Changing whilst staying the same: how the VERVE project transformed the Pitt Rivers Museum

Pitt Rivers Museum Research Seminar in Visual, Material and Museum Anthropology

Michaelmas Term 2017

Fridays, 1pm-2.30pm, Lecture Theatre, Pitt Rivers Museum (entry off Robinson Close)

Convened by Marcus Banks.


The major HLF-funded VERVE: Need / Make / Use project ran for five years and ended in September 2017. The project was one of the most ambitious ever undertaken by the museum in terms of scope and variety, ranging from improved lighting to rejuvenated displays celebrating human ingenuity, to audience development and public engagement activities for more than 60,000 people. But how do you marry a museum famed for its ‘unchanging’ style to modern expectations and agendas? How can we change whilst staying the same? This talk will discuss the rationale for the project, its aims, and its lasting impact on both audiences and the institution itself.