The Museum Freecycle UK portal is proving a big success with 170 members signed up in its first few months of operation. We covered its launch in June here. Now we’re pleased to share this update from its organisers.
The Museum Freecycle site offers museums an online tool, which enables them to recycle their showcases and other exhibition build items for free. The network connects museums that are discarding setworks from temporary exhibitions and those looking for new elements helping to boost sustainability and reduce costs within the sectors. It is being run by exhibition designers and architects Urban Salon with the support of SHARE Museums East and The Collections Trust.
There are now 170 members across the UK including the National Portrait Gallery, the Design Museum, the Imperial War Museum as well as smaller museums such as the Bagpipe Museum and Bloxham Village Museum. Membership is open to all UK museums.
Urban Salon managing director Caroline Keppel-Palmer says: ‘Members have been using the site actively and we have seen museums posting items including mannequins, display cases, plinths and donation boxes.’
Dulwich Picture Gallery is one of the institutions that has used the portal. Exhibitions officer Nadine Loach says: “I have found Museum Freecycle to be really useful and thoroughly recommend it to everyone I meet with at other institutions. We had a great response to our request for showcases and were very impressed with the offers. Our offer of four display cases was picked up very quickly by several museums in London who emailed within days. The first response was from a National Trust property who sent someone to visit to see the showcases and then later arranged to collect them all.’
Caroline Keppel-Palmer is keen for the project to gain momentum and build membership: ‘The more members that join, the more effective the network will be for the sector. Museum Freecycle is open to all UK museums and membership is free.’