As the next step in the government's coronavirus 'roadmap' approaches, both indoor attractions have announced what visitors will be able to see when they return.
The reopening coincides with International Museum Day (May 17), an annual event that has been celebrating the role of museums since 1977.
Visitors will be able to visit both venues more easily thanks to recent improvements to a footpath between the two attractions.
The work has been done ahead of a £60,000 project to create a special Cave Art to Contemporary Art Walking Trail, which has been funded through the Rural Development Programme for England (RDPE).
The trail, when complete at the end of this year, will take visitors between the contemporary and historic art at The Harley Gallery and The Portland Collection museum at Welbeck and Britain’s only verified Ice Age rock art, in Church Hole cave at Creswell Crags.
It will include life-sized horse sculptures at The Harley Gallery, which are currently being crafted by leading artist, Michelle Reader, who is based within the Harley Studios at Welbeck. The trail will also include kinetic sculptures and markers created by designer, Martin Smith.
Lisa Gee, director of The Harley Gallery, said: “Despite all the amazing online exhibitions and events which museums developed over the various lockdowns, we still believe there’s nothing to beat the actual experience of standing in front of a work of art. Museums describe our history and cultures and help us understand our communities.”
“After the last year, it has never been more important to celebrate International Museum Day and we can’t wait to welcome visitors back. There will be the opportunity to see art not normally seen in the Midlands as well as the chance to enjoy the outdoors and visit our neighbours at Creswell Crags.”
Paul Baker, executive director of Creswell Crags said: “Creswell Crags is a site that focuses the mind on what it means to be human, going back over the millennia. A huge part of humanity is how we express ourselves creatively and artistically. We are delighted that the new trail between The Harley Gallery and Creswell Crags will allow visitors to enjoy two venues giving a perspective on the place of art in the human story, and in all of our lives. Art is one way we interpret our world, and as we emerge from lockdown we are excited to offer visitors this new connection between the brilliant exhibitions hosted by our friends at The Harley Gallery, and some of the very earliest art recorded in Britain, in the caves at Creswell Crags.”
“After a year in which Creswell Heritage Trust had to fight for survival, we are just so thrilled to welcome visitors back to our site again – and hope our connection with The Harley Gallery really encourages visitors to come to both sites, and gives the north Nottinghamshire visitor economy a much-needed boost.”
Activities include a new art exhibition, displays and installations.