So long and thanks for all the cake

It seems somewhat odd writing about the end of my traineeship, as I’m still here at the desk where I’ve sat over the past 15 months, continuing work on the same projects I’ve been chipping away at during this time. I’ve become very fond of my little corner at MAG and I’m pleased to say that I’ll be staying for the next few months.

Winter Cattle, bridget macdonald,

Bridget Macdonald, Winter Cattle, image supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation, Worcester City Collection

During this time I will be working on three exciting new exhibitions, but at the moment I am mostly focused on This Green Earth: Bridget Macdonald and the landscape tradition of Claude Lorrain, Samuel Palmer and Peter Paul Rubens (Worcester City Art Gallery and Museum) 13th February — 25th June 2016) a loan-based exhibition with incredible artworks coming from Ashmolean Museum and Manchester Art Gallery. The show will explore the timeless yearning for elusive peace and tranquillity of rural life that underpins landscape art. I will also be making my first steps into curating medical and social history, working on A Happy Convalescence (Worcestershire County Museum at Hartlebury Castle, March 12th 2016 – late 2018), which will bring together years of research from historians involved in the Worcestershire World War 100 project to share the stories of the nurses and wounded soldiers at Hartlebury Castle during it’s time as a Voluntary Aid Detachment hospital.

Last week, on Wednesday 21st October, we marked the end of the final Worcestershire’s Treasures Skills for the Future project at an event at Worcester Guildhall. It was a great opportunity to celebrate everything that the scheme has achieved over the last four years and share to what it has meant to each of us. But it was also quite a sad moment, saying goodbye to ‘The Treasures’ who are leaving for exciting jobs further afield and marking the end of a project that has given so much us and to Worcestershire’s heritage industry.

The final tranche of Worcestershire's treasures trainees wit Sue Beardsmore from Heritage

The final tranche of Worcestershire’s Treasures trainees with Sue Beardsmore from Heritage Lottery Fund

I have had the most fantastic time over the last 15 months, the amount I have learned, achieved and developed as a person has been incredible. I cannot overstate how grateful I am to Heritage Lottery Fund and the Worcestershire’s Treasures team for the opportunity. I am, most of all, hugely grateful to Philippa and everyone at Museums Worcestershire for their support, knowledge, kindness and professionalism.

Because of the Skills for the Future project and the support of the Museums Worcestershire team, I have progressed from an editor and aspiring museums professional to a qualified, experienced and confident curator. On top of the pleasure of working in heritage, I am also very happy to be able to continue supporting the brilliantly resilient and ambitious Museums Worcestershire and continue working at Worcester Museum and Art Gallery, which has become like a second home to me.

Emalee Beddoes