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(a former Minister for the Arts) has spent the past four years visiting over six
hundred museums and galleries all over the England, Scotland, Wales and Northern
Ireland. For this new book he's picked out his top three hundred and fifty - including
three in Staffordshire.
Over a hundred
million visits are made by us to museums every year. Mark Fisher wanted to highlight
the amazing things that are in these places, and also talk a bit about the history.
Together the museums and galleries provide a portrait of Britain and its inhabitants...
here is the evidence of what we value, what we consider beautiful or curious,
and what we love
we've got lots of museums here in Staffordshire, and Mark features some (but not
all) of them in this book, inluding the Potteries Museum and Art Gallery, in Hanley,
The Spode Museum, and The Gladstone Pottery Museum.
each of these museums, the book has a description of what they contain and a brief
history of the actual collection.
builds into quite a comprehensive history of Staffordshire life and industry,
and the rest of the country is treated the same.
interestingly points out that one of the great Staffordshire collections, the
one at Wedgwood, is at the moment undisplayed - and he hopes one day it will return
to public gaze.
As well as choosing the creme de la creme of museums, he uses the book to highlight
problems with funding.
He says this could mean museums closing or not
having their collections updated.
"Britain's Best Museums and
Galleries: From the Greatest Collections to the Smallest Curiosities" by
Mark Fisher is published by Allen Lane/Penguin 2004