New exhibitions held at museum

Bassetlaw Museum exhibition of Nellie Barker
Bassetlaw Museum exhibition of Nellie Barker

BASSETLAW Museum is set to unveil two new ‘fascinating’ and ‘vibrant’ exhibitions this autumn.

The first will display the work of a Ranby artist. A selection of vibrant acrylics and stunning oils, sketches and wool artworks by Ranby-born artist Tops is on display at the Percy Law Gallery at Bassetlaw Museum until 15th October.

Bassetlaw Museum exhibtion on Nellie Barker

Bassetlaw Museum exhibtion on Nellie Barker

Entitled Behind the Lines: Abridged autobiography by Tops the exhibition provides a fascinating insight into the mysterious artist’s self-image.

Paintings flooded with colour are the core of the display and engage the audience to explore them further and to search for hidden images and meanings.

The beautiful pieces created can be enjoyed on many levels.

Tops were born in Ranby, just outside of Retford. He studied art at Mansfield, Nottingham, Portsmouth and Southampton where he gained his BA Honours degree in art. After living most of his life on the south coast, he now resides in Ordsall.

Ranby artist Tops' work is to be exhibited at Bassetlaw Museum

Ranby artist Tops' work is to be exhibited at Bassetlaw Museum

The second is a fascinating insight into mourning in Victorian times provided by a poignant collection of the belongings of Nellie Barker, who died from TB at age 12 on December 27th 1890.

Nellie was the daughter of T.J. and H. Barker of Sheffield.

Museum curator, Sam Glasswell said: “The legacy of Nellie, including the dress she is wearing in her portrait, her memorial dome, and the letter from Dr Barnardo to her mother is the basis of the current exhibition at Bassetlaw Museum.”

“After Nellie’s death, the Barker family came to Retford and set up Fairy Grove Flower Nurseries on London Road.”

“Based on Nellie’s obituary, written by her mother, we’ve illustrated what Nellie’s life might have been like.”

“You will find on display items that belonged to Nellie and other rich Victorian children, but not even money could not protect children from illness. Nellie’s obituary went on to inspire us to explore mourning in the Victorian era.”

Bassetlaw District Council’s portfolio holder for Environment and Leisure, Julie Leigh, said: “Bassetlaw Museum would like to thank the Barker family, John Hurton and the Friends of Burngreave Cemetery for their contribution towards the exhibition.”

“Through displays like this one the museum tries to show visitors how people lived in times gone by; what they valued and how differently they managed events that were sometimes far more commonplace than they might be today.”

“When this important educational role cannot be properly supported by its own substantial collection, the Museum is most grateful to accept the inputs of people like those who have helped make this exhibition possible.”

The exhibition runs until 5th November.

Bassetlaw Museum, Amcott House, 40 Grove Street, Retford, DN22 6LD. Opening times Monday – Saturday, 10am – 4.30 pm.