Sunday, February 28, 2016

Book on Shakespeare with contributions from the Museum Manager Peter Hewitt

A new book has just been released called "Shakespeare and the Stuff of Life: Treasures from the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust".  Peter Hewitt, co-manager of the Museum, completed his PhD at the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust and Birmingham University in 2014.  His thesis (which often focuses on magical objects) forms a major part of this new book (it was published by his PhD mentors - Delia and Tara).  Well done Peter - it is so great that your research will be reaching a wider audience as part of this collaborative project!

Monday, February 15, 2016

Donations for the new gallery from Brian and Wendy Froud

Simon recently contacted the artists Brian and Wendy Froud, both well known for their work on the film Dark Crystal and many books concerning the magical worlds of Fairies, Trolls and Goblins. We have been working to redisplay part of the upper gallery and were delighted when Brian and Wendy kindly donated a piece of their artwork each to enrich the museums collection. Both pieces will be on show when we re-open on March 25th.

Photographer Charlie McKay works with the museum to create new cards, posters and magazine Ad

We were delighted to welcome the photographer, Charlie McKay to Boscastle recently. We are taking out a double page Ad in Cornwall Living and so wanted to be able to have a beautifully shot image to promote the museum. Charlie very kindly offered his services and together with Simon, they worked over three days to put together, not only the Ad but enough images to make into postcards and posters for the museum. We would all like to thank Charlie very much for his enthusiasm and consummate skill in creating some very evocative images.

CALL FOR PAPERS Glitter & Gravedust: Halloween Past & Present

Museum of Witchcraft & Magic
Glitter & Gravedust:  Halloween Past & Present

Call for Papers – October 15th 2016

Glitter & Gravedust: Halloween Past & Present is a new exhibition curated by the Museum of Witchcraft & Magic.  Opening in March 2016 and running until December, the exhibition charts the history of the festival and explores its various incarnations: from Samhain to Hallowtide, a time efficacious for love magic and divination, to its ambiguous, multicultural and often commercial modern expressions.

A conference to accompany and augment the exhibition will take place on Saturday October 15th 2016 in Boscastle.  Professor Ronald Hutton will be the keynote speaker, presenting recent research into ‘The History of Halloween’. 

If you would like to present a paper please send an abstract of no more than 200 words together with a brief biographical note to:

Deadline for abstracts is 31st  March 2016.  Free entry to the Museum, exhibition, library and archive will be included in the ticket price (TBC).  Papers could address the following topics (but these are not restrictive):

·       History of the festival, continuity and change
·       Folklore of Halloween (ancient and modern)
·       Regional variations
·       Religion; Wicca, Paganism, Christianity
·       Divination practices, magic, witchcraft
·       Honouring the dead, ancestor festival
·       The culture of Halloween, literature, music, film etc.
·       Tourism, performing identity, Halloween as ‘event’
·       Material culture of Halloween
·       Cross-cultural perspectives and comparisons
·       Masks, guising, ‘becoming other’
·       Halloween and gender
·       Food and drink at Halloween

Abstracts for the attention of Peter Hewitt,

Monday, February 08, 2016

Talk at Cornwall Association of Local Historians

On Sunday, Judith and Peter (the Museum managers) presented a talk to the Cornwall Association of Local Historians at their annual AGM.  The theme for the conference was "Whatever the Weather" and talks focused on Cornwall and the weather.  Judith and Peter talked about Witchcraft and the Weather.  The talk was favourably received and they were approached about talking at other Local History Societies.  The Museum will always try to speak at functions if they can.


A couple of weeks ago several members of the Museum team (and extended family) went to a wassail near Camelford.  It was good fun.  Here is the text that we were given.  Hopefully it will continue to grow in popularity and we can go again next year.

Friday, February 05, 2016

Museum Managers to deliver talks at Folklore Society Conference in April

In April, there will be a three day event in London called Reflected Shadows: Folklore and the Gothic.   Judith and Peter Hewitt (the Managers of the Museum) will each be delivering a talk/paper at this Folklore Society Conference.

Judith will be exploring the idea of Halloween as a folk phenomenon expression of a Gothic sensibility while Peter will be looking at the Museum and its collection (with a focus on human remains) and considering to what extent it can be seen as a Gothic Museum.

More details on these talks to come...

Jos Smith "Witches and eggshells" finds a permanent home in the Museum

Last year, the Museum hosted a fantastic exhibition of illustrations by Jos Smith.  These images originally appeared in Erica Jong's book "Witches"

Jos Smith has very generously donated one original artwork to the Museum.  The painting is called Witches and Eggshells and fits in perfectly in our display on Sea Witchcraft (see photo below).

This picture is also available as a high quality art print and a blank greetings card.  The print is the same size as the original painting (80cm x 45cm).
We also have one more Jos Smith picture which is available for sale as an blank art card only.  It is of a beautiful night-time scene and shows a young woman cutting herbs.  A copy of this picture will be going on display in our re-displayed upper gallery (due to open March 25th).