The Box February 2019 Image by Paul White Photography
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Opening in 2020, The Box is Plymouth’s new museum, gallery and archive. A place where heritage meets contemporary art; where archives meet interaction; and where the Mayflower meets a mammoth. A museum, gallery and archive. A cafe and bar. A place that you can make your own, and where there's always something new to discover.

The original City Museum and Art Gallery has been completely transformed along with the former Central Library and St Luke’s Church. The Box also features a striking elevated ‘archive in the sky’ with research and learning facilities, along with a major new public square for gigs, performance, theatre and events.

The Box brings six outstanding collections of art, human history, natural history, film, photography and archival material together, showcased in a series of exciting spaces.

The Box has an ambitious exhibition programme running throughout the year. International artists including Portugal’s Leonor Antunes, Austria’s Eva Grubinger, Brazil’s Alexandre da Cunha and America’s Christopher Baker and Kehinde Wiley will all have work on show from May 2020.

A further exhibition in the 'Our Art' gallery includes a grand display of paintings of Plymouth, a showcase of three centuries of artistic production by the likes of Sir Joshua Reynolds, Robert Lenkiewicz, Stanhope Forbes and Barbara Hepworth plus a mass display of over 350 decorative art items.

‘Mayflower 400: Legend and Legacy’ is an epic journey of survival, imagination and 400 years of America. This major exhibition will run into 2021 and has been created in partnership with the Wampanoag Advisory Committee to Plymouth 400 in Massachusetts, and with the help of over 100 museums, libraries and archives across the UK, US and The Netherlands.

Many objects are coming to Plymouth for the first time, or returning to the city for the first time in 400 years. The exhibition uses them alongside images and ideas to explore early English attempts to colonise America, acknowledge conflict with Native America and explore the impact of colonisation on the indigenous population.

‘Mayflower 400: Legend and Legacy’ also discusses the context of the sailing of the Mayflower in 1620, details the lives of the passengers, and considers the cultural, demographic and personal legacies of the story.

In addition to its standard opening hours of 10am-5pm Tuesday to Sunday, The Box will be open from 10am-5pm on Easter, May and August Bank Holidays. It will be closed on for the Christmas and New Year Bank Holidays. The Cottonian Research Room is available by appointment only from 10am-1pm and 2pm-5pm Tuesday to Saturday.

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