"We’re absolutely thrilled" - Sheffield museums re-open their doors to excited visitors

Sheffield museums have been opening their doors to visitors at long last after being closed for months during the latest lockdown.

Friday, 21st May 2021, 9:55 am

Weston Park Museum, Kelham Island Museum and the Millennium Gallery all reopened today, Thursday May 20.

Entry fees have now been dropped at Kelham Island and Abbeydale Industrial Hamlet, to encourage more people to enjoy the displays and attractions like the massive River Don Engine at Kelham Island.

Kirstie Hamilton, director of programmes at Sheffield Museums, said:“We’re absolutely thrilled to be able to welcome people back to Kelham island Museum, Millennium Gallery and Weston Park Museum again.

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Kelham Island Museum has reopened to visitors and six-year-old Umay Ibrahimli was one of the first to walk back through the doors on Thursday, May 20

“It’s our visitors that bring the museums to life and it’s been amazing seeing them come through doors once more to rediscover their favourites and explore the brand new exhibitions and displays.

“With all the museums now free entry, it means they can now be enjoyed by even more people – it’s been great to see the response we’ve had across the sites today and we can’t wait to reopen Abbeydale Industrial Hamlet and Shepherd Wheel in the coming weeks.”

The Millennium Gallery has two new exhibitions on display.

Cecil Beaton’s Bright Young Things, from the National Portrait Gallery, celebrates the British society photographer’s portraits of a dazzling leading cast of society figures, artists, writers and party-goers in the 1920s and 30s. That’s on until July 4.

Sue Harrison, one of the team who has been preparing Weston Park Museum for reopening to the public on Thursday, May 20, in the Sheffield Stories exhibition

My Path is a creative walk through the criminal justice system. Every work that is on display until June 20 has been made by someone in a prison, secure hospital, young offender institution or on probation.

Curated by a group of young people working with Sheffield Youth Justice Service, My Path showcases artwork from across Yorkshire which were submitted to the 2020 Koestler Awards for arts in criminal justice.

Many of the artists who are featured in the exhibition have experienced lock-up for 23 hours a day during the pandemic and managed to create work with limited materials.

Kelham Island Museum has reopened to visitors and staff member Gemma Holden is pictured waiting to welcome them on Thursday, May 20

At Weston Park Museum, The Sheffield Project: Photographs of a Changing City features the work of a group of photographers who documented the city in the mid-1980s for the old Untitled Gallery (now Site Gallery).

The period saw the aftermath of the miners’ strike, the steel industry workforce decimated, mass unemployment and dereliction. But it was also a time in which the city began to imagine its future, one that would include Meadowhall, the transformation of the lower Don Valley and the World Student Games.

The exhibition ends on November 28.

The Graves art gallery at Sheffield Central Library is being renovated and won’t open until this summer and Abbeydale Industrial Hamlet reopens on May 29. Shepherd Wheel welcomes back visitors on June 5.

Sheffield Museums worker Amy Farry with the new pilot whale display at Weston Park Museum, which reopened to the public on Thursday, May 20

All the city’s major museums and galleries now all come under one Sheffield Museums umbrella to tell the city’s amazing story.

Visitors are being encouraged to pre-book their free visit using eventbrite.co.uk. Enhanced cleaning, hand sanitiser stations and changes to air handling systems at some sites are also in place.

For more information, visit museums-sheffield.org.uk/welcome-back.