The Box is a major new cultural and heritage attraction which is set to open in Plymouth in spring 2020.
A significant part of the vision for the future of Plymouth in 2020 and beyond, The Box will transform the City Museum and Art Gallery, former Central Library and St Luke’s Church building.
In its place will be a venue and visitor experience fit for generations to come.
Its opening will come with an unforgettable programme of activity that will be a highlight of the Mayflower 400 commemorations.
Extraordinary gallery displays, high profile artists and art exhibitions, as well as exciting events and performances that take visitors on a journey from pre-history to the present and beyond will form part of its exciting launch.
Highlights include the permanent Mammoth Plymouth exhibition, complete with life size replica wooly mammoth, that explores the natural history of the region, including when mammoths roamed the Sound. The ambitious '100 Journeys that Shaped The World' will recount the voyages made by Drake, Cook, Raleigh and many more - complete with extraordinary exhibits that will bring their global stories to life.
Other areas will include Port of Plymouth, Media Lab, Photo Album, Memory Box, Active Archives, Our Art and the Cottonian Reading Room.
Seven additional galleries will be dedicated to a changing programme of exciting temporary exhibitions that mark key anniversaries and showcase the work of high profile artists.
There will be café, retail, education and research spaces, a wide ranging events and activities programme, plus a new piazza on Tavistock Place.
The opening of the Box will be marked with a groundbreaking opening exhibition in 2020 called Mayflower 400: Legend and Legacy.
The curators of Plymouth’s new £37million heritage attraction have begun an international search for artefacts that tell the Mayflower’s story for the exhibition.
More than 100 museums, libraries and archives in the UK, the Netherlands and the USA have already donated a hoard of objects that tell forgotten stories linked to the Mayflower - everything from toys children played with on board to the astrolabes and cross staffs the skilled seafarers used. These precious relics will tell a story of survival and imagination that connects four nations over 400 years. The exhibition will run from spring 2020 until autumn 2021.
This major redevelopment scheme is led by Plymouth City Council in partnership with the University of Plymouth and the National Museum of the Royal Navy.
It is supported by the City Council, Heritage Lottery Fund, Arts Council England, Coastal Communities Fund, Garfield Weston Foundation, University of Plymouth, Wolfson Foundation, British Film Institute and Interreg.
The Box will open as part of the city’s Mayflower 400 commemorative programme. One of its first exhibitions will be ‘Mayflower 400: Legend and Legacy’ - a major show that explores the myths and uncovers new meanings connected to the Mayflower’s epic journey in 1620.
‘Legend and Legacy’ will be the national commemorative exhibition for the Mayflower commemoration. Created in partnership with the Wampanoag Native American Advisory Committee, and with the help of over museums, libraries and archives across the UK, US and the Netherlands, it will present an epic journey of survival and imagination.
The curators of The Box have begun an international search for artefacts that tell the Mayflower’s story for the groundbreaking opening exhibition.
More than 100 museums, libraries and archives have already donated a hoard of objects that tell forgotten stories linked to the Mayflower - everything from toys children played with on board to the astrolabes and cross staffs the skilled seafarers used. These precious relics will tell a story of survival and imagination that connects four nations over 400 years. It will run from spring 2020 until autumn 2021.
Over 12 months a programme of four temporary exhibitions will run alongside ‘Mayflower 400: Legend and Legacy’. The programme will explore historical and contemporary perspectives on the legacies of Mayflower and include commissions by contemporary artists. Themes will include migration, identity, commemoration, ethnography, colonialism and its impact. Current collaborators include the Fuller Craft Museum, Massachusetts with Glenn Adamson.
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