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Object of the Month – February 2024

This month’s object is a painting an 1840s watercolour painting by W W Wheatley, showing the Three Swans pub and in the background the Iron Gates building.

William Walter Wheatley (1811-1885) was a topographer, draughtsman, and watercolourist. He was born in Bristol and lived in Frome, Rode, and in Bath from 1852.

He painted village scenes, country houses, and old inns of Somerset and produced over 1500 views of churches and aspects of their interior for the Rev. J.S.H. Horner of Mells, some of which are in the collection of the Society of Antiquaries in London.

G.W. Braikenridge of Brislington employed Wheatley to illustrate Collinsons’s ‘History of Somerset’; the artwork was bequeathed to the Somerset Archaeological Natural History Society and is now held at the Somerset Study Library in Taunton.

Accessibility project with Bath Spa University

The museum  is hosting a series of workshops in collaboration with the OpenStoryTellers charity in Frome, and with Bath Spa University,

The workshops look at different ways of making the museum more accessible and approachable for a range of visitors who might at present not consider themselves our core audience, from a starting point that says that people are disabled by barriers in society, rather than by their ‘impairment’ or ‘difference’.

Barriers can be physical, like buildings lacking accessible toilets, or they can be caused by people’s attitudes to difference, like assuming that disabled people can’t do certain things.

We are exploring how this approach can suggest changes to museum practice that can provide value for all, including, for example, the handling of objects from the museum’s collections and displays.

Frome Museum on the radio

On 7 February, Chris de Groot, one of our hard-working volunteers, was interviewed about the museum on Simon Parkin’s BBC Radio Somerset show.

The item starts at 2:16 and lasts 12 minutes:

You can listen here