I first visited Kent Museum of the Moving Image back in 2019. This museum in Deal has a fascinating, and extensive, collection of material relating to the moving image. I remember I was particularly struck by a beautifully detailed reconstruction of Googie Withers’ dressing table as well as a gorgeous set of magic lanterns, dioramas and other pre-cinema treasures. Now, the big news is that Kent MOMI is about to relaunch in grand style, this week.
The museum has been closed since December last year for some serious refurbishments, including an extension, which creates space to store more archival riches, and for a cinephile bookshop. Kent MOMI will formally relaunch on 30 August, so you still have time to book a ticket to Deal and be there for the grand unveiling, 1-3pm,
Let the train take the strain and you will be well rewarded. When the scaffolding comes down on Wednesday, the piece de resistance of the revamped building will be unveiled: a new 30ft high mural of Buster Keaton. And you will be able to see this beauty from moment you get off the train.
The mural features Buster in his iconic getup from The Cameraman (Edward Sedgwick, 1928) and it is the work of Whitstable portrait and linocut artist, Ben Dickson, and based on a design by Neal Potter, the award-winning designer of the original MOMI on London’s Southbank.
Eagle-eyed visitors will notice that Buster is balancing on a Vinten camera – you’ll find more models from this British company on display inside the museum.
Kent MOMI was founded in 2018 by curators David Francis OBE and Joss Marsh. There are currently five exhibitions running on the museum’s two exhibition floors, The History of Shadows, early Amateur Film, Ealing Film Posters, Magic-Lantern “Dissolving Views” and World War One on Film and in the Media. The museum is open Friday-Sunday (& Bank Holidays) 11-5, and on other days (and evenings) by appointment: contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
The museum is currently hosting a Summer Season of Friday evening screenings which runs 4th August – 22nd September, details of which can be found at kentmomi.org/
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