Museum Moves 13 – 19 October 2023

The weekly feature rounds up the latest updates in museum appointments, openings, funding and new exhibitions from across the UK.

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Dr Nick Merriman, Chief Executive and Director of Content at the Horniman Museum and Gardens, will be English Heritage’s next Chief Executive, the charity announced. Merriman will start as English Heritage’s Chief Executive early in the New Year. He takes over from Kate Mavor CBE who left the charity in June 2023.


The Secretary of State has reappointed three trustees at the Science Museum Group. Judith Donovan CBE, Lord Hendy of Richmond Hill and Professor Ajit Lalvani as trustees of the Science Museum Group have been reappointed and will serve until 2027.


Black Country Living Museum has opened its replica of Wolverhampton’s Lea Road Infant Welfare Centre, which will share stories about maternal and infant healthcare in the 1960s. The opening was marked with the presence of 75 baby visitors and their families. The newly opened building will allow visitors to explore a waiting room, doctor’s surgery and dispensary, and meet new costumed characters.

As the construction of the new Museum of London continues, the Foundation Stone for what will be known as the London Museum was unveiled this week. A special ceremony at its new location in Smithfield was held to reveal the stone, which reads “On behalf of the people of London, 16 October 2023, Christopher Hayward, Sadiq Khan, Cive Bannister”.

Manchester’s major new cultural venue, Aviva Studios has officially opened today, 18th October 2023. Designed by Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA), Aviva Studios is a combined arts, music and culture venue in the city.



Next month Tate Britain presents a restaging of a major feminist artwork, which will see visitors encouraged to eat part of the installation. Not seen for nearly 50 years, Bobby Baker’s sculptural installation ‘An Edible Family in a Mobile Home’ was originally staged in 1976, and sees a replica of Baker’s prefabricated East London house sited outside Tate Britain on the South Lawn. The installation will contain five life-size sculptures of family members made from cake, biscuits and meringues, which will be steadily eaten by the public. Runs 8 November 2023 – 7 April 2024. (Pictured above)

Ten Windrush Generation portraits commissioned earlier this year by King Charles have gone on display at the National Portrait Gallery. The portraits, painted by leading Black artists, including Sonia Boyce OBE, Amy Sherald and Honor Titus, were first on public display at the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh. ‘Windrush: Portraits of a Pioneering Generation’ runs until 1 April 2024.

A new exhibition showcasing a series of artworks by prize-winning wildlife artist Derek Robertson opens this week at Duff House in Banff, Aberdeenshire. ‘Migrations – A Field Study of Adversity’ consists of a series of artworks which “draws together topics of the refugee crisis and climate change, depicting birds as environmental indicators and as metaphors for people.” The exhibition will be displayed at the Long Gallery at Duff House on selected dates from Friday 20 October 2023 – Sunday 28 January 2024.

As part of its bicentenary celebrations, The National Gallery has opened the exhibition ‘Discover Constable and The Hay Wain’, focussing on John Constable’s masterpiece The Hay Wain. It will be the first loan exhibition held at the gallery on the artist and the first to explore the “social, political and artistic context of the English landscape at the time of The Hay Wain’s production”. Runs until 2 February 2025.

A new exhibition from the British Museum will tell the story of the life of a Roman legionary through their own eyes. ‘Legion: life in the Roman army’ includes more than 200 objects, including loans from 28 lenders. It will feature the world’s only intact legionary shield, the oldest and most complete classic Roman segmental body armour, and the remains of a soldier found at Herculaneum, who will be reunited with his belt and equipment for the first time outside of Italy.

The Design Museum in London has announced it will open a major new exhibition on the history of Barbie next year. The opening is set to coincide with the 65th anniversary of the Barbie brand in 2024. Three years in the making, the exhibition will explore the design evolution of the doll as part of a new partnership with Mattel Inc, and will include items from the extensive Barbie archives in California.


A new donation of £5 million from The National Lottery Heritage Fund has been announced this week for the upcoming London Museum, set to open doors in 2026. The new capital brings the Heritage Fund’s total contribution to £10m.

The weekly feature rounds up the latest updates in museum appointments, openings, funding and new exhibitions from across the UK.