These are a selection of the artefacts and/or projects that the Friends’ efforts have funded to make a difference to Maidstone’s Museums, over the past few years:
Maidstone Young Artist Awards – 2019
Friends provided support to the costs of this award, aimed at young people in Kent – £450
The theme this year was “Friends”
Next MYAA should have been in 2021 (biennial competition) but delayed to 2022 due to Covid virus
MMF Banner – 2018
Friends paid for this promotional banner covering MMF’s work, and encouraging membership. It has been installed over the stairwell in the Tudor part of the building – £1,100
New Vortex Collection Box – 2018
A new ‘interactive’ collection box for reception was purchased by the Friends – a ‘vortex’ box. The monies are received by MMF who, in turn, donate the sum to the museum – £2,000
Medieval Grave Assemblage – 2018
To support the Museum’s acquisition of this important find in Kent. It was funded by a specific grant MMF secured from Rochester Bridge Trust. This amounted to £2,000..
Ancient Civilisations Gallery – 2016 & 2017
The Museum wished to convert a wing of the building to bring together the collections for ancient Greece and ancient Egypt, & put forward proposals for a project costing £170,000. Through the utilisation of its own reserves and by making applications to grant-giving trusts MMF raised £40,000.
New Collection Boxes – 2016
Two new collection boxes were purchased for locating in the Museums to encourage giving (donations) to the Museums’ work. They are colourful and fun to appeal to adults and children alike. It is made clear that money goes to the Foundation, a charity, which in turn supports the Museums. The Friends funded both these boxes at £ ______.
Digitisation of Museums’ Floorplan – 2015
The Floorplan of the Museums (ground and first floor) was updated and reproduced. Firstly, to reflect greater accuracy for movement and secondly to ‘digitise’ the work to make it able to be used on computers, pads and phones as well as for print. The Friends funded the design element of the project at £1,000.
Arrival of a Convoy of Wounded Soldiers at Maidstone Station – 2015
Full restoration of this large oil painting from 1916 by the local artist, Frank Hyde. Friends funded this exercise at the cost of £3,216. It sits permanently in the Museum, & featured prominently in the WW1 exhibition – ‘Coming Home’ – from September 2016 to January 2017.
Stands for Oriental Vases – 2015
The impressive Chinese vases stand in the window of the Museums’ “glass room” and can be see even by walkers in adjacent Brenchley Gardens. The Friends funded safety stands for these two ‘monsters’ at £984.
Education – 2013
Payment of grants attracted by MMF from ACE (£12,500) for the purpose of funding education salary costs.
Hirado Exhibition – 2013
Contribution of £950 towards “Treasures from Hirado” exhibition.
Audio-Visual Equipment – 2012
This equipment was, and is, essential for schools’ visits to the Museums – it comprises two kiosks and 19” touch screens with stereo facility, plus software. The Friends met the £7,000 cost.
Japanese Manuscripts – 2012
These valuable artefacts were re-purchased, having previously been stolen from the Museums. Friends met the £600 cost.o.
Display Cabinets – 2011
The Museums had an opportunity to acquire good second-hand display cabinets from the Victoria & Albert Museum. The Friends met the cost of £3,600.
Napoléon’s Chair – 2010
This chair, owned by Napoléon Bonaparte when on the island of St Helena, needed restoration work. The Friends met the £580 cost.