One in a million

PUBLISHED: 09:00 20 March 2014

Joanna Lis with her favourite object from RAMM

Joanna Lis with her favourite object from RAMM


Joanna Lis shares her favourite object from Exeter’s Royal Albert Memorial Museum (RAMM)

Words by Emily Feltham

Photography by Kate Mount

Visitor Services Assistant, Joanna Lis, feels that the RAMM building - which was designed by John Hayward and completed in 1868 - is a work of art in itself.

“People often ask where to find the art,” she says. “I want to turn and say ‘Look! It’s all around you!’”

The Queen Street building is, in Joanna’s eyes, a “Venetian casket”; a celebration of local geology and an exemplary piece of architecture with a great sense of soul.

As part of her role at RAMM, Joanna assisted the technical team during the museum’s redevelopment, and helps with the daily maintenance of the building.

“We trim its claws and brush its tail, and it guards our objects,” she says. “It’s like a sleepy monster or an old lion.”

Full of niches and nooks, its character is bestowed not only by the impressive architecture, but also the multitude of stories it holds.

“It’s so full of secrets!” laughs Joanna.

Amongst the open ceilings and beautiful fireplaces, Joanna delights in locating the hidden flowers, encouraging visitors to hunt for detail, as well as appreciating the space and atmosphere.

RAMM’s Victorian origins are explored in Case Histories; the gallery that introduces the breadth and global nature of RAMM’s collections. It includes a suspended whale and a meteorite.

RAMM: Home to a million thoughts:

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