Museum Moves 3 – 10 May 2024

The bronze 'Dippy' cast lowered into place at the Natural History Museum © The Trustees of the Natural History Museum, London

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

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Lucy Frazer, Secretary of State at the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, has reappointed Sue Wilkinson as Commissioner of Historic England for a second term of 4 years. Currently Wilkinson is a trustee of English Heritage and deputy chair of the Churches Conservation Trust. She is also vice chair of the Medical Research Foundation.

Gordon Seabright has been named the new Chief Executive of the Horniman Museum and Gardens. He will assume this role in June 2024, succeeding Victoria Pinnington, who has served as interim Chief Executive since February 2024 after the departure of Dr. Nick Merriman OBE.

The National Coal Mining Museum in Wakefield has announced the creation of a new role to lead its major projects. Heritage Project Manager and Historian Dr John Tanner has been appointed Head of Masterplan and Capital Projects.

King Charles has accepted the role of Royal Patron for the RAF Museum in Shropshire. The museum said “His Majesty’s dedication to honouring the legacy of the Royal Air Force and his unwavering support for our mission to share the story of the service make him a fitting ambassador for our institution.”

Openings and closures

The Natural History Museum has announced its transformed gardens will open on 18 July 2024. The five-acre site will feature a new bronze cast of the Museum’s much-loved Diplodocus ‘Dippy’ (pictured above), a Nature Discovery Garden, and Nature Activity Centre.


The National in Edinburgh wil display two paintings by Johannes Vermeer from today. The free display opens Friday 10 May as part of the National Gallery’s National Treasures celebration. It will see ‘A Young Woman Standing at a Virginal’ coming to Scotland, and shown alongside Scotland’s own Vermeer, ‘Christ in the House of Martha and Mary’.

Today (10 May 2024), a new exhibition created in partnership with co-curators from Sheffield’s African Caribbean community goes on display at Weston Park Museum. Bringing together archive material and personal mementoes, photographs, film and much more, ‘Caribbean Footsteps’ will explore the stories of those from the Caribbean who found their home in Sheffield, as well as those of the families they raised here. The exhibition addresses contemporary issues such as the campaign for justice for victims of the ‘Windrush’ scandal, with two films contributed by the Justice4Windrush campaign.

This summer, a major retrospective will explore the accomplishments of British artist Fred Appleyard opens at The Gallery in The Arc, Winchester. Over 100 works from both private and public collections will be on display in an exhibition which charts the artist’s career spanning Pre-Raphaelite beginnings at the turn of the century, to post-war British impressionism. ‘Rising Splendour: Fred Appleyard, From the Royal Academy to the Itchen Valley’ runs 21 June – 18 September 2024.

A new exhibition featuring the screen-prints of British artist Carey Bennet is to go on display at the Museum of Brands in London. Bennet’s work for TV, publishing, advertising, and design, has seen commissions from brands including MTV, Absolut Vodka, National Lotto and Volvo. ‘Memory and Remedy’ runs 7 June 2024 – 19 October 2024.

The Granary Gallery in Berwick-upon-Tweed will explore LS Lowry´s interest in seascapes, specifically of the North Sea in a new exhibition highlighting works that feature the Northumberland coast, to which he was a regular visitor. ‘Lowry and the Sea’ will feature 20 of his works, including oil paintings, as well as drawings in pastel, charcoal, and pencil, both from public and private collections. Runs 25 May – 30 October 2024.


Museums and heritage institutions across England are among 67 recipients of the second round of Arts Council England’s £24.2m Capital Investment Programme. The grants, which range between £100,000 and £750,000, will be used to fund building works and the purchase of equipment and other assets to improve access, seize technological opportunities, and reduce environmental impact, the funding body said.