Last year in 2017, RAMM successfully received a grant of £190,000 from DCMS Wolfson to make physical improvements to the World Cultures gallery. This scheme is to be completed by April this year and includes the installation of a ventilation system, track lighting and three new display cases.
Why are these things needed?
For those of you who already visit the World Cultures gallery, many of you will have experienced being in a space that can sometimes get too hot and stuffy. There is no flow of air going through this gallery at all. This uncomfortable atmosphere prevents visitors from spending more time in the gallery to enjoy the exhibits or to relax in the family space.
The track lighting will add to the existing case lighting and will remove areas that are currently in shade and can be difficulty to see, especially explanatory text.
Three new cases were constructed on site last December by local firm The Benbow Group who build bespoke display cases.
One case replaces a smaller island case in the Americas gallery, which will now act as a temporary display space. RAMM intends to display a small collection of decorated Quranic boards, which are in possession of Professor Tim Insoll at the Institute of Arab & Islamic Studies, University of Exeter.
A second case will focus on examples of textiles and clothing from Asia. This will include garments and fabrics from Western Asia. The first item to be featured in this case will be a choga, a gown that was taken by a British military officer called Mocatta as loot during the 1857 Indian Mutiny.
The third case will focus exclusively on beautiful beadwork from the African continent.