Well, here we are at the start of a new year! The time seems to fly by, especially in the world of museums when the continual cycle of exhibitions seems relentless. This is particularly evident this year as I have started a three-month secondment at Manchester Museum, during which I will be working as Project Curator alongside Campbell Price, the Curator of Egypt and Sudan. I have worked with the Museum for many years now, both as a researcher on the collections and on the recent ‘Gifts for the Gods’ exhibition, so it feels strangely comforting to now have a desk there! Knowing all the staff (just about!) has made it much easier to fit in and everyone has been really welcoming.
‘Gifts for the Gods’ has been really successful at World Museum Liverpool, with lots of good feedback on the design, content and themes. On Saturday 28th January, Campbell, Steph and I will attempt our first experimental re-rolling of a cat mummy in front of a crowd, before the exhibition closes on Sunday the 26th February. The closure marks the start of the deinstallation phase, but it is by no means the end of the project! There is a lot to do, not least returning around 80 loaned items to 17 museums around the UK – no easy feat! I will be getting involved with the logistics and the crucial evaluation phase during which we have to determine the visitor figures across the three venues, and how many people engaged with the exhibition in it’s broadest sense, either through events or the media. This would be difficult enough with one venue, but times it by three and that’s what we are dealing with!
Of course, just because I am seconded to the Museum, doesn’t meant that the day-to-day workings of research have come to an end. I don’t think research ever comes to an end. There are papers that need writing and editing, conferences that require attending, and media enquiries left, right and centre. So, here’s to a successful new year for us all, filled with exciting discoveries and new opportunities! And, if you haven’t been to see the exhibition yet, get yourselves over to Liverpool asap!