The MAD Museum

UK's Only One

The MAD Museum is the country’s only permanent venue for mechanical art.

STEM & Design

Promoting Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths as well as Art and Design.

Creative Ideas

Combining inspirational imagination with clever and often witty design.

Interactive Fun

Encouraging kids to put down their remote controls and be more hands-on.

What is The MAD Museum?

The MAD Museum does what it says on the tin! Based in the centre of Stratford upon Avon, this quirky attraction displays interactive pieces of mechanical art, in particular; kinetic art and automata.

“MAD” stands for Mechanical Art and Design.
If you’re not quite sure what mechanical art is all about, think of the machines and gismos used in Wallace and Gromit, Scrapheap Challenge and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.
In a nut shell mechanical art is usually beautifully crafted, moving sculptures either made to have an exaggerated purpose or made simply for the fun of it.

Find out more about MAD here...

The pieces on display have been sourced from artists all around the world and the fact that nearly everything is interactive means kids and big kids(!) can really get stuck in. We encourage you to press buttons and to “release your inner inventor”. In a world full of computer screens and ‘do not touch’ signs, we’ve been told MAD is refreshingly satisfying.

As well as a lot of fun, The MAD Museum demonstrates inspirational creativity and clever, often witty design. We support the STEM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) and Art and Design.

Overall The MAD Museum is a fantastic playground for adults and a perfect treasure-trove for inquisitive kids. As well as being highly interactive and a lot of fun, this eccentric museum appeals to those with curious and methodical brains too. Figure out how the gears, sprockets, robotics and eccentric paraphernalia all engage with one another at the press of a button.

There are plenty of different styles of kinetic art and automata to interactive with. From marble machines and 3D faces to Flying mechanical birds and sand pictures. Even the museum’s founder has tried his hand at making an exhibit which is on display in the museum. It’s called ‘The Kitchenator’ and it’s a rolling ball sculpture made entirely out of things you would find in your kitchen. If you like art, design, science and/or engineering, The MAD Museum is for you.

MAD’S History & Changes

MAD’s Resident Artists

Kinetic Art & Automata

Visiting The MAD Museum

The Team behind The MAD Museum

The MAD Museum is run by a local family from Kenilworth in Warwickshire. Richard Simmons’s enlisted his son, Iain Simmons and his nephew, Mike Abbotts to run the museum.
There are 4 full time members of staff and each person has been with the museum since it was launched in March 2012. Several of our part-timers have also been with MAD since it was all kicked off 4 years ago. Our enthusiasm for this company pushes us to make sure The MAD Museum is a well-oiled machine (excuse the pun!). As a small team, we all wear many hats. Here’s a snippet of what we all do;

Richard Simmons

Richard Simmons

Founder of The MAD Museum

The Museum was the brain child of local entrepreneur, Richard Simmons. After having a successful career in property, building and online ventures, he wanted to establish the museum before retirement.  Richard has always had an eye for the unusual and an interest in mechanical objects and moving art. So in 2012 he set up the museum. Find out more here.

Mike Abbotts

Mike Abbotts

Operations Manager

Mike is the technical operations manager on site at The MAD Museum. He makes sure all the artwork on display and everything in between is running smoothly. On top of that, Mike looks after groups, workshop visits and our laser machines. He’s also MAD’s in-house designer and has even made one or two exhibits of his own. Keep an eye out for them at the museum.

Iain Simmons

Iain Simmons

Operations Manager

This is your guy for any questions regarding artwork and exhibiting at MAD. He’s the first and final port-of-call for all artists and works at the office in Kenilworth. You’ll regularly find him experimenting with new creations on our laser machines and as he’s a trained accountant, Iain also looks after the books! Iain also takes care of Richard’s other ventures.

“I have always been fascinated by how things work and love to see how mechanical parts interact with each other.
The MAD Museum is a fantastic collection of some of the best pieces from artists across the UK and Europe.

I want kids to put down their mobiles and get inspired by interacting with engineering and design. There’re some fantastic things to witness at MAD and the great thing is we’re still growing, The MAD Museum is just getting bigger and better!”.

Richard Simmons

Katie Wilson

Katie Wilson

Head of Marketing and Education

Katie works alongside Iain at the office in Kenilworth. She’s in charge of all the PR and marketing activities that go on at MAD. In addition to that, Katie is also our Education Officer and manages all of the museum’s group bookings. Everything you see online or in print has been handled by Katie. She also takes care of events and is MAD’s resident photographer.

Simon Partridge

Simon Partridge

Front of House Manager

When our customers come into MAD, Simon is usually the first face they see. Aside from being the Museum’s Front of House Manager, Simon also helps Mike maintain the exhibits and general running of the museum. Katie books group visits and Simon predominantly takes care of them at MAD. He also handles our workshop activities and is our tour guide.

Derek Cooknell

Derek Cooknell

Front of House

Derek has been with MAD since the start and is one of our weekend managers.

Elliott Evans

Elliott Evans

Front of House

Our newest member of the team, he works at MAD & helps Katie with marketing activities.

Issy Newton

Issy Newton

Front of House

Works at MAD during the week and helps Mike and Simon out with all our group visits.

Philippa Simmons

Philippa Simmons

Front of House

Is an artist and works at the weekends. MAD’s toilets are decorated with her illustrations.

 

Mike Greenfield

Mike Greenfield

Front of House and Technician

Mike switches between working behind the desk at MAD and laser cutting on our machines.

Morgan Amed

Morgan Amed

Front of House

Works every weekend with Mike Greenfield and helps us during busy holiday times.

Awards

2014
Winner – Business Entrepreneur of the Year Award
Touch FM’s Pride of Stratford Awards 2014

Runner-up – Small Business of the Year Award
Touch FM’s Pride of Stratford Awards 2014

2015
Winner – The Bright Idea Award
Coventry and Warwickshire Tourism and Culture Award 2015

Runner-up -The Kids & Families Award
Coventry and Warwickshire Tourism and Culture Award 2015

2016
Runner-up – The Kids & Families Award
Coventry and Warwickshire Tourism and Culture Award 2016

Runner-up – The Visitor Attraction of the Year Award
Coventry and Warwickshire Tourism and Culture Award 2016

The TOP Museum in Warwickshire (out of 32)

2nd Best Thing to do in Stratford upon Avon (out of 101)

3rd Best Thing to do in Warwickshire (out of 235)

“MAD’s ethos of entertaining while being educational is brilliant! The intricate workings and clever contraptions are fascinating!”

Gavin Hewitt

BBC Chief correspondent.

The MAD Museum will be closing at 4pm on Thursday 21st September 2017.