Friends of Shrewsbury Museum and Art Gallery
President Anthony Bowen
Chairman David Waterhouse
Registered Charity 51347
If you have a love of the arts and an appreciation of the importance of museums in local life do become a Friend of Shrewsbury Museum and Art Gallery.
The Friends was established in 1983 with the general aim of supporting the objectives of Shrewsbury Museum and Art Gallery – particularly its educational work. In 2009, as the result of local government reorganisation, the Museum and Art Gallery changed ownership, being taken over by Shropshire Council. In 2014 it moved premises to the newly restored Music Hall, refurbished at the cost of around £10 million. At the present time (2017) there are about 270 members of the Friends.
Over the years the Friends have contributed resources worth over £100,000 in support of the museum. In early years this mainly involved assisting with the purchase of items for the museum’s collections, mainly pictures and ceramics of both local and national importance. More recently the Friends have been contributing to the costs of running programmes at the museum and also contributing to the cost of equipment. As examples £5,000 was made available for display cases at the new museum and the Friends were a principal sponsor for the very successful exhibition ‘Heavenly Lights’ about the work of the stained glass artist Margaret Rope.
A further role for the Friends is advocacy. The recent local government funding constraints have put pressure on resources and Shropshire, like many other local authorities, has had to consider funding cuts over a wide range, which inevitably includes museums. The Friends are able to act as advocates for the museum and to work with local authorities to find an acceptable outcome.
Additionally, contributions from the Friends have often been the critically important starting point for further funding support from trusts and national organisations such as the Arts Council and lottery funds.
We have a programme of talks, visits and social events. Details are on our Talks and Visits pages and there is a section on the Darwin Memorial Lecture which we hold in February of each year. Information about joining us is on our Join Us page. Just click on the appropriate button at the top of this page. Many of our members support the Museum as volunteers, welcoming visitors, acting as gallery guides and assisting with educational programmes for both children and adults.
Chairman: David Waterhouse
Honorary Secretary: Rosemary Thornes
Membership Secretary: Lyn Leach
By mail at: FSMAG, c/o Visitor Information Centre, The Music Hall, The Square, Shrewsbury SY1 1LH
Or by email at: FriendsSMAG@gmail.com
To find out more about Shrewsbury Museum and Art Gallery, visit the Museum’s website at: http://www.shrewsburymuseum.org.uk/