THE MERL MONTHLY CHATTY CAFÉ

two men smiling as they sit outside in the MERL cafe

An informal drop-in for caregivers This is an opportunity for caregivers and loved ones to drop into The MERL Café and, welcomed by our volunteers and staff, socialise and be inspired by the museum collections and sensory resources, sharing thoughts and reflections. Buy a drink from the café and get free cake! This is a […]

ANTHOTYPE WORKSHOP WITH AMANDA COUCH

Set up for the Anthotype workshop

Join us for a free artist-led workshop exploring the photographic process of anthotype As part of The Commons: Re-Enchanting the World, Amanda Couch will lead a free one day hands-on workshop which explores the Victorian non-toxic photographic process of the anthotype. Using your own images and plants, leaves, flowers, vegetables, you will discover how to […]

51 VOICES: SPOKEN WORD

A detail from 'Farm Epic'.

To mark our 70th year, The MERL is working with people to explore and respond to 51 objects from or collected in 1951 – relating them to priorities and passions of the past, present and future. Throughout 2021, 51 Voices are being mapped to 51 collections items, enabling reflection on midcentury ideas, preoccupations, and creativity […]

FOLAR SYMPOSIUM 2021

The 1951 Festival of Britain was a national celebration to mark Britian’s achievements and recovery following the Second World War, and was timed to mark the 100th anniversary of the 1851 Great Exhibition. In many ways this was also a coming of age for the British landscape architecture profession. On the 70th anniversary of the […]

FIELDS

Sheep. Cow. Farmer. What does a cow feel about tomorrow? What does a farmer think about their future? What does a sheep see? Does living near cows make us happier? When did you last touch a sheep? How are farmers changing? Working with archives, academic and artist research, and interviews, FIELDS invites us to think […]

THE COMMONS FEAST

Join us for the first in-person showcasing of ‘The Commons: Re-Enchanting the World’, a series of installations and interventions across The MERL galleries and gardens responding to the concept of the commons: the natural resources we all share. This includes creative responses by artists and makers including Catherine Morland, Amanda Couch, Sigrid Holmwood, Kelechi Anucha […]

THE COMMONS: RE-ENCHANTING THE WORLD

A new installation in The MERL galleries… The commons defines the natural capital that we all share: land, air, and water. It is a reciprocal social system that cares for and preserves these resources. It relies on relationships of shared knowledge and creativity, which bind us together with more-than-human processes, forces, and resources. When the […]

WHOSE LANDSCAPES? OPEN SPACES SOCIETY SYMPOSIUM

Black and white lantern slide of people walking on a hill

This half-day online symposium will explore themes and sources from the Open Spaces Society collection at The MERL. The Open Spaces Society (OSS) is Britain’s oldest national conservation body, founded in 1865 as the Commons Preservation Society. Join us online for short talks, discussion, poetry, and artistic responses. There will be a ‘find the location’ […]

LAUNCHING THE COMMONS

Join us virtually for the launch of The Commons: Re-Enchanting the World by artists Catherine Morland, Amanda Couch, Sigrid Holmwood, and Kelechi Anucha and Carl Gent This free event will introduce the project themes and ideas of The Commons: Re-Enchanting the World through live talks, pre-recorded videos and performances. There will also be live walk-throughs […]

SPACE TO THINK: RURAL WELLBEING

Ploughing field with a tractor

Created by 3rd year Museum Studies Students: Katherine Barnes, Madeleine Bousfield, Jack Chandler, Jemma Jarman, and Freya Pook. Discussing and raising awareness of mental health has increased in recent years, particularly through the COVID-19 pandemic. This exhibition explores the topic of mental health and the countryside in relation to art, gardening, music, literature, and farming. The exhitbion […]

  • Visit us

    Visit Us

    We are looking forward to welcoming visitors back to The MERL galleries from Tuesday 18th May.

    Free admission. Please book a timed slot.

    The Museum of English Rural Life

    University of Reading

    Redlands Road

    Reading

    RG1 5EX

    Book now