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York Museums Trust First Open Weekend To Take Place 25 & 26 June 2016

13 June 2016

York residents can visit York’s Attraction of the Year, two major new exhibitions and the new Jorvik experience in York St Mary’s for free later this month as part of York Museums Trust’s new Open Weekend.

York Art Gallery, York Castle Museum and the Yorkshire Museum are all free to residents on Saturday 25 June and Sunday 26 June 2016. This includes entry to two new major exhibitions – Shaping the Body at York Castle Museum and the York Art Gallery’s Truth and Memory – as well as a Fossil Roadshow at the Yorkshire Museum.

It is also a chance to see the gallery following its success in the Visit York Awards, the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) Yorkshire Awards and being one of only five museums in the country shortlisted for the Art Fund Museum of the Year.

Jorvik’s new exhibition JORVIK: Home and Abroad at York St Mary’s is also included in the Open Weekend.

Any resident with a York Card or council tax bill from the City of York Council can gain free access.

In addition to this, on Saturday 25 June 2016 current British Forces personnel and veterans can also get free access to all sites as part of the city’s Armed Forces Day.

Reyahn King, chief executive of York Museums Trust, said:

“It has been a great year for the Trust so far with the major new exhibitions Truth and Memory and Shaping the Body being well received and the gallery winning and being shortlisted for so many awards.

“We hope this new residents Open Weekend will become as popular as the Make it York Residents Festival in January, offering another chance for people of the city to come and see some of the best art and culture in the country for free.”

York Art Gallery won the Visitor Attraction of the Year Award 2016 (Over 50,000 visitors) at the Visit York Awards in May, as well as the RIBA Yorkshire Awards for one of the winning buildings, the Yorkshire Conservation Award and Project Architect of the Year. It is one of five museums shortlisted for the Art Fund Museum of the Year, announced in July.

IWM London’s Truth and Memory is the largest touring exhibition of British First World War Art for almost 100 years. It showcases more than 60 works and features some of the most iconic images to emerge from the First World War, including paintings by Paul Nash, Percy Wyndham Lewis, CRW Nevinson, Stanley Spencer and William Orpen. York is the only gallery other than IWM London to host the exhibition.

Shaping the Body looks at how body shape has changed over the past 500 years through culture, diet, fashion and lifestyle. From 18th century bum rolls, through to the Victorian hour glass figure, the punks of the 70s and the perms of the eighties, see how our bodies have been shaped and designed through choices we make and the consequences of our lifestyles.

The Fossil Roadshow at the Yorkshire Museum takes place from 11am to 3pm on 25 June 2016. It is a chance to bring along your own rocks and fossil finds to show the experts, and see specimens from the museum’s collection. Members of The Yorkshire Geological Society, one of the oldest geological societies in the UK, will be on hand to help identify your finds, and tell you more about the geology of northern England. It is also a chance to see the new display Crystals from Beneath, showcasing some of the examples from the museum’s fantastic mineral collection.

JORVIK: Home & Abroad will feature a wide range of artefacts taken from York’s Viking collections, alongside tableaux taken from the JORVIK Viking Centre displays which remained above the waterline during last December’s floods. The exhibition will also provide a temporary home for JORVIK’s team of historic costumed interpreters, who will be sharing their knowledge with visitors.

Armed Forces Day is an Annual event providing an opportunity for the population to say thank you to the members of our Armed Forces past and present for the service they provide our Nation with. York Museums Trust attractions will be free on Saturday 25 June 2016 to armed forces personnel and veterans with a form of identification (for example a current British Army ID Card or equivalent, or a valid Defence Discount Card).

Any resident with a York Card or council tax bill from the City of York Council can gain free access. Students with a valid ID from the University of York, York St John’s University or York College will also be able to get free entry to York Museums Trust sites during the weekend.

For those resident wanting to visit the museums and gallery all year the new YMT Card allows unlimited access for just £11 or £10 by direct debit for anyone with a York Card. The cards are free to anyone age 17-24 or on income related benefits. Children under 17 get in free to all sites with one paying adult.