Revamped museum springs surprises after winter break

26th April 2023

Visitors to one of St Andrews’ best-loved attractions are being offered a fresh take on the area’s past thanks to a winter makeover.

The team at St Andrews Museum have refreshed displays and put new objects on show for the building’s reopening next Tuesday (2 May).

The Victorian mansion in Kinburn Park – closed since October – has undergone a programme of essential maintenance that included replacing most of the B-listed building’s windows.

Among the many new objects on show are a hoard of medieval coins found in St Andrews. These were acquired in 2018, with funding from the National Fund for Acquisitions, through the Treasure System, which ensures that artefacts of archaeological and historical significance are preserved in public collections.

Also on show is a magnificent embroidered banner created in 1823 for the Thistle and Rose Lodge of the Free Gardeners Society, St Andrews.

Other new exhibits include a St Andrews board game featuring well-known businesses from 2002, and a beer bottle designed by local artist Susan McGill for the first beer brewed in town for more than 100 years by the St Andrews Brewing Company in 2014.

Museum-goers can see a new display of precious mementoes linked to the 1st Independent Polish Parachute Brigade, formed in Fife during the Second World War.

And more than 70 artefacts will feature in an A-Z display that highlights an object of local interest for each letter of the alphabet.

Visitors can also mull over a multitude of mystery objects in the newly revamped Puzzling Cabinet and there will be a revitalised Activity Room with things to do for all ages.

The museum is one of several managed by cultural charity OnFife on behalf of Fife Council. The charity’s collections consist of more than 120,000 objects.

Exhibits on show at the museum range in age from a 395-million-year-old fossil fish to items from the 21st century.

A further attraction will be the acclaimed exhibition Brushstrokes, which showcases works from the dazzling array of paintings managed by cultural charity OnFife.

The exhibition features paintings by the ever-popular Scottish Colourists and Glasgow Boys, as well as two works by St Andrews-born Jack Vettriano – one signed with his birth name, Jack Hoggan.

Included in the blend of traditional and modern works are paintings by acclaimed artists such as Anne Redpath, Elizabeth Blackadder, John Bellany and Fife’s own John Houston.

Venue Supervisor Jud Hunter says: 'We are delighted to be reopening our doors – we've freshened up our exhibition spaces and are ready to welcome back our community and visitors.

“We're excited to be displaying a number of interesting new objects and to be hosting the stunning Brushstrokes collection. Our Activity Room is full of fun and games, so there is something for everyone at St Andrews Museum.”

For information about the reopening, go to the OnFife website or follow StAndrewsMuseum on Facebook and Instagram.

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