Derby Museums opened its doors last night for the launch of its impressive new World Collection gallery – Objects of Love, Hope and Fear; a co-produced space full to bursting with ordinary and extraordinary objects from around the world.

The new gallery, which has received generous funding from Arts Council England, the Wolfson Foundation and the Esmée Fairbairn Collections Fund, was opened by Broadcaster and Arts Reporter Geeta Pendse to an audience of more than 100 guests.

Thousands of people worked closely with Derby Museums to co-produce this stunning display of 1400 objects from across six continents. Co-production volunteers, people on the streets of Derby and new friends across the globe have helped to clean, photograph, research, interpret and display this important collection.

Geeta Pendse, Broadcaster and Arts Reporter commented:

“This belongs to Derby, it’s about reflecting on Derby’s communal history, as well as connecting to the world community that we are all part of.”

The gallery is built on a foundation of shared experiences that are common to people across the globe and these values, emotions and actions have shaped and informed every step of the project. Each of the objects has a history of human connection, having been crafted, used, loved, lost, stored or hidden. It is a place for people to encounter familiar and unfamiliar objects, to meet one another and discover a new perspective.

Tony Butler, Executive Director of Derby Museums said:

“Some of these objects were bought, some were exchanged or commissioned, some were stolen. Never before has there been a gallery in Derby Museums dedicated to telling the stories of how these objects got here.”

“This project has encouraged the Museum to examine its own history and past prejudices as an institution, and will inform its behaviour moving forward as Derby Museums strives to be ever more inclusive in communicating with the diverse audiences of our city.”

From talking drums and wooden pillows to terrible weapons designed to torture enslaved workers; each zone of the gallery will offer the visitor both comfort and discomfort, challenging us all to discover something new about our place in the world. Objects of Love, Hope and Fear: A World Collection is open to the public now at Derby Museum and Art Gallery. Entry is free.

Read more about and take a virtual tour of the new gallery here, courtesy of V21 Art Space.