Poole Museum to share objects which tell the stories of Wessex's inspirational women

Posted on Friday 7th February 2020

Poole Museum has joined forces with other museums from across the region to tell captivating stories of inspirational women from the past.

The ‘Wessex Women’ exhibition sees fascinating objects go on tour through a partnership between Poole Museum, Dorset County Museum, The Salisbury Museum and Wiltshire Museum. Each has chosen an item from its collection which best fits the theme and has an interesting story for visitors to discover. 

In the second round of swaps, Poole Museum is currently displaying stone carvings that come from Dorset County Museum. The carvings are by pioneering artist, Elizabeth Muntz, who lived in Dorset from the 1920s-70s. She used Purbeck stone from local quarries to create her sculptures, many of which gained worldwide recognition. She also ran an arts summer school for young people. Elizabeth was the first woman to become a freeman of the Ancient Order of Purbeck Marblers & Stone Cutters, and was a founder member of the Guild of Memorial Craftsmen.

Simultaneously, other objects on display in the other museums unveil the stories of a tireless Victorian ‘knocker-upper’ who walked the streets of Poole in the early hours to wake up its workers; a Salisbury lace-maker whose efforts preserved the local industry, and a ‘trowel-blazing’ archaeologist who became famous for her excavations of prehistoric sites in Wiltshire.

Councillor Mark Howell, Cabinet Member for Culture at BCP Council, said:

“The touring display of objects is a wonderful initiative organised by our region’s museums. Uncovering the stories of inspirational women from the past and spreading awareness for their artistic achievements, I hope that people will take this opportunity to see them when they visit us in Poole. I also hope they will encourage and inspire a new generation of female artists to follow in their footsteps.’’

In mid-April, the objects will rotate around the museums again. The tour is just one of the joint projects between the partners of Wessex Museums, working together to bring exciting new events and exhibitions to the region.  

For further information and museum opening times, please visit: www.poolemuseum.org.uk.