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Tuesday, 27 January 2009

Transformation at the Parsonage

News Release from Parsonage Director Andrew McCarthy:

The Brontë Parsonage Museum will re-open on 1 February 2009 following a major refurbishment. The museum’s permanent exhibition, focusing on the Brontës’ lives and works, had been in place for over twenty-five years and although it remained popular with visitors, was in need of renewal.

The exhibition room is located in an extension to the original Brontë house, which was added in the 1870s, nearly twenty years after the Brontës’ residency ended with the death of Patrick Brontë in 1861. The new exhibition, developed with Ilkley based designers, Redman, has taken around eighteen months to plan and is set to transform the space.

Panelling obscuring many of the room's historic features, including original windows which give views out across the Parsonage garden and graveyard down to Haworth Church, have been uncovered; new state of the art casing has been introduced which will allow for more of the museum’s collection of precious manuscripts and artefacts to be displayed, some for the first time ever; there are bold new graphics and updated interpretation to guide visitors through the Brontës' lives and writing; interactive displays for families have also been introduced to offer fun ways for children to explore the Brontë story; there will also be a completely new decoration scheme and a final flourish to the new contemporary design will be the Brontës’ own words adorning the walls of the room, with some of the most famous quotes from their great novels.

This is the most significant change to the museum in nearly thirty years and will transform our main exhibition space. The exhibition will still tell the Brontë story, but we have focused more on the Brontës’ writing and also introduced imaginative activities that will appeal to young children and families. The museum’s collection has grown considerably in recent years and this refurbishment will allow us to greatly improve the way we display the collection and also show more of it. In terms of the design, it will bring together the historic and the contemporary, restoring many of the room’s original features whilst also presenting the exhibition in an exciting contemporary way.

The new exhibition, entitled, GENIUS: THE BRONTË STORY will open to the public on Sunday 1 February.

The exhibition will be formally opened by playwright and critic Bonnie Greer at a special media event on Friday 13 February.

For further details contact the museum on 01535 642323/ bronte@bronte.org.uk/ www.bronte.info


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Notes to Editors:

Brontë Parsonage Museum

Please see the Brontë website for further details at http://www.bronte.info or contact Brontë Parsonage Museum, Church Street, Haworth, Keighley BD22 8DR T: 01535 642323, F: 01535 647131

Opening Times

The Museum is open every day of the year except 24-27 December 2009 and 4 to 31 January 2010 inclusive:

10.00 am - 5.30 pm (April to September) 11.00 am - 5.00 pm (October to March)

For admission prices and further information see www.bronte.info