Museum on the Move reopens

11201810_1288186537863313_6734758118269799242_nEpping Forest District Museum reopened it’s doors to the public on Saturday 19 March 2016 after a 2 year long Heritage Lottery funded redevelopment.

The bells of Waltham Abbey Church rang as reenactors from the 44th East Essex Regiment marched up Sun Street towards the museum.

Party atmosphere

A party atmosphere was enjoyed by all who came to celebrate the museum’s special day. They were treated to a jive dance demonstration and a morris dancing display by the Chingford Morris Men in Sun Street.

Over 750 people visited the museum, they enjoyed activities including decorating eggs in the new community space, and were given access to all the museum’s new galleries for the first time.

Welcome back

Museum staff were thrilled with the positive feedback they received. Comments include “Big improvement, proud to live in the Abbey” and “Welcome back! We’ve missed the museum and love the new look!

Museum on the Move

The museum team also celebrated the reopening of the museum by making a film showing what has been going on behind the scenes. The ‘Museum on the Move’ film also features as part of the museum’s first temporary exhibition all about transport through history.

 

Artwork of the month – John Varley

John Varley

John Varley

John Varley was a British artist born in London in 1778. He was an English landscape painter mainly working in watercolour.

Varley was working at a time of transition and his work shows the transition from tinted drawing to the more fluid and bolder watercolour painting that took hold in the 19th century.

In 1798 he exhibited a highly regarded sketch of  Peterborough Cathedral at the Royal Academy  and became a regular exhibitor at the RA. In 1805 the Old Watercolour Society (OWS) was founded and as a founding member of the OWS Varley exhibited over 700 drawings there.

As well as being an artist, Valey was a teacher with pupils including Copley Fielding, David Cox, John Linnell and William Turner (artist) of Oxford.

He died in London in 1842.

Varley’s work is represented in many major museum collections including the Victoria and Albert Museum.

John Varley
This image, part of Epping Forest District Museum’s collection, is one of a number of studies of the church made by the artist, showing the path along the south side of the church.

James Paul Andre’s Sketches

James Paul Andre the Younger was a London based artist, active between the years 1823 and 1867. He painted landscapes of many English counties in oil. His work was exhibited at the Royal Academy, Suffolk Street Gallery and the British Institution. Among some of his listed works are views of Woodford Bridge, Loughton Church and Hainault Forest.

Below is a selection of images from an album of works by Andre in the museum’s collection.

The Windmill at Chigwell Row

Windmill at Chigwell RowThis Windmill stood about 270 yards south-east from the south side of Lambourne Road opposite the junction with Vicarage Lane. The first mill here was erected in about 1610. The mill was struck by lightning in 1842 and burned down.

The James-Paul André album of watercolours shows four views of the windmill, three of the mill and its immediate surrounding area, and a fourth from a distance, possibly painted from near the top of Manor Road at the junction of Hainault Road and Fencepiece Road.

Hainault Forest

Hainault Forest

For over six hundred years Hainault Forest was part of Waltham Forest. All this changed in 1851 when an Act of Parliament was passed for the disafforestation of Hainault Forest, and this led to the destruction of 100,000 oak, hornbeam and other trees. The cleared land was sold for farms. A little woodland remained to the north of the King’s Wood, mostly in Chigwell and Lambourne parishes. However, by 1900 the bulk of the remaining woodland was in the private ownership of the Lockwood family of Bishops Hall, at Lambourne. Edward North Buxton, who had played a key part in the fight to save Epping Forest in the 1870s, could see the need to secure the last remnants of Hainault Forest as an open space for the public. In 1902 he persuaded the London County Council to purchase 801 acres of land formerly Hainault Forest in Lambourne and Chigwell and Foxburrows Farm. The ‘new’ Hainault Forest which exists today was formally dedicated as a public open space in July 1906.

Snaresbrook

snaresbrook-early-moonlight

The Eagle Pond at Snaresbrook is an ancient pond that is shown on maps surveyed in 1773 (Chapman & André) and 1745 (Rocque). It was formed in the early eighteenth century by damming the valley of the ‘Snares Brook’ and was at that time called ‘Snares Pond’. It adjoins the Snaresbrook Road that runs west from the Eagle Hotel, once a coaching inn on the main Woodford Road from London to Newmarket until 1829.

The watercolour painted by James Paul André in 1839, shows the pond from the west end. In the distance can be seen the Eagle Inn. Today the east end of the pond is shrouded with trees but the Inn can still be seen directly opposite the end of the Snaresbrook Road. The Royal Infant Orphanage was yet to be built at the time the picture was painted.

