Museum Moves 24 – 30 March 2023

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


Historic Environment Scotland has announced the appointment of six new members to its Board. Gemma Butterfield, a Business Manager for the National Trust for Scotland; Joe Doogan as Director of Operations at Rosyth Dockyard for Babcock International; Simon Hodge, who has served as Chief Executive of the Crown Estate Scotland and Forest Enterprise Scotland; Gary Jebb,Director of Place at the University of Edinburgh; Ann Leslie, Chief Executive of Lar Housing Trust, and Anne-Marie O’Hara, formerly Head of the Capital team at The BIG Lottery Fund.


Upcoming Blackpool museum Showtown, which describes itself as “the museum of fun and entertainment”, has revealed the first photos of its interior ahead of a new opening date. The museum now plans to open next year as it begins the process of installing its debut exhibitions.

HMS Caroline, the ‘floating museum’ berthed at Alexandra Dock, will fully reopen to visitors from April 2023, it has announced. Onboard, a refurbished exhibition will tell the story of HMS Caroline’s service. Included is a cinematic experience recreating the Battle of Jutland and a ‘Virtual Access Suite’, giving visitors the experience of cracking codes, sending signals, firing torpedoes and steering the ship.


An exhibition exploring how the Troubles engulfed Northern Ireland is set to begin next month at IWM London. ‘Northern Ireland: Living with the Troubles’ will present the perspectives of individuals affected by the conflict and the different narratives that have allowed people who lived through the conflict to share their version of events. The exhibition will also present new objects, never-before-displayed in the museum. Acquired as part of an initiative to grow IWM’s Northern Ireland collection, they rubber bullets, propaganda posters and a Good Friday Agreement booklet, as well as rarer items such as a screen-printed handkerchief made by prisoners of war in the Long Kesh internment camp. Runs 26 May 2023 – 7 January 2024.

In advance of artist Ai Weiwei’s first design-focused exhibition at the Design Museum, a new work constructed entirely of Lego has been unveiled. The work is a recreation of a Monet painting and is over 15m in length. Water Lilies #1 will be seen alongside another major new Lego artwork by Ai Weiwei, which is also making its international debut at the Design Museum. ‘Ai Weiwei: Making Sense’ runs 7 April – 30 July 2023.

The National Galleries of Scotland has this week announced the acquisition of two major works by the Barbadian-Scottish artist, Alberta Whittle. The artist’s installation with tapestry, Entanglement is more than blood (2022), and film, Lagareh – The Last Born (2022), will form a part of ‘Alberta Whittle: create dangerously’ a free exhibition opening at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art (Modern One). Runs 1 April 2023 – 7 Jan 2024.

A new exhibition exploring the links to the slave trade in the north east of Scotland has opened at the University of Aberdeen’s Gallery of the Sir Duncan Rice Library. ‘Legacies of Slavery: Transatlantic Slavery and Aberdeen’ is part of the University’s commitment to improve understanding of both the institution’s own colonial legacy and the wider region’s connections to the enslavement of people, and includes original documents that record the brutal conditions people endured. Runs until 2 December 2023.

A 2.67 tonne cast of Patagotitan mayorum, one of the largest dinosaurs to exist, has gone on display at London’s Natural History Museum. Visitors will be able to walk beneath the skeleton in an exhibition accompanied by illustrations that are informed by the museum’s scientists. ‘Titanosaur: LIfe as the biggest dinosaur’ Runs 31 March 2023 – 7 January 2024.

At Tate, ‘Capturing the Moment’ is a new exhibition exploring the relationship between contemporary painting and photography. Made in collaboration with the YAGEO Foundation, Taiwan, the group exhibition will “unfold as an open-ended conversation between some of the greatest painters and photographers of recent generations”. It will feature paintings by Andy Warhol, Francis Bacon, Gerhard Richter and Peter Doig and photographs by Thomas Struth, Andreas Gursky and Hiroshi Sugimoto. Runs 14 June 2023 – 28 January 2024.

A display of items gifted to Dorset Museum by musician and writer PJ Harvey on the publication of her Dorset dialect poem Orlam, have gone on display. The items will be exhibited outside the Museum’s Collection Discovery Centre. Runs until 9 July 2023.

Lewisham’s Migration Museum is exhibiting a new installation by multidisciplinary visual artist EVEWRIGHT as part of this year’s Windrush 75th anniversary celebrations, exploring the artist’s own perspectives on growing up in the London borough as the child of parents from the Windrush generation. The site-specific multimedia installation runs 5 April – 16 July 2023.


The National Lottery Heritage Fund has announced its latest funding round, which will see £24 million allocated to projects across the UK.

Museums are among recipients of the latest Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme funding. The third phase of the scheme sees funding distributed in England for energy efficiency measures including the modernisation of heating systems.