Kettering Museum and Gallery is celebrating its highest combined visitor figures after welcoming 38,837 visitors last year.
The Alfred East Art Gallery saw its highest visitor figures in fifteen years as 19,940 people passed through the doors in the twelve months up to March 2019. Last summer’s ‘Looking in Wonderland’ exhibition of Alice In Wonderland etchings was a massive hit, and the current ‘Prints Charming’ exhibition has also proved popular, alongside a regular programme of film nights, lunchtime talks and art workshops.
The Manor House Museum saw a 9 year high, booming to 18,897 visitors. ‘Local Treasures: The British Museum comes to Kettering’ was a major contributor to this increase, as visitor figures rose by 30% on the same months last year (September – January). 5,699 people visited the exhibition which featured loans from the British Museum, including the world-class Desborough Mirror and Desborough Necklace; the first time they had returned to the Borough since being discovered in Desborough during the 19th century. The current Design Icons exhibition offers a nostalgic view of design icons from the 60-80s, and family events during in the summer and autumn also proved popular in attracting visitors to the Museum.
Kettering Museum and Gallery is looking to build on last year’s success with a series of new exhibitions and events in 2019/20. From May, the museum will host a brand new ‘Out to Play’ exhibition, with local author Ian Addis, looking at the history of parks and outdoor spaces across Kettering. In January 2020, the gallery will receive a number of loans from the Tate for ‘2020 Vision: a Contemporary View’. These loans will complement contemporary artists from the permanent collection, and will be the first time it has had loans from the Tate.
Guy Holloway, Head of Corporate & Cultural Services at Kettering Borough Council, said:
“We are delighted to see more and more people visiting these key cultural venues in Kettering, and we are anticipating another productive year ahead. With the Museum hosting world class treasures from the British Museum last year, plans for the Gallery to borrow from the Tate in January, and the regular local history, art and family fun activities, we really are proud of the variety offered by Kettering Museum and Art Gallery.”
Cllr Scott Edwards, Kettering Borough Council’s Portfolio Holder for Community & Leisure, said:
“I am thrilled to hear that almost 40,000 visitors have been able to enjoy the cultural offer on their doorstep in Kettering. These numbers highlight the quality of the programmes, projects and exhibitions on offer throughout the year at Kettering Museum and Art Gallery.”