About Acme Museum Services

Hamish-MacGillivray
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That’s me Hamish MacGillivray. I have named my company after the Acme Company boxes, that featured in the Warner Brothers cartoons, who always provided a variety of mail order equipment for tricky situations. Also, in ancient Greek it means ‘perfection’.

I have been described as a curatorial handyman. I am part freelance exhibitions project manager, a bit of a researcher, have some DIY, drawing and audio-visual skills, a sprinkling of oral history experience and a big interest in developing community projects.

I have over 25 years experience working in local authority galleries, independent museums and on Heritage Lottery Funded projects. I am based in Brighton and an Associate of the Museums Association. Scroll below to see highlights of my career timeline in my varied heritage and arts career……
  • 1989 - 1991

    UPSTAIRS DOWNSTAIRS

    I started my heritage career as a part-time ‘butler’ at Preston Manor assisting the Brighton Museums education department with school tours. I then organised my first proper exhibition, for Brighton Museum, in 1991 ‘A Day Trip to Brighton.’
    Preston-Manor-Butler
  • 1991-1997

    GOING UNDERGROUND

    I was the Curator at the London Toy and Model Museum from 1991 to 1997. I was part of the team that created new interactive galleries and events for this eccentric collection near Paddington station. A highlight was taking a huge 100 year old working Welsh coalmine model to an exhibition in Tokyo.
    Toy-Miner
  • 1997 - 2003

    ANCIENT EGYPT

    I became the Exhibitions Officer at the inspiring Croydon Clocktower until 2003. I managed over 30 in-house or adapted hire exhibitions including hands-on automata, sculpture, Yoruba beliefs. With a team of curators, designers and education experts I managed the most amazing and complex touring exhibition ‘Ancient Egypt: Digging for Dreams’.
    Egyptian-Archaeology
  • 2003 - 2005

    STREET PARADE

    I joined Lewes District Council as their arts officer and managed 2 tiny historic galleries and the Spectrum newsletter. I organised the ArtWave Open House 2004 parade. This event started with a raucous damp street parade with samba band and kids zooming on scooters.
    Samba-street-parade
  • 2005

    GOAL!

    I dipped my toe into the freelance world in 2005 and was back at Croydon Clocktower organising an exhibition about the 100 years of history of Crystal Palace Football Club. I and my job share partner only had 3 months to make it happen. We developed a network of fans to help us source loans of unique memorabilia. See WHY? and WATCH! for some tips.
    Crystal-Palace-FC
  • 2006-2008

    BUILDING SITE

    At the Lightbox in Woking I witnessed a brand new gallery being built. I was the exhibitions manager and created the exhibitions programme. With a team of volunteers and technicians I organised the installation of very heavy Liz Frink sculptures around the building. I also organised the first ever Lightbox exhibition 'Animated Adventures' featuring Wallace and Gromit.
    Sculpture
  • 2008

    DUCKING AND DIVING

    From 2008 to the wallop of the Crash I worked for a variety of clients: researched ‘War + Medicine’ display topics for the Wellcome Collections; consulted on interpretation plans for Great Dixter House and Gardens; organised seminars for the Museums Association.

    Great-Dixter-House
  • 2009 - 2010

    TESTING 1, 2, 3, 4...

    I gained new audio-visual IT skills in Eastbourne recording oral history of hard to reach older people from World War Two evacuees, Chinese, Jewish and Gypsy Romany Traveller communities for the WRVS Heritage Plus project. Then training students for HLF community projects in London and creating reminiscence group Mobile Memories.

    Oral-History
  • 2011 - 2016

    BESIDE THE SEASIDE

    From 2011 to 2016 I was job share Exhibitions Curator at Worthing Museum and Art Gallery. As well as organising local artists exhibitions I made a successful bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund to support the First World War ‘Training for War’ community project. See Behind the Scenes pdf in WHY? and WATCH! videos.

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  • 2012 - 2016

    CORNETTO TRILOGY

    Back at the Lightbox as a freelancer. Researched content and designed with Bower-Wood set builders family friendly temporary exhibitions: ‘Alien Invasion’ all things H.G.Wells and sci-fi in 2013; ‘The Giant Electronic Art Show’ everything interactive in 2014; and in summer 2016 co-created ‘The Story of British Comics So Far: Cor! By Gum! Zarjaz!’ This featured Ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics, classic nostalgia, jigsaws and a glimpse into the digital future. Find WATCH! to peek at these projects.

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  • 2017

    TUDORS TO CHURCHILL

    Busy freelance year including: storytelling training for staff at the Tudor ruins of Cowdray House; organized the late Julian Hayward’s exhibition at the Grange, Rottingdean; and joined the Museums Association’s Transformers summer training. In the autumn recruited by the National Trust as a Visitor Experience consultant for Churchill’s Chartwell project until 2019.
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  • 2018...

    TO BE CONTINUED...