Shropshire Star

Tributes pour in for talented 'human dynamo' who helped fly the flag for museums

Tributes have poured in after the death of a popular Shropshire woman described as a "powerhouse in the museum world".

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Mar Dixon. Photo: Linda Spurdle

Marlene 'Mar' Dixon, from Much Wenlock, died at Royal Shrewsbury Hospital on Saturday, March 16 after a short illness. She was 53.

Her partner Paul Hutchinson said: "With a heavy heart I am incredibly sad to announce the passing of my beautiful partner and soul-mate Mar Dixon following a short illness.

"A huge thank you for all the beautiful tributes. Her family are taking great comfort from your many words of kindness.

"We are overwhelmed by the astonishing amount of love. Her light has not dimmed, it will shine forever in our hearts."

Mar Dixon

Former colleague Linda Spurdle, the head of digital at Birmingham Museums, said on X (formerly Twitter): "I am struggling to come to terms with the loss of Mar Dixon.

"She had an amazing gift of making and forging friendships, and I know we are all hit hard by this terrible news.

"She was a human dynamo at her best.

“She loved to be called a troublemaker, and it was always good trouble. Her reaction to a problem was always 'what can we do about this?'"

Peter Reavill, former finds liaison officer for the Portable Antiquities Scheme in Shropshire, said Mar was a "powerhouse in the museum world and one of Shropshire's very talented museum people who hid behind the scenes allowing her actions to speak".

He said her death was "a huge sector loss".

Mar Dixon (left) in 2013 with Anna Brennand at the Ironbridge Gorge Trust and John Hughes, museum development officer and event coordinator. Photo: Rose Pearce

A spokesperson for The National Lottery Heritage Fund said: "We're saddened to hear the news.

"Mar Dixon had an inspiring passion for the positive impact social media had on museum and heritage organisations and was a big supporter of our annual #HeritageTreasures day. Condolences to her family and friends."

Mar Dixon is credited with facilitating a variety of international social media campaigns rooted in audience development, starting social media trends such as #AskACurator and #MuseumSelfie.

Through her talents she was able to harness social media’s popularity and accessibility to help demystify museums and encourage personal connections with the arts.