Archive for October, 2013

Half Term Fun!

Wednesday, October 30th, 2013

It’s been a very busy Half Term at Hertford Museum so far and that’s just the way we like it! If you haven’t visited us yet that there’s still plenty coming up.

The Big Draw 2013 30-10-13 (14)

Tomorrow (Thursday) we’ve got a Spooky Spiders craft activity in the Andrews Room (10.30am- 3.30pm and £1.50 per child as usual!), on Friday it’s the Country Market and then on Saturday it’s a Stay & Play day.


But looking back at what’s happened already it’s been quite a week! On Friday evening it was the preview for World of Wallace. It was a great evening and the exhibition was opened by Errol Fuller who is one of the speakers for our World of Wallace talks in January. If you want to come to Hertford Museum previews then you need to sign up as a Friend or Patron of the museum (see our website for details).

girl sketching

Then on Saturday the museum became a zoo for the day with Spirit of the Wild. There were spiders and a crocodile and lizards and all kinds of animals and over 400 of you came to see them!


Then On Tuesday and Wednesday we’ve been taking part in the Big Draw– children have been coming and sketching some of the objects here at the museum before taking them to Courtyard Arts to turn them into beautiful paintings.

The Big Draw 2013 30-10-13 (8)

All of the work produced for the Big Draw will be on display at Hertford Theatre on Friday 1st November from 1.30 – 3.30 pm

Spirit of the Wild comes to Hertford Museum

Wednesday, October 23rd, 2013

Six months after we heard we had our Arts Council England funding World of Wallace finally opens this weekend and we’re really excited for everyone to see it!

Indian Fruit Bat

Indian Fruit Bat

To get the exhibition off to a flying start we’re being visited by some of the amazing animals* from Spirit of the Wild (and their keeper Ben!)

Spectacled caiman

Spectacled caiman

Drop in to the museum on Saturday 26th October between 10.30am – 3.30pm to see the amazing animals. There will be timed slots to see the animals to make sure they don’t get too overwhelmed (last entry 3.00pm) but the event is entirely FREE so make sure you come and see us!

Brazilian Three Banded Armadillo

Brazilian Three Banded Armadillo

This will also be your first chance to see World of Wallace which is FULL of animals, birds, fish and coral as well as some beautiful objects from around the world and several objects that belonged to Alfred Russel Wallace himself.

A Hornbill from Hertford Museum's collection beautifully conserved for the World of Wallace exhibition.

A Hornbill from Hertford Museum’s collection beautifully conserved for the World of Wallace exhibition.

You’ll also be able to try out our new interactives including the “Wheel of Warning” and have a go at designing your own Bird of Paradise!

*We cannot guarantee the presence of any particular animals this weekend but we do know there will be an amazing selection!

Countdown to World of Wallace

Wednesday, October 16th, 2013

Our World of Wallace exhibition opens in just 10 days time so we’re all very busy at the moment making sure that everything is ready in time! For this week’s blog we thought we’d give you an idea of all of the different things that need to come together when we put on an exhibition.

Firstly after months of research we’ve written all of the text panels and our wonderful designer, Nigel at M Star Graphics, has put the text and images together and now we’re just waiting for the finished panels from the printer.

Portrait of Alfred Russel Wallace with a Bird of Paradise specimen

Portrait of Alfred Russel Wallace with a Bird of Paradise specimen.

We’re using a lot of natural history objects from our collection for this exhibition and so we’ve had teams of volunteers cleaning some of them whilst the more fragile specimens have gone away to be looked after by professional conservators and the final few objects are being returned this week.

Conservator Juliane Ovenden working on some of our Natural History collection.

Conservator Juliane Ovenden working on some of our Natural History collection.

It’s not just our own objects in this exhibition though, we’re receiving loans from the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew, the Natural History Museum, the Oxford University Museum of Natural History, the Museum of the History of Science, the Royal Entomological Society and the University of Cambridge Museum of Zoology! All of these loans have to be collected, brought back to the museum and carefully checked to make sure we know what condition they are in.

One of the loans from the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew- a plant specimen collected by Alfred Russel Wallace himself.

One of the loans from the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew- a plant specimen collected by Alfred Russel Wallace himself.

In the exhibition there will also be some fantastic interactive elements for our younger visitors and these have had to be designed, artwork drawn for them, instructions written and they should be arriving at the museum any day now.

Some pieces from our "Design your own Bird of Paradise" interactive drawn for us by Joanna Scott.

Some pieces from our “Design your own Bird of Paradise” interactive drawn for us by Joanna Scott.

Then alongside all of that we have to plan for our preview (if you want to come to a museum preview you need to join the Friends or Patrons!), organise all of the events running alongside the exhibition (like Spirit of the Wild on Saturday 26th October and our Half Term Big Draw activities!), there’s special Wallace themed merchandise to design and order (we can be a one stop shop for all your Christmas presents this year!) and after all of that we’re also launching two new Schools’ Workshops which will be available during and after the exhibition.

A Rhinoceros Hornbill drawn by Alfred Russel Wallace. This is one of the images we're using on our World of Wallace mugs!

A Rhinoceros Hornbill drawn by Alfred Russel Wallace. This is one of the images we’re using on our World of Wallace mugs!

If you like hearing about what goes on behind the scenes at the museum make sure you’ve check out our World of Wallace videos and subscribe to our YouTube channel to make sure you don’t miss any future videos!

Food through the Ages- Hertford Food & Drink Festival

Wednesday, October 9th, 2013

This Saturday 12th October we are taking part in the Hertford Food & Drink Festival.


Our event runs from 10.30am – 12.30pm and you can drop in to sample delicacies from history and find out about food from the past. Jan Stevens will be making Honeyed mushrooms, medieval gingerbread, blackberry cordial and much more for you to try and she will be on hand to answer your questions!


Thanks to generous support from Waitrose this event is entirely FREE and you can just drop in (donations are always welcome though!)


Go Hertford also have a pdf of the full Food & Drink Festival flyer for you to download.


This week we’ve also had another of our Conservation Cleaning sessions, it’s a Knit & Natter morning this Thursday and you’ve only got a week and a half to come and see our 18 Bull Plain exhibition so there’s plenty to see and do!

New School Term and New Schools Sessions!

Wednesday, October 2nd, 2013

It’s hard to believe it’s already October and the Autumn term is in full swing but we’ve already had lots of school visits this year and our Learning Officer, Eleanor, has taken some of our sessions out to other schools!

Little Heath Toys 27-9-13 (10)

If you visit the museum during the week you’ll often see schools in our galleries, garden or doing workshops in the Andrews Room and to keep all the local teachers up-to-date on our current sessions we have a special Schools Newsletter which comes out at the start of each term.

Little Heath Toys 27-9-13 (1)

This Autumn our newsletter includes some details about our brand new Natural History workshops. We’re really excited to be able to use our Natural History collections with schools this year and we have two new sessions both supported by Arts Council England as part of our World of Wallace project.

Simon Balle Summer School 19-8-13 (13)

From November schools can book a session called An Animal Gathering, all about how different animals and species adapt and change depending on their habitats, or Who Was Wallace, all about Alfred Russel Wallace’s adventures and discoveries.

rhinoceros hornbill- ARW

For more details you can always see the Schools section of our website and at the moment there is a special World of Wallace Schools page as well.