Museum of Oxford 40th anniversary finale

Published: Tuesday, 8th December 2015

All year the Museum of Oxford has been marking its 40th anniversary, and in the coming weeks these celebrations will culminate in a series of exhibitions, artwork and performance.

The events will take place in the Old Museum, next to Oxford Town Hall, between Thursday 10 December and Saturday 12 December 2015.

They have been commissioned by the Museum of Oxford and produced in collaboration with cultural partners Oxford Playhouse, OVADA (Oxfordshire Visual Arts Development Agency) and OCM (Oxford Contemporary Music).

The 40th anniversary finale will include:

  • Forty Forty Vision with Paul Lyalls and guest A.F. Harrold: 10 December at 7pm

The event will feature a night of poetry and spoken word hosted by Paul Lyalls and featuring A.F. Harrold. A national newspaper described Paul Lyalls as having “an eye for the absurd… his views on life’s fleeting moments are poignant”, while Brian Patten described A.F. Harrold as “quite brilliant”.

  • The Fabric of Oxford, featuring The Sonic Wardrobe by KnITSOnIK: 11 December at 7.30pm

KnITSOnIK (AKA Felicity Ford) has been collecting people’s stories and memories of the textiles, clothing and fabric from Oxford’s past. The Fabric of Oxford will see these stories seamed together with sounds to tell the city’s history through its textiles.

  • Hello Oxford! Created by Hannah Ringham: 12 December 2015 at 7pm

The event will feature music and cabaret celebrating the city’s fabulous characters and unique history. It has been produced by Oxford Playhouse and created by residents from Marston Court Care Home, the Museum of Oxford’s Memory Lane Reminiscence Group, and young local artists and performers from the city.

Between 10 and 12 December Digital Prisoners will also run an event called Cabinet of Luminosities in the Old Museum. Digital Prisoners has been collecting selfie videos of people and places along Oxford’s waterways. These stories have been turned into a magic lantern, which is a Victorian method for projecting images.

All the events cost £5 to enter.

The Museum of Oxford’s 40th anniversary celebrations kicked off in February and have seen a year of talks, exhibitions, artwork, performances and workshops to mark the occasion.

The year-long celebrations, which were funded by Arts Council England, culminated in the 40 Years, 40 Objects exhibition, which has seen the museum collect 40 objects from Oxford residents to remember the city’s last 40 years.

The free exhibition, which will run until February, features a brick and spikes from infamous Cutteslowe Wall, finds from the Westgate excavation and costumes from this year’s Cowley Road Carnival. The exhibition’s centrepiece is an 800-year-old statue of the Hindu god Ganesha, on loan from the British Museum, surrounded by statues on loan from Oxford’s Hindu population.

Councillor Christine Simm, Oxford City Council Executive Board Member for Culture and Communities said: “It has been a fantastic year of celebrations and events for the Museum of Oxford.

“The museum has a real buzz to it at the moment, particularly with the draw of the wonderful 40 Years, 40 Objects exhibition. It has been particularly great to see the British Museum loan us an 800-year-old statue, and to see so many Oxford residents come together to take part.

“The Museum of Oxford has an important role to play in telling Oxford’s story, and the City Council is fully behind supporting it so that it becomes a focal point for residents, historians and tourists wanting to learn more about our wonderful city.”

For more information about the Museum of Oxford and the 40th anniversary celebrations, visit our Museum of Oxford pages.