Chance for metalwork to shine

Pictured at  the Millennium Gallery, Sheffield, where Helen Phillips curator of the metalwork gallery is seen  with an old Sheffield plate kettle one of the first items to go on display in the new gallery.
Pictured at the Millennium Gallery, Sheffield, where Helen Phillips curator of the metalwork gallery is seen with an old Sheffield plate kettle one of the first items to go on display in the new gallery.

The Millennium Gallery is set to provide a new showcase for the city’s renowned Metalwork Collection thanks to major Government funding.

Museums Sheffield has successfully bid for £110,000 from the Department for Culture, Media & Sport and the Wolfson Foundation as part of an ambitious £300,000 project to revitalise the gallery’s existing displays of decorative metalwork, cutlery and flatware.

Sheffield’s Metalwork Collection has proved a visitor favourite since the Millennium Gallery opened in 2001 but the largely static displays are now dated and showing signs of wear.

A major redesign of the Metalwork gallery will now be undertaken, including the introduction of new mobile wall structures, LED lighting, freestanding cabinets and flexible cases, which will allow curators to share much more of the collection on a regular basis. Work on the project will begin in October with a view to the new displays being unveiled in February 2015.

Sheffield’s Metalwork Collection was classed as a Designated Collection by the DCMS in 1999 in recognition of its national and historical significance.

Comprising more than 13,000 pieces, it pays tribute to the skill and craftsmanship of past British metalworkers, as well as highlighting the most contemporary cutting edge designs by emerging talents.

The grant from DCMS/Wolfson Foundation, one of 40 to museums across England, will be supplemented by a six month programme of fundraising by Museums Sheffield, Already £10,000 has been secured from local trusts and foundations and they are now looking to Sheffield businesses for further sponsorship.

Museums Sheffield Chief Executive Kim Streets said: “We’re delighted to have the opportunity give the collection the showcase it deserves.”