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Hall relives museum glory days

The picture gallery at the Ruskin Museum, which was housed at Meersbrook Hall from 1890 to 1953
The picture gallery at the Ruskin Museum, which was housed at Meersbrook Hall from 1890 to 1953

Meersbrook Hall will be open for a week of free events celebrating the history of the Ruskin Museum at the hall.

For one week only, some of the former rooms of the museum, housed there from 1890 to 1953, will be transformed by exciting displays and artworks inspired by fascinating new research.

The powerful connection between Sheffield’s Master Cutlers and the Ruskin Collection at Meersbrook will be revealed, as well as how the museum was at the centre of a thriving Sheffield Ruskin Club and a national Ruskin Union network at the end of the 19th century.  

Visitors will be able to see examples of artwork by early 20th-century curator Genevieve Pilley, one of the best manuscript illumination artists in the country and creator of a number of royal documents.    

Historical coverage from the Sheffield Daily Telegraph will be on show, and some of the original artworks and furniture from the  Meersbrook Museum will be on rare display too.

Children from Carfield Primary School, architecture students from the University of Sheffield, local volunteers and professional artists have all created displays following their own research into the museum.

Ideas for Meersbrook Hall’s future will be brought to life during the week too - which visitors can add to.

Visitors can also try a range of free activities, including illuminated lettering, wire sculpture or nature drawing, or piecing together a jigsaw puzzle of the Ruskin Collection’s enormous painting of St Mark’s Basilica in Venice.  

The Ruskin Museum Makeover at Meersbrook Hall week has been made possible  through a Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) award. The project is a collaboration between the Guild of St George, Heeley Trust and Friends of Meersbrook Hall.

The Ruskin Museum Makeover is free and open every day from October 20 to 26.Opening times are 2pm-9pm on Saturday 20th,  11am-4pm on Sun 21st, 9am-5pm on Monday to Friday the following week, with late opening until 9pm on the Thursday.

Special events include outdoor projections on to the hall on Saturday, October 20 at 7pm, new heritage talks about the Ruskin Museum on Wed 24th at 7pm, and an art workshop for adults on Thu 25th at 7pm.  No booking is required, just turn up.  

Enter the hall via the upper entrance to Meersbrook Park on Brook Road. More details at www.ruskininsheffield.com.