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We are a Museums, Libraries and Archives Council (MLA) Accredited museum. MLA's Museum Accreditation Scheme sets nationally agreed standards for UK museums.
To qualify, museums must meet clear basic requirements on how they care for and document their collections, how they are governed and managed, and on the information and services they offer to their users.
The MLA is the Government's agency for museums, galleries, libraries and archives. It delivers strategic leadership in England and in each of its regions and collaborates with partners across the UK.
Renaissance in the Regions
Russell-Cotes Art Gallery & Museum is one of five hub museums in the south west participating in the MLA “Renaissance in the Regions” programme. The Renaissance vision is to:
- increase and sustain user participation;
- provide benefits to users through developing the organisation and workforce; and
- provide benefits to users by improving access and use of collections, through better collections development, care and interpretation.
Renaissance is the MLA’s ground-breaking programme to transform England’s regional museums. Central government funding since 2002 is enabling regional museums across the country to raise their standards and deliver real results in support of education, learning, community development and economic regeneration.
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Art & exhibitions
Much of the permanent art collection reflects popular tastes in art during Queen Victoria's reign.
The art galleries host a range of changing and permanent exhibitions and displays with varied themes.
We select our changing exhibitions as part of our wider museum strategy. Please note that we do not offer gallery space for hire.
Find out what's on...
The collections are interesting and unusual and include art and sculpture - many collected during the late 1800s and early 1900s.
Merton and Annie Russell-Cotes were keen collectors and travellers, bringing home objects from around the world, including Russia, New Zealand, Scandinavia, Hawaii, the Middle East and Japan.
The Irving Room
On the upper-ground floor is a 'museum within a museum' dedicated to Sir Henry Irving, the great Shakespearean actor (pictured below)
We are a relatively small team of around 15 permanent full-time and part-time staff. We are supported by a team of volunteers in some areas. We currently have a small number of further temporary staff funded by the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council's (MLA’s) Renaissance initiative.