WHAT'S ON

Wells & Mendip Museum has a busy calendar of events. From talks and workshops to art exhibitions and garden days, keep an eye on this page to see what's coming up.

The museum publishes a free bi-monthly newsletter with information on events and developments in the museum. Please visit Our Newsletter page to subscribe or download copies.

 
Unfortunately, many exhibitors had to cancel due to the COVID-19 lockdown.
Instead, their work is on display in our virtual exhibition rooms, available to view here.
What's On - Summary
Scroll down the page for full event details

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As I See It
An Art Exhibition by Brian Luker

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Michael Brobson
An Art Exhibition
Roman lead ingot from Westbury-sub-Mendip

On Display Now

The museum is excited to exhibit a Roman lead ingot or ‘pig’ that was found at Westbury-sub-Mendip in 2016.

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This ingot is special for several reasons. It is precisely datable, it is further evidence of Roman lead mining at Charterhouse-on-Mendip, and it indicates previously unrecognised significant Roman activity at Westbury.
 

It carries the inscription ‘IMP DVOR AVG ANTONINI ET VERI ARMENIACORVM’ which translates as the ‘property of the two August Emperors Antoninus and Verus, conquerors of Armenia’. We know that the Roman emperors Marcus Aurelius (Antoninus) and Lucius Verus ruled jointly between 164 and 169 AD.

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The ‘pig’ is made from lead mined at Charterhouse. As well as the mines there was a Roman town here, which included a small amphitheatre. The mines supplied lead and silver that was exported from Mendip to other parts of the empire. The lead was used to make water pipes and coffins, and as a component of pewter.


Also found nearby was a hoard of 89 Roman Radiate coins, some of which are also on display. The ingot and the coins point to a significant Roman presence in the area and work continues by the Westbury Society Archaeology Group to understand this better.

 

The ingot is on loan from the South West Heritage Trust. Its acquisition is dedicated to the memory of Barry Lane (1944-2017), former Curator of the museum who was passionate about uncovering the rich history of his home village, Westbury.

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Gold "Posy Ring"

An Exciting Acquisition

"The Curator's Choice" is a changing display which features an item specially chosen by the curator.

This "Posy Ring" is a locally found post-Medieval gold ring, dating from 1550 to 1650.

 

A posy ring is a finger ring inscribed with a short message. It gets its name from “Poesy”, an old word for a verse of poetry or a motto.

 

This ring is inscribed “FERE + GOD + EVER”, where “FERE” is an old word for a marriage partner - a husband or wife. During the Middle Ages when religion was so much part of everyday life it was not unusual to combine religious, friendly or amorous words.

Medieval rings had the inscription on the outside, but later ones, like this post-Medieval example which dates from between 1550 and 1650, have the inscription on the inside.

 

Curator David Walker said “the craftsmanship of the goldsmith is amazing and the ring will make a wonderful addition to the museum’s displays.”

"The Curator's Choice" cabinet is outside The Exhibition Room (upstairs).

 
As I See It
An Art Exhibition by Brian Luker

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As the museum was forced to close due to the pandemic, this exhibition has been extended, so there is a further opportunity to visit "As I See It" until Saturday 5 June.

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*Brian is kindly donating all proceeds from the sale of his paintings to the museum.*

Brian Luker learnt watercolour from the renowned ornithological painter R. B. Talbot-Kelly. Brian’s paintings of aeroplanes, often incidents in flying careers, are distributed around the world with the fellow pilots he gave them to, so the earliest picture here is of La Alhambra in Granada University. Career and family then produced a gap of 30 years.

After his first heart attack, Brian took up painting again as a successful therapy to regain concentration. His work has developed since then, with a more vivid palette and the enjoyment of the different tactility and process that oils provide in such contrast to watercolour. In both media he loves texture and the understanding of shape, shadows and reflection. His subjects vary widely from still life, figure, landscape (en plein air, when possible) to portrait works.

David Cuthbert and Robert Maxwell-Wood have been very influential in these developments, while his work is featured in Ros Cuthbert’s book Introduction to Painting Portraits. He has exhibited at RWS. Brian’s work is firmly in the realist tradition and reflects a clarity of view that goes, he hopes, with his view of the world. Heroes are Hockney and Freud (“rescuers of English painting”), but his favourite painting is the ‘Vista de Toledo’ by El Greco, a portrait of Brian’s best-loved city in Spain.

Michael Brobson
An Art Exhibition

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Venue: The Exhibition Room (first floor)

Michael Brobson lives and works from the city of Wells, and much of his work is related to this city and the surrounding Somerset Levels. Having sailed and taught navigation, he also has a fondness for the sea.

His work consists of recognisable artwork and illustrations in many mediums: oil, acrylic, watercolour and his favourite graphite, but it is the atmosphere and the story that is so very important.

The original works exhibited range in price from £25 to £300, with many works offered at a reduced price to celebrate the museum’s reopening.

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Opening Hours
Tuesday // 10am - 4pm
Wednesday // 10am - 4pm
Thursday // 10am - 4pm
We are currently operating reduced hours following the COVID-19 lockdown. Opening hours will be regularly updated. 

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FREE ENTRY
UNTIL 5 JUNE

Registered Charity 200738