Anthony Richards talks about ‘Treasure Hunt’
Anthony Richards, one of the parents involved in the St Felix Group, and recently appointed to the Board of Trustees for Outside In Pathways, talks about our new film Treasure Hunt and how it addresses issues he confronted when working at The Science Museum.
There are two things that I wanted to say that this film and this project made me think of. I’ve worked in museums for all of my career and my job was to try and get more and more people to come to museums and trying to get more access, particularly for people with more complex needs and there’s two sentences I remember that used to motivate me when I was working in museums.
The first one was when I first started, I read a book, and the title of the book or the title of the essay was ‘Who’s Museum Is It Anyway?’. It’s something that I always remember because, people think that museums are owned by the country or by the curators or the security guards or the education team and they’re not. Museums are owned by you. They are owned by you and me and everybody that we know. They are there for all of us to go to and that was the first thing that really started to change how I thought about things, is that the collection, the galleries, the pictures, the objects, are for everybody and they are there for you and that’s what made us, in our museum, start to think about things differently.
The other phrase that stayed with me when I was working in museums was – we used to get stuck occasionally and didn’t know quite what to do and who to invite and I asked a colleague of mine who was quite an inspirational guy and I told him my problem. He looked at me and he said, ‘it’s really simple Anthony. You do more things better and you do them for more people’. After that I just seemed to know what to do. It was to get more people into museums and do better programmes with them and that’s where I first met Deborah and other people who’ve done projects over the years. So, for me this project has been really lovely because if you think about it, why do we go into museums?
People are scared of going into museums, they might feel clumsy, they might feel showy they might not know William! The thing is the museum is there for everybody and the treasure in the museum is there for everybody, so I say to all of us, enjoy the film, but also get out into the museums and enjoy that treasure which is ours.