The exhibition celebrates all that we’re deeply proud of and uncovers some fascinating facts you may not know. It’s a chance to get to know us a little better and tell us how you see the ‘museum of the future’.

Our 20th year is also a moment for us to look to the future and so we’re inviting you to help us shape the next 20. Please share your stories, your ideas and comments here via email

“When National Maritime Museum Cornwall opened in 2003, many people in Cornwall were sceptical that it would bring the cultural and economic regeneration benefits promised. Twenty years later, we are now Cornwall’s most visited museum and make a significant contribution to Falmouth and Cornwall’s economy running into millions of pounds every year. Independent visitor research shows that 42% of our audience comes to Falmouth specifically to visit this award-winning Museum.

When National Maritime Museum Cornwall celebrated its tenth anniversary in 2013, the then Director, Jonathan Griffin, rightly praised the staff, volunteers and supporters for how much they had achieved with so little. Everything we do, then as now, we do without revenue funding from central or local government (despite having ‘national’ in our title). We continue to rely on earned income and donations – and a strong business model – to do all that we do.

As well as celebrating Cornish maritime history, the Museum cares for the National Small Boat Collection. This allows us to explore the role small boats have played in maritime cultures and communities around the entire British coast. No other museum tells this story, but we want to do more. Our ambition is to be a nationally significant museum in Cornwall. We are building a reputation for creating ground-breaking, critically acclaimed exhibitions of national impact.

As a quick glance at the ’20 things we are proud of’ display shows, the story of National Maritime Museum Cornwall is, at its heart, a story of an independent regional museum punching above its weight – economically, artistically and culturally.

I am – and we are – immensely proud of our achievements and look forward to our future with confidence, curiosity and excitement.”

Richard Doughty, Director of National Maritime Museum Cornwall