What’s been going on at the Museum recently
We had a really busy winter at the Museum and we’ve had a great start to the season too. Here is an update on what’s new/what to look out for next time you visit. And if you can’t visit for a while, here is a look at some of our new displays. We started with a look at the outside of the Museum (see: http://museumofwitchcraftandmagic.co.uk/news/the-museum-is-open-hooray/) Now let’s move inside the Museum and see what has been happening…
In the Images of Witchcraft gallery (the first gallery in the Museum pictured below)…
We have a new cat in our iconography of the witch display exploring why the image of the witch is so closely associated with the cat, the hat, the broom and the cauldron.
We have a new introductory panel which is larger and has more images in it. The “Images of Witchcraft” wooden sign has been revamped by the carver Steve Patterson.
We also made a couple of slight changes to the “History of the Museum” display which mainly focuses on the life of the Museum’s founder – Cecil Williamson. You can see a new interpretation panel on the left which includes more images of Cecil and the Museum in his day.
We also added more objects to this display including objects from the Witches’ Mill (left) and from Cecil’s home altar (right).
A major new display in Images of Witchcraft explores the connection between witches and animals (with a special focus on shapeshifting). The focal point is this wonderful taxidermy fox which is a recent acquisition.
In the Images of Witchcraft display proper, we have added a new section called “Famous Witches” with sections on Mother Shipton, Joan of Arc, Morgan the Fay, Medea and Circe.
Another area which we have altered a little is the display near the Macbeth plaque in Images of Witchcraft. This display now considers the idea that a lot of representations of the witch suggest that witches come in threes. We have expanded this to consider the origins of this idea in triple aspect Goddesses, the Three Fates and the Three Graces. All of these images of magical women existed long before Shakespeare’s Three Weird Sisters.
As you may now, we also have items in drawers in the Images of Witchcraft display and we have had a bit of a move around here as well. Here is a photo of a drawer on the Witch of Wookey Hole.
A drawer looking at images of wizards:
A drawer with objects relating to Salem in the USA:
We have also found space for one of the text panels from last year’s Halloween exhibition which looks at the connection between October 31st and witchcraft. This has also enabled us to keep out some of the Halloween postcards from the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries which show very varied and playful images of witches and their connection with this festival.
Another “what’s been happening at the Museum” blog coming soon…