New Walk Museum

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New Walk Museum
New Walk Museum main entrance.jpg
Established 1849; 165 years ago (1849)
Location Leicester, United Kingdom
Coordinates 52°37′44″N 1°07′40″W / 52.628954°N 1.127765°W / 52.628954; -1.127765
Curator Mark Evans
Website leicester.gov.uk

The New Walk Museum and Art Gallery is a museum on New Walk in Leicester, England, not far from the city centre.[1] The original building was designed by Joseph Hansom, designer of the hansom cab.[2] Two dinosaur skeletons are permanently installed in the museum — a cetiosaur found in Rutland (affectionately named George), and a plesiosaur from Barrow upon Soar.[1] Other permanent exhibits include an Egyptian area, minerals of Leicestershire, the first Charnia fossil identified nearby, and a wildspace area featuring stuffed animals from around the world.

The museum opened in 1849 as one of the first public museums established within the United Kingdom[3]

In September 2011, the New Walk Museum expanded its Dinosaur Gallery, reorganizing fossils, adding a new room, and modifying the gallery itself. The opening of the new Dinosaur Gallery was launched by David Attenborough.[4][1] The "star attractions" of the new gallery include the aforementioned Rutland cetiosaur, Charnia and plesiosaur fossils, as well as a Leedsichthys fossil and a piece of the Barwell Meteorite. The new gallery predominantly features on extinct marine reptiles.

Major exhibits[edit]

The Rutland Dinosaur, or George, is the nickname given to LCM G468.1968, a specimen of Cetiosaurus oxoniensis. The fifteen-meter dinosaur, which is among the most complete sauropod skeletons in the world, was discovered in June 1968, in the Williamson Cliffe quarry near Little Casterton and Great Casterton. The skeletal remains have been in the museum since 1975, and the majority of the bones in the display are replicas of the fragile bones unable to be used.[5][6] The Rutland Dinosaur featured on an episode of Blue Peter, and was opened opened by Blue Peter's Janet Ellis in 1985.

The "Barrow Kipper", a plesiosaur skeleton excavated at Barrow upon Soar

The Barrow Kipper is a skeleton of an unidentified plesiosaur discovered in Barrow upon Soar in 1851. Originally classified as Plesiosaurus macrocephalus, it was later reclassified as Rhomaleosaurus megacephalus. However, according to Adam Smith and Gareth Dyke (2008), the fossil is actually of another, unnamed genus.[7]

Along with other artefacts, four Egyptian mummies are displayed in the museum, named Pa-nesit-tawy, Pe-iuy, Bes-en-Mut and Ta-Bes.[8]

Discovered by Roger Mason at Charnwood Forest in 1957, the holotype of the Precambrian Charnia masoni is displayed in the New Walk Museum.[9][10]

In 2007, more than 100 pieces of art went on display at the museum, donated by Richard Attenborough.

Exhibitions[edit]

On the first floor of the museum is an exhibition area that changes periodically. Recent exhibits have included a display focusing on the search for Richard III's remains, a Wallace and Gromit display, the (now permanent) Attenborough collection of Picasso ceramics[11] and Spirits of War to Hands of Peace, an exhibit of paintings and sculpture on the horrors of war and the power of peace.[12]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Official website
  2. ^ Harris, Penelope, "The Architectural Achievement of Joseph Aloysius Hansom (1803-1882)", The Edwin Mellen Press, 2010, ISBN 0-7734-3851-3
  3. ^ University of Leicester.
  4. ^ Culture24
  5. ^ Leicester City Council
  6. ^ Upchurch P & Martin J (2002). "The Rutland Cetiosaurus: the anatomy and relationships of a Middle Jurassic British sauropod dinosaur". Palaeontology 45 (6): 1049–1074. doi:10.1111/1475-4983.00275. 
  7. ^ Adam S. Smith and Peggy Vincent (2010). "A new genus of pliosaur (Reptilia: Sauropterygia) from the Lower Jurassic of Holzmaden, Germany". Palaeontology 53 (5): 1049–1063. doi:10.1111/j.1475-4983.2010.00975.x. 
  8. ^ Leicester City Council
  9. ^ Ford, T.D. (1958). "Precambrian fossils from Charnwood Forest". Yorkshire Geological Society Proceedings 31 (3): 211–217. doi:10.1144/pygs.31.3.211. 
  10. ^ Leicester City Council
  11. ^ Lewis, Caroline. Attenborough donates Picasso ceramics collection to Leicester New Walk Museum 7 June 2007. Culture24. Retrieved 7 December 2009.
  12. ^ Spirits of War to Hands of Peace

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 52°37′45″N 1°07′40″W / 52.6292°N 1.1278°W / 52.6292; -1.1278