the past and present of our Conversation Areas including conservation projects of the 60’s and 70’s, current buildings which deserve conserving for the future, tree conservation and a picture show St Albans Yesterday and Today.  Conservation 50 is a project run in connection with the St Albans and Hertfordshire Architectural and Archaeological Society, St Albans Civic Society and Residents Associations.

One Hundred Years of the Hertfordshire Women’s Institute
Old Waiting Room Gallery
27 July – 8 September 2019
Follow the history of the Women’s Institute in Hertfordshire from its beginning one hundred years ago in Northaw and explore the progress of the County Federation from 1919 to the present day as it continues to provide friendship, education and inspiration to women of all ages.

Making of a Market Town
Keeper’s Galleries

7 September – 3 November 2019
This Keeper’s Galleries exhibition explores the theme of the market through textile art, looking at its history, products, trading links and significance to the local community.
Focussed on St Albans, the artworks reflect the rich tapestry of market towns across the East of England and capture their character and importance.
This exhibition is a collection of textile artworks from the Eastern Region Textile Forum.

Science in St Albans: Novum Organum Scientiarum
Weston Gallery
4 October 2019 – 15 March 2020
This exhibition will celebrate some of the incredible scientists who have lived and worked in St Albans and the surrounding District. The exhibition will centre on Francis Bacon who is sometimes known as the Father of the Experimental Philosophy. Bacon sets out his method in his book Novum Organum which laid the foundations of what was to become the experimental, or scientific method. Working from Bacon’s new method the exhibition will explore the discoveries of other scientists using this method from the longest running agricultural experiment in the world at Rothamsted to Stephen Hawking’s work on Black Holes. Other local scientists include the entomologist Eleanor Ormerod, Thomas Spencer Wells, surgeon to Queen Victoria who was one of the earliest surgeons to use anaesthetics, and Anna Thynne who created the first successful marine aquarium.

Pageant Fever
Keeper’s Galleries

15 November 2019 – 23 February 2020
Three times in the twentieth century St Albans caught ‘pageant fever’. In 1907, 1948 and again in 1953, the people of the city came together to perform episodes from its rich history. Hundreds of people acted in these historical pageants, all staged in Verulamium Park, and thousands more watched them. There were gorgeous costumes, stirring music and teams of horses. There were kings and queens, abbots and monks – and, of course, St Alban himself. In one of the pageants there was even a fire-breathing dragon. In 1968 another, smaller pageant was staged in the new City Hall – now the Alban Arena.

This exhibition tells the story of the St Albans pageants with objects, voices, pictures and film. It shows how the pageants were organised, and what they did with local and national history – and considers what they meant to the people of St Albans, then and now.