Coal, Frankincense and Myrrh

'Coal, Frankincense and Myrrh' was a collaborative exhibition at Weston Park Museum featuring the work of photographer Tim Smith. Tim had taken photographs of Yemeni steelworkers as part of a photographic assignment in the 1980s, and approached the museum in 2007 with the idea of a new exhibition that would reflect on the community's involvement in the city. Museum staff consulted with community members, who welcomed the idea with open arms and worked closely with the museum to make it a reality.  Tim took photographs within the community and in Yemen itself.  The resulting photographs came together with oral histories and objects loaned by members of the community to create an evocative and visually stunning exhibition that celebrated the contribution of Yemeni people to Sheffield life and industry. 


Emma was appointed to evaluate the project, looking at both processes and outcomes and producing a report that reflected on the impact of the exhibition for the museum and the community. Using Generic Learning and Generic Social outcomes, she investigated the way in which the museum, photographer and community members had worked together and made recommendations for how Museums Sheffield could embed this work into forward planning. The museum acted on many of these recommendations and continues to develop its work with the Yemeni community in the city, working with community members on exhibitions and events. 


For more on Weston Park Museum see

Tim Smith's photography is online at


Thorough, focused evaluation is the key to understanding and promoting the benefits that museums, libraries and archives can offer. Emma King Consultancy has longstanding experience in evaluation and audience research: identifying objectives, designing research methods, capturing the evidence and providing detailed analysis, conclusions and recommendations. We conduct all kinds of evaluative research, from small scale qualitative analysis to quantitative impact assessments.