The manor house and permanent collection at Bath’s American Museum in Britain reopened today after being closed for two months due to a water leak.
On 3 March 2018 a radiator leaked, causing water ingress into some period rooms on the east side of the museum.
The opening of the museum itself was delayed until 29 March, and, after further work and advice by specialists, it was decided that the main collection in the manor house would remain closed as a safety precaution for both visitors and the objects in the venue’s care.
Museum director, Dr Richard Wendorf said he was “pleased” that the museum was in a position to reopen the affected areas, but that some further work still needed to be done.
He added: “Sadly we’re currently unable to reopen Conkey’s Tavern, Greek Revival, and the New Orleans Bedroom, because further essential repair and maintenance work needs to be undertaken in these spaces.
“There is also some disruption to the usual display in the Lee Room, but visitors will be able to see at first-hand the work our team has undertaken to protect and care for the unique objects in the collection affected by the leak.
“We’d like to thank you again for your patience whilst the permanent collection was closed and also during the transformational work underway in our gardens.”
The American Museum in Britain opened to the public at Claverton Manor near Bath in 1961 with the aim of showcasing the achievements of Americans in the decorative arts and promoting Anglo-American understanding.
It is the only museum outside the United States to showcase the decorative arts of America.
The permanent collection includes more than 200 historic American quilts, exceptional pieces of Shaker furniture, Native American objects, and 200 historical maps of the New World from the 12th-Century to the Renaissance. The museum also has the most significant collection of American folk art in Europe.
The manor house is set within extensive grounds, which include an arboretum of American trees and expansive views across the Bath skyline.
In addition to the permanent collection, visitors can experience the museum’s World War I centenary exhibition, Side by Side: America and World War I, which commemorates 100-years since America’s first major military land involvement in the Great War. They can also see the 1718 patchwork coverlet, which is on loan from the Quilters Guild of the British Isles until the end of July.