£100,000 revamp for Ruskin Gallery

THE Ruskin Gallery, is set for a major facelift next year after Museums Sheffield secured £100,000 from the Department for Culture, Media and Sport and the Wolfson Foundation.

Housed in the Millennium Gallery, the Ruskin Gallery is host to the Guild of St George's collection of visual art, decorative art and natural history specimens originated by celebrated 19th century artist, critic and scholar John Ruskin.

Seen in fictional form in the BBC series, Desperate Romantics, Ruskin was committed to bringing the inspiration of the natural world to the urban sprawl of Victorian Sheffield and created his collection for the benefit of the people of the city.

Originally called the Museum of St George it opened in 1875 in a small cottage in Walkley and then moved to a new Ruskin Museum in Meersbrook Hall in 1890.

This remained open until the 1950s when the collection was relocated to the University of Reading, but eventually returned to Sheffield and a new Ruskin Gallery opened on Norfolk Street. In April 2001 a smaller gallery was incorporated in the new Millennium Galleries (as it was then called).

The DCMS/Wolfson Museums Improvement Fund grant will finance new display cases and lighting as part of a complete redesign of the gallery, which will also include improved access to the collections and new audio visual interactives.

It follows the completion of a major three-year refurbishment of the Graves Gallery, which also received significant funding from DCMS/Wolfson.

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