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Buxton Museum & Art Gallery

Founded: 1880        Governance: Local Authority       Scope: Local history, geology    Visited: Autumn 2012

Another Victorian municipal museum, and one that, increasingly rarely, remains council-run, Buxton is gorgeous. Geology bulks large in its collections, partly because of the prominence of the eminent Victorian & Edwardian scholar William Boyd Dawkins. In a remarkable gesture Dawkins bequeathed his entire study to the museum, not just his papers and specimens but the whole room and everything in it; where on earth he got that idea from is beyond me, but the resulting gallery is delightful. It even has a top hat on a table. Buxton was a Roman spa town and the displays of the Museum's archaeology collection are very imaginative, using bits and pieces to recreate archways, fountains and shrines to generate a compelling visual impression of Roman-ness. Finally, and perhaps most strikingly, there is the relatively recent addition to the collection of an extensive display of Derbyshire Black Ware, geometrically arranged in sidelit cabinets to bring out its charismatic and somewhat terrible beauty. 

Buxton Museum & Art Gallery
Buxton Museum & Art Gallery
Buxton Museum & Art Gallery
Buxton Museum & Art GalleryBuxton Museum & Art Gallery
Buxton Museum & Art Gallery
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