Ditchling Museum reopens after £2.3m revamp

Ditchling Museum of Art and Craft The museum showcases the work of the arts and crafts movement that centred in the East Sussex village of Ditchling at the beginning of the last century

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A museum containing works associated with artists drawn to the East Sussex village of Ditchling from the early 20th Century has reopened after a £2.3m revamp.

The Ditchling Museum of Art and Craft is the last link in the "string of pearls" - an array of arts developments along the south coast.

The project was partly funded by a £1.4m Heritage Lottery Fund grant.

The work involved linking the old village school with a farmer's lodge.

The museum was founded by sisters Hilary and Joanna Bourne in 1984, and was originally housed in the former Ditchling Village School and schoolmaster's cottage, dating back to 1838.

Artists represented include Eric Gill, David Jones, Edward Johnston and Ethel Mairet.

'Fascinating collections'

Museum director Hilary Williams said they all used materials "in an honest and truthful way, and wanted everybody to be surrounded by beauty in their homes and within their lives".

Stuart McLeod, head of the Heritage Lottery Fund South East, said: "Ditchling Museum gives us a fantastic insight into the lives of some of the most influential artists of the 20th Century.

"I'm particularly pleased about the enhanced connection between the museum's fascinating collections and the social history of Ditchling village."

The museum takes its place alongside Margate's Turner Contemporary, the Folkestone Triennial, the Towner in Eastbourne, the De la Warr Pavilion at Bexhill, and Pallant House in Chichester.

It has new galleries, a dedicated learning space, research space, a shop and a cafe.

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