Following months of restoration work The Beaney Art Museum and Library re-opened in September 2012. Retaining the original Victorian frontage, and several interior features, a large, light, airy extension has been added.
On the ground floor, the two rooms at the front, originally the reading rooms, are now art galleries. The former children’s library is a cafe, with Tourist Information and the library in the extension. Up the impressive original staircase with it’s Dutch stained glass window, are six rooms of exhibits.
The Museum collection features many curiosities donated by former Canterbury residents who obtained diplomatic or military postings abroad. There is also a strong artistic element, and the reflection on the fact that collections from around the world offer inspiration to artists. To entertain young ones there are various children’s activities, such as a dressing up box, a dolls house, or blocks to construct stained glass windows. There will also be special family events, follow on facebook for details.
As well as the in-house cafe, there are many cafes and restaurants nearby, and it’s quite easy to while away a large part of a day there. The current art exhibition “A year in the life of Canterbury” runs until 11th November, and is very interesting.