Exeter’s RAMM Wins

By | Category: Travel destinations, Travel news

121 Year old Gerald

Gerald

The Art Fund has announced that its £100,000 prize this year has been given to the Royal Albert Memorial Museum and Art Gallery (RAMM) in Exeter.
The RAMM was one of four finalists along with the Hepworth in Wakefield, the Watts to the west of Guildford and the Scottish Portrait Gallery in Edinburgh. Two days ago on BBC Radio 4’s Front Row, there was a visit to the museum as part of an “inspection” by the programme. Was it just me or did the discussion of Gerald, the large stuffed giraffe that is almost its mascot seem to be the most memorable thing? That and the £24 million just spent on its upgrade. As a couple of people interviewed said, couldn’t the money be better spent on better roads in Exeter or the NHS? And this highlights the fact that those that receive this sort of money should be able to justify why sum sums should be spent?
Lord Smith, the chairman of the judges announced that the RAMM was a “magical, really lovely Victorian building” which has been restored as well as having a new wing. Perhaps the most interesting reason given for awarding the prize was because “they tell you the story of the collection and the collectors who gathered them.” That’s a little unusual because there aren’t many museums – the Sir John Soane in London and the Russell-Coates in Bournemouth being two exceptions – where the story of the collector is told as well.
Like the current US tourism push, Brand USA which was launched with the Roseanne Cash song, the RAMM has had a song written by folk duo, Show of Hands, called Home to a Million Thoughts to celebrate the re-opening of the museum after its refurbishment. Since that re-opening on December 15th 2011, some 200,000 have visited RAMM

For further information about RAMM, click here.

Image ©RAMM

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