‘Near Loughton’

Near LoughtonThe picture shows the head of a lane, descending into a valley, and in the distance a substantial mansion with a red-tiled roof. The most likely location from which André painted this picture is at Rolls Corner on the Chigwell to Abridge Road, looking down Chigwell Lane. The house in the picture may be the artist’s impression of Loughton Hall which had been burned down in 1836, and which was not replaced until 1876.

New Touring Exhibition – Mythical Creatures

Mythical Creatures is a NEW regional touring exhibition produced by Epping Forest District Museum and co-curated by students from Epping Forest College. Mythical Creatures is funded by Arts Council England and Royal Opera House Bridge. This exhibition is free to hire for venues in the East of England.

Here are some photographs from the exhibition.

Artwork of the Month – Octavius Dixie Deacon

Octavius Dixie Deacon, a Loughton Artist



Goldings Hill, Loughton

Octavius Dixie Deacon was born at Bow in 1836. His father owned Samuel Deacon and Co., an advertising agency which Octavius described as the oldest in England, established in 1812.

We know very little of his early life; however, with the media contacts of the family business they must have been kept up to date with the latest events and the latest celebrities.  

Octavius Dixie Deacon married Louisa Anna Horncastle in 1868.  The young couple lived in Stoke Newington where their first child, Elgiva, was born, moving to Grove Street in South Hackney and then to Goldings Park Road (now Goldings Road), Loughton in 1874.  Their house was the first on the south side of the road and had a 200 ft long garden.  They lived there until 1888.


By 1888, the Deacon family had moved to the top of Upper Park Road.  Their new house, Kettering, had been largely designed by Octavius himself, although the project was managed by Edmond Egan, the Loughton based architect who designed the Lopping Hall.  This house was demolished in the 1980’s.

In 1998, Epping Forest District Museum acquired a collection of letters, books and sketchbooks connected with Octavius Dixie Deacon and some of his large family of nine children.

The drawings and pictures in this collection show life in a small rural village in Victorian times.  From examining Deacons’s sketches, one gets an image of a caring and loving family.  Octavius often recorded his children’s lives in his drawings and also produced sketches for their entertainment.

Octavius Deacon died on December 13, 1916.


Epping Forest District Museum’s Touring Exhibition Programme

Thanks to funding from Arts Council England, over the past two years, Epping Forest District Museum has been working on an exciting series of touring exhibitions which encompass a wide variety of topics and interests. The series incorporates six exhibitions, including two that are co-curated by our Young Curators from Epping Forest College and Hertford Regional College We are now working on our fifth, sixth and final exhibitions that will finish the series off in time for May 2015. As we are now nearly two thirds of the way through the project we feel its time to take stock of our exhibitions and see what they have achieved.

All of the following exhibitions are free to hire for venues in the East of England. Check our website for more photos of the exhibitions, to download the exhibition packs or to find out where the exhibition is going next.
http://www.eppingforestdc.gov.uk/index.php/out-and-about/museums/museum-home/exhibition-hire

1950s Fashion: A Decade of Glamour
Launched 26th October 2013

“I loved the exhibition; my favourite bits were dressing up and colouring the templates. The jukebox was great! I think this is a wonderful exhibition and should return soon”. Visitor, Age 10

1950s Fashion was the first touring exhibition of the series and explores both the everyday and extraordinary fashions of the 1950s. It contains vintage outfits of the time including a tailor made Teddy Boy suit designed and created by the tailor to the T.E.D.S. (The Edwardian Society). Visitors can listen to the experiences of those who lived through the mods and rockers, dance to the tunes on our customised jukebox and have fun dressing up in the outfits of the time. A fantastic exhibition that we all enjoyed putting together and launching, 1950s Fashion has proved popular with all audiences and venues and has already toured to six different locations since its launch.

Next at: Mansfield Museum, Nottinghamshire.

Response and Rescue: The Making of the Emergency Services
Launched 28th March 2014

“We visited today as the children are keen on emergency vehicles. They really enjoyed the games, dressing up and the audio guide…if the children are busy playing, parents can read the information! Thank you, we have been to the Henry Blogg Museum many times so its really good to have a new part to explore” Visitor, Age 36-45.

