An exhibition celebrating 100 years of the Manx Museum will draw to a close on Sunday 29 October.
Opened to mark the centenary of the Manx Museum, MUSEUM100 features a kaleidoscope of over 150 objects and treasures from the Manx Museum’s collections including the oldest surviving Manx registered motor vehicle, the first piece of Viking treasure ever collected by the Manx Museum and a magnificent Bryan Kneale mural.
Katie King, MUSEUM 100 Exhibition Curator, said:
“There’s now just one week remaining to see this extraordinary collection of artefacts and archives that help tell the story of the Isle of Man and its people. The response from the community has been fantastic from the many thousands of visitors who have come through the museum doors, to families enjoying MISSION 100 created by Hello Little People, children enjoying school workshops and our digital audiences who have listened to our series of 100 podcasts hosted by Manx Radio”.
The Manx Museum’s collections have grown over 100 years and reflect 10,000 years of our Island’s cultural heritage. They reveal stories about who we are as a nation and provide a constant source of inspiration and pride for each new generation.
But if we look back some 150 years things were very different. It is hard to believe now, but there was a time when some Manx people felt their own history was so insignificant that the idea of a national museum was mocked? Surely, they said, there could be nothing of cultural significance to fill even one small room?”
A ‘tenacious band of patriots’ determined to research and protect the heritage of the Isle of Man, led by scholar Philip Moore Callow Kermode recognised the need was urgent. Farmers were using the Island’s medieval stone cross-slabs to fill gaps in hedges and builders sent a Viking treasure hoard to the tip. Manx cultural assets were sitting in British national museums.
These scholars devoted themselves to rescuing and explaining the Island’s heritage. Their work uncovered such astounding artefacts that people started to take notice. An Act of Tynwald established the Museum & Ancient Monuments Trustees in 1886.
The Trustees mission was to preserve the Isle of Man’s cultural heritage and to build a national museum. Gathering a collection of significant artefacts proved straight forward enough, but finding a permanent home for the collection was a 30-year struggle. Philip Kermode again led the charge and on 2 November 1922 the Manx Museum was finally opened, in the former Noble’s Hospital building, which was gifted to the Manx Museum & Ancient Monument Trustees by the Henry Bloom Noble Charitable Trustees.
The Manx Museum was officially opened on 2 November 1922 by Lieutenant Governor Fry. In his opening speech he remarked “One hour spent in a museum will be worth, many hours spent in a book.”
Their dream had been realised; the people of the Isle of Man had their treasure house – The Manx Museum, Thie Tashtee Vannin.
Today the Manx Museum continues to tell the story of the Isle of Man and its people; revealing stories about how we have grown as a nation and providing a constant source of inspiration for each new generation. The museum holds over one million artefacts in the national collections, and all are connected to the people of the Isle of Man and belong to the people of the Isle of Man.
The Manx Museum is open daily 9:30am – 4:30pm. The MUSEUM100 exhibition ends on Sunday 29 October.
The Museum & Ancient Monuments Trustees were founded in 1886 to preserve the Isle of Man’s cultural heritage and to build a national museum. The organisation was founded in 1886, with a remit to collect and preserve the history of the Manx people and the Island itself. Some 130 years later we still follow that same principle. This means that the Manx Museum’s collections are unique, in that they only contains artefacts that are connected to the Isle of Man.
In 1922, the Isle of Man’s first national museum opened, the Manx Museum. In 1938 we opened our first branch museum, at Cregneash and in 1951 a second branch museum at the Nautical Museum in Castletown.
In 1951, the remit of the Trustees was broadened to include protecting the natural environment, and their name was changed to the Manx Museum and National Trust. Further sites were added with The Old Grammar School (1970), The Grove Museum of Rural Life (1978), The Calf of Man (1986), Peel Castle, Castle Rushen and the Laxey Wheel (1989), House of Manannan (1997), Rushen Abbey (2000), Old House of Keys (2001).
Today The Manx Museum is part of Manx National Heritage, the trading name for the Manx Museum & National Trust (1951) and a registered charity, responsible for protecting and promoting the Isle of Man’s natural and cultural heritage, looking after some of the island’s most special places, spaces, archives and museum collections, making these available to people across the world.
Image caption: Manx National Heritage Curator for Art and Social History pictured in MUSEUM100
Lynsey Clague BA (Hons) MCIPR
Communications Manager – Manx National Heritage
T: 01624 648032
Manx National Heritage, Eiraght Ashoonagh Vannin
Manx Museum, Douglas, Isle of Man, IM1 3LY
Isle of Man Registered Charity No 603