Derelict for twenty years, the Old Head Post Office, fondly remembered by generations of Sheffielders, reopened in 2016 after careful restoration as Sheffield Institute of Arts (part of Sheffield Hallam University). This year, the Institute celebrates its 175th birthday and for Heritage Open Day we will showcase our own rich history – from humble beginnings in a rented room above the Glossop Road public baths in 1843, to one of the UK’s leading art schools.
Behind-the-scenes tours of our building, led by our lectures, will show visitors how the former sorting offices and telephone exchange provide workshops and studios for our students, whilst the old counter area is a beautiful gallery and café.
In our gallery our exhibition ‘The Augmented House Museum’ shows researcher Caroline Claisse’s work with volunteers at historic house museums on interactive heritage exhibits. On Friday, there will be a public preview of the exhibition, introduced by Nick Rosco from Sheffield’s Bishop’s House.
Our display of our 175 year history focusses on some of the extraordinary women who have studied and worked here, from Pre-Raphaelite Lizzie Sidal to pioneering feminist film practice the Sheffield Film Co-op. We’ll be screening Esther Johnson’s ‘Without Brutality’, a collection of films made by students 1969-1993, and our history project ‘Where Bombs Fell’ documents the Sheffield Blitz – see http://www.wherebombsfellinsheffield.org/ for information on the project and to book onto a guided walking tour.
Friday 7 September: 1800-2000
Saturday 8 September: 1000-1600
Booking is required for tours and events, no booking necessary to see our exhibitions and visit our café.