Opened January 2010
RFA carried out a redesign of Hertford Museum with a brief to include as many of the 60,000 objects in the collection as possible. This was achieved by careful arrangement and layout of the exhibitions to allow unrestricted movement of visitors around the densely-displayed but accessible cabinets, drawers and wall-mounted displays. A reception desk, a shop and a temporary exhibitions gallery were also included in this small but perfectly formed community museum.
The museum was established in 1903 as a ‘free public museum for the people of Hertford’. Starting off as a small room in the town centre, the museum grew rapidly as donations began to flood in from locals, and, in 1913, moved to its current location at the Grade II* listed building on Bull Plain.
The £1.2 million refurbishment of Hertford Museum earned it a place on the long list of the 2011 Art Prize, a major feat for such a small institution.
‘Town museums like Hertford’s are so important. They are often the first museums we are taken to by our parents, or on school trips. One hopes that every child’s first museum will contain marvellous objects displayed in a way that will capture the imagination. And that the spirit of curiosity and excitement will last a lifetime. Happily, there is plenty to wonder at in this small but elegant museum’.
Charlotte Higgins, The Guardian