VERVE - Pitt Rivers Museum

Introducing VERVE

VERVE is a £1.6 million project to support vital conservation, refreshment of selected areas of display and much improved case lighting, alongside a wide-ranging programme of free public activities illuminating the ways in which human creativity has driven developments in design and technologies. Download press release

Under the motto, ‘Need / Make / Use’, workshops, special events, educational activities and opportunities for community and volunteer participation will explore the importance of ingenuity, design and practical craft skills, providing a deeper understanding of the artefacts on display, and incorporating expert input from contemporary artisans and makers. Find out more about Need / Make / Use

Several areas of the museum are benefitting from the project, namely cases that have been screened off or inaccessible for some time, or that require urgent remedial conservation due to their age. Such work is being carried out sensitively, in keeping with the historical style of the galleries for which the Museum is so well known. The VERVE project began in November 2012 with the recruitment of a new six-person project team and runs for five years until 2017.

VERVE represents the third phase of the Museum’s redevelopment, following the opening of its new extension in 2007 and the redevelopment of its entrance in 2009. In 2011-12, the Museum welcomed over 376,000 visitors and by the end of the project we hope to have boosted visitor figures to over 400,000.

The project’s main funder is the Heritage Lottery Fund, which uses money raised through the National Lottery to sustain and transform a wide range of heritage for present and future generations to take part in, learn from, and enjoy. We have secured substantial additional support from a range of generous funders, including DCMS/Wolfson Museums and Galleries Improvement Fund, the Foyle Foundation, the Pilgrim Trust, the Museum’s Friends organization, as well as Oxford University itselfIf you would like to support this project – perhaps by making a donation or volunteering your time – please visit