New telephone box exhibit for MAD Museum

A brand-new moving sculpture inside an old red refurbished telephone box has been unveiled by the MAD (Mechanical Art and Design) Museum in Stratford-upon-Avon this month. The museum purchased the telephone box, which is located on Henley Street, and commissioned one of their favourite resident artists, Pascal Bettex, to create the sculpture inside the box.

The theme of the sculpture is a tribute to William Shakespeare and features several objects relating to the Bard and his plays. Although the museum own the phone box after it was decommissioned by BT, it must remain in place in Henley Street. The revamping of the telephone box follows the recent trend of converting de-commissioned telephone boxes for other uses such as coffee shops, libraries, art museums, cake shops and information centres. More than 5,800 payphones have been adopted by communities since 2008.

Pascal, a kinetic artist from Switzerland, was tasked with producing a machine which embodies the best of the MAD Museum and Stratford-upon-Avon – a brilliant mix of historical acclaim and forward-thinking inventiveness.

The MAD Museum is the only permanent museum of its kind in the UK, which showcases over 90 pieces of kinetic art and automata. Visitors can watch and interact with mind-boggling mechanical creations such as flying mechanical birds and clever clocks, plus build marble runs and learn some engineering and physics principals along the way.

The pieces on display have been sourced from creators from all around the world. Catering to all age groups, MAD encourages learners to interact, examine and be inspired by the inventions and is open Monday to Friday from 10:30am to 4:30pm and at weekends and holidays from 10am to 5:30pm.

The museum offers group discounts, assisted visits, special reduced rates on automata kits and free entry for group organisers.