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Inside the Macclesfield Psalter

The Macclesfield Psalter, a 14th century prayer book, saved by a public appeal for the Fitzwilliam in 2005, has inspired a contemporary art installation where members of the public can step inside the mind of the riotous illustrations of uninhibited fantasy and ribald humour.

The Placebo Macclesfield Psalter, by Emil Siemeister, is a dream-like room where the public can surround themselves in a light installation of imagery and illustrations from the tiny East Anglian prayer book. Emil's 'prayer house' enables the public to be totally immersed in this medieval book through contemporary art.

Emil Siemeister explained, 'You're landing into the book of the Macclesfield Psalter from the gallery that contains the real manuscript to the mind room of the Psalter'.

The Placebo Macclesfield Psalter is on display until 27 November. The original manuscript is displayed in the adjacent gallery in COLOUR: the art and science of illustrated manuscripts, until 30 December 2016.

Life on Mars: Beagle 2 and Damien Hirst , until 20 November

Flight spare for Beagle 2

In a supplementary display to complement COLOUR in the courtyard, the spot painting prepared for the Beagle 2 space mission by artist Damien Hirst will be on show. The painting is the earth based companion to the one that was used as the instrument calibration target on-board the Mars spacecraft. Beagle 2 landed safely on Mars making Hirst's spot painting the first work of art from Earth to land on another planet.

The display also celebrates the 40th anniversary of the Hamilton Kerr Institute, the Fitzwilliam Museum's department of painting conservation, whose conservators sourced some of the pigments used by Professor Colin Pillinger, leader of Beagle 2 and Hirst in the creation of his spot painting.

Credit line: All Rights Reserved Beagle 2