Dear FriendsLisa Gee, Director

Despite all the difficulties of keeping our staff and our visitors safe and healthy, we are actively planning re-opening our galleries later this summer.  It’s a difficult juggling

act as we want our galleries to be places where children and families, groups and others are welcomed and come together to share ideas.  As journalist Dea Birkett wrote recently

“A socially distanced museum isn’t a welcome possibility…. Museums aren’t for quiet contemplation by the few, but loud conversation with the many….[without] Their conversational core, their welcoming and inclusive heart, would be missing.”

So our work is to find a way of keeping those conversations going and to find imaginative ways to engage with visitors.

We will keep everyone updated on progress via our digital channels.  Our neighbour, Welbeck Farm Shop has remained open throughout the lockdown and has provided a brilliant and safe shopping experience. We will make sure that we are equally secure by:

    • Limiting visitor numbers to the galleries.
    • Having separate entrances and exits in both our galleries.
    • Developing one-way routes around our spaces wherever possible.
    • Our Car Park is large and allows you to park with space between you and fellow visitors.


Meanwhile, the Harley Studio artists are returning to work and their workshops are filling with creativity. Fabric face masks are being created by the studio community in the Hope & Elvis textile studio and will be donating the ones they make to a local charity.  Made from beautiful fabrics, the masks are super comfy to wear, with an ingenious metal insert to stop your glasses misting up. Interested in making your own fabric face mask? Follow our step by step guide.

Over at the Pottery Studio, manager Lynne Stanniland has been working with the local MIND group to create packs for carers and service users to use in their homes.

We are so grateful for your continued support and look forward to welcoming you back as soon as possible. In the meantime, do have a go at one of the digital Portland Collection jigsaw puzzles or join in with a national quilting project, find out more about the project here.