Royal Albert Memorial Museum & Art Gallery (RAMM) is a museum and art gallery in Exeter, Devon, the largest in the city. It holds significant and diverse collections in areas such as zoology, anthropology, fine art, local and overseas archaeology, and geology. Altogether the museum holds over one million objects, of which a small percentage is on permanent public display. It is a ‘Major Partner Museum’ (MPM) under the Arts Council England administered programme of strategic investment, which means RAMM receives funding (2012?15) to develop its services. RAMM receives this funding in partnership with Plymouth City Museum & Art Gallery. Previously they were described as ‘hub museums’ under the ‘Renaissance’ Programme for regional museums which operated between 2002?11 and funded by the now defunct Museums Libraries & Archives Council (MLA).
Founded in 1868, the museum is housed in a Gothic Revival building of local New Red Sandstone that has undergone several extensions during its history; most recently, the museum was re-opened in December 2011 after a redevelopment lasting four years and costing ?24M. Since its re-opening the museum has received several awards.
The site for the museum was donated by Richard Sommers Gard, MP for Exeter from 1857 to 1864, and a competition for its design attracted twenty-four entries, including one from John Hayward, whose gothic design was the winner. His original plan called for a tall central tower like that at the Oxford University Museum of Natural History, but that feature was rejected and was replaced by a gable and rose window.