From Victorian volunteer fire brigades to today’s dedicated coastguard crews, this exhibition tells the story of the creation and development of the emergency services. It explores the lives of those working on the front line and the history of the life-saving services that we depend upon daily.
This exhibition is a little different to the others as it has a special emphasis on emergency services in the East of England and includes an audio tour of collected objects and stories from across the region (which venues are able to customise and add to). There is a lot to see and the display is packed full of entertaining games and interactives.

Design Icons: Through the 1960s,70s and 80s
Launched 28th August 2014

“I have told friends about this exhibition and will tell others” Visitor, Aged 70

Taking you on a journey from the mischievous Mary Quant Fashions to the ground-breaking Nintendo Gameboy, this exhibition explores some of the most recognisable designs of the 1960s, 70s and 80s. Both innovative and unique, these retro design icons captured the imagination of their contemporaries and continue to inspire designers today. This exhibition features lots of hands on bits and pieces but my favourite part is the collection of original Nintendo Gameboys that visitors can play on.
Design Icons is the first of the two exhibitions curated by our Young Curators. The exhibition was worked on from start to finish by two students from Herts Regional College and is designed with teenagers and young people in mind. As part of its launch, we also rolled out a series of workshops for young people interested in the creative arts. These can tour with the exhibition so look out for them near you.

Now at: Lowewood Museum, Hertfordshire.

The Cold War: 1945-1989
Launched 28th November 2014

We decided to put together a Cold War exhibition as November 2014 marked the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, an event we thought should be commemorated and remembered. A thought-provoking and interesting exhibition, The Cold War taught me a lot about the tense struggle between communism and democracy and its effect on the world around it. Hopefully our visitors will learn a lot from it too!
We really tried to show how the Cold War affected popular culture and so this exhibition includes the music and literature inspired by the conflict and even features a reading corner for those intrigued by the shady spy stories of the time.

Next at: The Norris Museum, Cambridgeshire.

Coming Next:

Mythical Creatures
Launching April 2015

Curated by students from Epping Forest College as part of our Young Curators Programme, this exhibition showcases the students’ artworks and interpretations of legendary mythical creatures. From mermaids to griffins, this exhibition has shown me a lot about the stories and beliefs that have been used to explain these mythical beasts.
It’s time to suspend your disbelief…

Next at: Epping Forest College.

Transport
Launching July 2015

This exhibition will be a dynamic display featuring and celebrating the many ways that populations have kept themselves moving throughout time. The display will launch in July at Lowewood Museum in Hertfordshire, where it will commemorate the 175th anniversary of the opening of the Stratford to Broxbourne railway line.

Next At: Lowewood Museum, Hertfordshire.

Artwork of the Month – Lucien Pissarro

Lucien Pissarro The Garden Epping oil on canvas 1893-1897

The Garden in Epping
Oil on Canvas
1893 – 1897

Lucien Pissarro was born in Paris in 1863, the son of Camille Pissarro and Julie Velay. Lucien was a skilled painter, engraver and lithographer. He was taught by his father, Camille, who was a celebrated Impressionist.

As an artist Lucien’s work combined elements of both the French and English traditions and he was a founder member of the Camden group of artists. His paintings record the landscape of Dorset, Westmoreland, Essex, Surrey and Sussex. Lucien’s works are reflected in a number of public collections including the Tate and the Ashmolean.

Lucien visited England in 1870 as a child, worked there briefly in 1883–4, and settled permanently in the country in 1890 (although he often made trips to France), becoming a British citizen in 1916.
Between 1893 and 1897 Lucien and his family lived at 44 Hemnall Street, Epping which he named ‘Ergany House’. This house still stands today and is marked with a blue plaque commemorating Lucien’s occupancy.
During his first stay in Epping between 1893 – 1895 Lucien produced some 23 oil paintings of Epping as well as a number of watercolours. These capture a variety of scenes in the vicinity of Hemnall Street and also studies of local landmarks such as Coopersale Hall.

He continued to paint right up until his death in 1944.

Lowewood Museum Events

Have you visited Lowewood Museum?

You may be aware but Epping Forest District Museum also manages Lowewood Museum and puts on a programme of events and services at the site in Hoddesdon.

Lowewood Museum and the building in which it lives has a great history. Most of today’s building dates from the 1750s and has housed a museum since 1935

Lowewood Museum runs a fantastic programme of events and activities. Along with great exhibition and education programmes, the Museum hosts a number of special events during the year, as well as family activities, specialist study days, community events and much more.
Events in 2015

Lowewood Poster

The first temporary exhibition at Lowewood Museum this year is Design Icons. Taking you on a journey from the mischievous Mary Quant to the ground- breaking Nintendo Gameboy, this exhibition explores some of the most recognisable designs of the twentieth century. The exhibition has been curated by 3D Design students from Hertford Regional College as part of Epping Forest District Museum’s Young Curators Programme.

