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What Is the Kingston Museum?

Deanna Baranyi
Updated: May 17, 2024

Located in the southern section of London in the United Kingdom, the Kingston Museum was first established in 1904 and then restored in the 1990s. The museum has three permanent exhibits and one gallery that houses traveling art exhibits. There is also a history and archive room that is located about 1 mile (1.61 km) from the museum itself. The Kingston Museum is filled with works of art. It also houses an archaeological collection and a collection of domestic, industrial, and civic items.

People who enjoy archaeological artifacts may enjoy the Ancient Origins gallery at the Kingston Museum. For example, it contains ax heads and arrowheads from prehistoric times. It also contains swords, spears, and shields from the Saxon period of history. The gallery contains a selection of pottery, tools, and clothing from the 1300s as well. It also contains a sampling of domestic items, such as washing tools; industrial items, such as equipment to make pipes; and civic items, such as handcuffs from the local prison that were used to detain debtors.

One of the largest draws to the Kingston Museum is the Eadweard Muybridge gallery. This gallery was the result of a gift of 3,000 artistic pieces from Muybridge upon his death in 1904. Muybridge was born in 1830 and was a leader in the pre-film movement. The gallery gives visitors insight into his life and shows thousands of examples of his work.

For individuals who are interested in local history, the Kingston Museum has a Town of Kings gallery. The gallery gives people the opportunity to learn more about the local people. This includes a true-to-size replica of King Aethelstan, who reigned from 927 AD, and boat timbers from the Thames River.

The last gallery at the Kingston Museum changes with traveling exhibits. The gallery may contain the works from local artists, or it may contain art from several different genres. In addition, people who want to dig deeper in the history of the area may find the archive and history room helpful. It contains newspapers, maps, census data, and other information on the area.

People also can attend lectures at the Kingston Museum to learn more about the history and heritage of the area. The lectures often cover unique topics, such as the history of the Kingstonian Football Club. There are often events and workshops for children as well. These may include craft projects, art classes, or even interactive exhibits. There is a gift shop and opportunities for volunteering at the museum as well.

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Deanna Baranyi
By Deanna Baranyi
Deanna Baranyi, a freelance writer and editor with a passion for the written word, brings a diverse skill set to her work. With degrees in relevant fields and a keen ability to understand and connect with target audiences, she crafts compelling copy, articles, and content that inform and engage readers.
Discussion Comments
By everetra — On Mar 02, 2012

@NathanG - Museums are fascinating places. They let you tour through history. For the Kingston museum, that history dates back as far as prehistory.

I’d love to see the prehistoric axes and other tools. I wonder how they date these tools to confirm in fact that they are as old as they claim to be.

Probably they use carbon dating methods and things like that, but I had heard that carbon dating was not a foolproof method of dating. At any rate, I am sure that other artifacts from that time period would confirm the authenticity of the axe and the time in which it was placed.

By NathanG — On Mar 01, 2012
I would love to see the Muybridge exhibit. I’ve done a lot of work in amateur filmmaking. In my studies I came across some of the still images of the early pre film period online.

I believe that some of these early photos were made by Muybridge. You can actually see some of the early “films” of Muybridge online, like the famous clip of the galloping horse.

He built a simple film projector system that used film plates and a clockwork mechanism. It’s amazing that film work began as early as the late 1800s, primitive as it was. It became the inspiration for silent films later on.

Deanna Baranyi
Deanna Baranyi
Deanna Baranyi, a freelance writer and editor with a passion for the written word, brings a diverse skill set to her...
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