It’s been a few months since our last project update and we thought people might like to know what’s been going on around here! The last time we blogged about the project it was still a very dirty, dusty building site, and since then the building works have come a long way!
Now when you walk around the castle you can really start to get a sense of what the look and feel of the new museum is going to be like. Many of the walls have been painted and the colours look terrific. The new Empire gallery is a personal favourite of mine with its walls painted a beautiful deep red and the cornicing on the ceiling looking terrific with a fresh coat of white. Also looking great is the new long gallery that was created through the demolition of the walls between the old archive office, the Royal Colonels-in-Chief room and the old First World War room. In the new museum this gallery will contain displays on the Second World War moving into the Post War period.
Over the last week or so some of the floors have been sanded and finished. If you visited the old museum you might remember that the castle was carpeted. These carpets have been torn up and the original floorboards exposed. After a bit of a spruce-up they too are looking fabulous!
While the inside of the castle slowly moves towards the finishing touches and decoration phase, the building work on the extension continues. The walls are up and you can really get a feel for the fantastic space we’ll have in our new café and Education Room. The stonemasons can be seen every day working on the carvings that will adorn the new external walls. It’s a fascinating craft and their finished pieces look wonderful.
As we’ve watched the galleries slowly take shape around us, the Museum team has been hard at work on the curatorial side of the project. Our project curator has been busily writing text for the gallery panels which will take visitors through the extensive history of The Black Watch, and is now working on the object labels – all of which goes through a rigorous editing process before it’s finalised! The collections team have been working with
the exhibition designers to make sure we know what objects will go in each case and to ensure they will fit in those cases. Some of us have been hard at work sourcing images and quotes for various aspects of the displays and interactives. Graphics have been sent back and forth between designers and the Museum team as every detail of the new displays is considered and discussed.
It is no small feat organising, planning and executing the redisplay of an entire museum. There are teams of people working on every aspect of the project, and coordinating between them all isn’t always straightforward. So far though we are on track and very happy with everything accomplished thus far! Over the next few months the cases will start to be installed and we’ll be consulting with the mount-makers as time inches ever closer towards the project’s end. As we approve more and more final proofs the excitement mounts higher; we hope you’re all as excited as we are for the new Black Watch Museum!!!