Toddler Thursdays
One Thursday a month
10am – 11am, 11am – 12noon

Toddlers

These sessions are for our young visitors. Come along and learn a nursery rhyme, share a story and make a craft. Places need to be booked by calling the museum on 01992 445596.

13 January Humpty Dumpty
12 February Pancake Tuesday
12 March One, Two, Three, Four, Five

Family Fun
Thursdays during school holidays
12noon – 3pm
£1 per child


Join us for fun family crafts – no need to book just drop in during the times stated.

19 February Vintage Pattern Printing

Along with the newly refurbished Braham Gallery, three other galleries and trails there is always lots to see and do at the museum.

If you haven’t had a chance to visit the Museum (free entry) you can find out more about it here…..link….
Lowewood Museum is open Wednesday to Friday 10am – 4pm and Saturday 10am – 5pm.

Festive Art in Epping Forest District Museum’s Collection

In the spirit of the season we thought we would share some seasonal art work from the Museum’s collection with you.
As some of you might be aware the museum houses a great collection of art from a variety of important and renowned artists that have strong connections with the district.
Here is a little more information about them and some of their festive and season inspired art.

Walter Spradbery
Walter Spradbery was a renowned commercial artist, who lived in Buckhurst Hill. He was best known for his travel posters which were commissioned by London Transport and a number of rail companies which later became British Rail. His early work was influenced by William Morris and the New Art movement which can be seen in his exact attention to detail.

Haydn Mackey
Haydn Mackey was also a commercial artist and a close friend of Spradbery. The museum’s collection house prints, drawings, watercolours and oil paintings by Mackey showing his great skill. He has an international reputation as a painter, illustrator and war artist.

Mackey lived in the Vicarage, Waltham Abbey for a while during the 1930’s.

Both Spradbery and Mackey served together in the Royal Army Medical Corps during the First World War and both had close links to Walthamstow School of Art & Buckhurst Hill Community association.

Octavius Dixie Deacon
Octavius Dixie Deacon was a publisher, businessman and artist who lived in Loughton for a large part of his life. His work shows rural village life in the Victorian period. The museum houses letters, books and sketchbooks connected to Deacon.

Deacon Christmas card design

Deacon Christmas card design

Update on our Heritage Lottery Fund Project

Finally we can share with you some of the updates on our Heritage Lottery Fund Project and the redevelopment of the Museum!

A lot has been going on behind the scenes with the Museum project. Although the building work is yet to begin there are some very exciting updates that we wanted to share with you.

Before the building work can start all the plans and designs for the building, provided by Hawkins Brown, have to be finalised. One of the key missions of this project is to make the museum and its collection accessible to all and this is something that we have been working on with the architects.

The team and people involved with the project have been very excited to see the developments of the plans and it is fantastic for us to finally be able to share with you some of the updated plans and some proposed images of how the museum is going to look when we reopen!

Entrance to the Museum
Part of the project is the plan to reopen the original entrance on Sun Street. In this image you can see what would have been the original front door to the house and this will become the new main entrance to the museum.

Image showing the original entrance to the house that is now the museum

Tudor Gallery
Another key area for the project is a chance to interpret the Tudor part of the building. The house itself has a fascinating history and the team are very keen to share and expose the story of the building.

tudor gallery

Community and Education Room
Along with new galleries and a new entrance the museum will have a dedicated community and education space. The room will be able to fit a class of 30 children making a better visitor experience for school groups but the space will have open arts and craft storage to allow for creativity but also be equipped for lectures, talks and presentations providing a fantastic new space for the museum.

activity room

The Core Gallery
As you may already be aware the redevelopment of the museum will allow for on-site collections storage and a new gallery ‘The Core Gallery’ this space will feature key objects from the collection and give visitors the opportunity to see behind the scenes into the stores, and people at work caring for the collection.

Core gallery

Art Stores
Along with the new on-site storage there will be the chance for visitors to see into the stores through glass viewing areas. This will include views of the picture stores which will be on a new racking system. This is great because the team will be able to showcase some of the fantastic pieces of art in the museum’s collection even when they aren’t on display.

art stores

We would love to hear what you think via Facebook, Twitter, comments on the blog or through the contact us links on the menu above. We will have more updates for you soon!