Northampton Museum & Art Gallery, Northampton

Categories: Art Museums, History Museums, Museums
Inspirock Rating:
4/5 based on 150+ reviews on the web
Northampton Museum and Art Gallery is a public museum owned and run by Northampton Borough Council in the Cultural Quarter of Northampton, England.The museum has the largest collection of historical footwear in the world, designated as being of international importance. The ground floor is given over to the display of some of the museum's 12,000 shoes, spanning the period from the Ancient Egyptians to the present day. There are also two galleries dedicated to footwear: Life & Sole focuses on the history of shoemaking and contains a re-creation of an old shoe factory; Followers of Fashion concentrates on the history of fashions in footwear throughout the centuries. Some of the paintings on display reflect the museum's focus on footwear, such as the 17th-19th century Dutch and Flemish works by Jan Miel and Hendrik van Oort featuring cobblers, shoemakers and shoeshiners. As long-time Keeper of the Boot and Shoe Collection, curator June Swann played a significant role in its development. She began in 1950, and worked there for 38 years.The second and third floors of the museum house displays of Oriental ceramics and Italian art from the 15th to the 18th century.Sekhemka statue controversyThe museum conducted a controversial sale of an Ancient Egyptian statue of Sekhemka in July 2014, with questions relating to the ownership and the ethics of selling the statue being raised by various organizations. The statue was sold to an unknown buyer for £15.76m, which broke the existing world record for Ancient Egyptian artwork at auction. On 1 August 2014, Northampton Museums had its accreditation removed by the Arts Council England, which ruled that the sale broke the required standards for how museums manage their collections; loss of accreditation includes ineligibility for a range of arts grants and funding, and is in effect until at the earliest, August 2019.
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  • Went here, not expecting what to find, but a trove of treasure. If you are a history buff then you will find it fantastic Will definitely go again 
  • Example of local culture in a city oubvruiiere dedicated to the footwear industry. Tribute to Charles Bradlaugh, secular, a member of this city in the House of Commons (1880-1891)
    show original
  • We visit this place every year. Nice exhibits-especially shoes. As back on the days I used to be Spice Girls fan. Geri Halliwell (Ginger Spice) shoes impress me every single time. Worth a visit especi...  read more »
  • Very interesting and good collection of locally found artifacts. Free entry and helpful knowledgeable staff.
  • An excellent view of society using the unique medium of shoes! A great way to connect with the the trends & moods of past generations, they are a such a personal item that become a part of their owners self expression, depicting class, gender and style. We had a great time as a family as the children could lead us around! It was the highlight of our visit to Northampton.
  • Amazing every time! Shoes were once the 'Life and Sole' of Northampton and this gallery hosts the largest collection of shoes in Europe, possibly the world. From shoes for bound feet, to the Pinball Wizard 'Tommy' Boots this museum has every style of footwear ever conceived. Its mandatory to walk round it at least once if you're visiting the town centre, and its free!
  • A fabulous way to while away several hours. Who would have thought shoes could be so interesting? They have many ever-changing exhibitions, recent ones include 'Horrible Histories'. Highly recommended.
  • Most of the interactive exhibits were missing pieces or broken. (As of December 2015)
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