A new initiative to put room cards in all the rooms at the Ashmolean Museum Broadway goes live this month. Some of the staff and volunteers have been working hard on this project to provide visitors with a little extra information on the building, its history, and some of the lovely things visitors can see on display. Here are a few highlights of our research.
This plate sadly has no label but we discovered it is likely to be a Worcester Porcelain plate in the pattern known as ‘Blind Earl’. It is a dessert plate with a scalloped edge, modelled rose leaves and rose bud which stick out slightly so theoretically a blind person could feel the pattern. It dates from about the 1760s. But who the Earl was we are not sure…
One of the volunteers’ questions was about the furniture in the seventeenth century room. The rack above the fireplace has inscriptions which we wanted to highlight and the different pieces of furniture have odd names that we wanted to explain to visitors, but which we had to look up ourselves….
This task was also an opportunity to highlight some of the lovely details of the building itself, that visitors might not always notice when they are looking at the lovely items on display. The room cards will point out and explain the carved ceiling beams, chandelier hooks, window fasteners, and graffiti. And in some rooms the cards will include pictures of the parts of the building that cannot easily be shown….
For more details about this project you could pop along to the museum and see the new room cards for yourself.