Museums, like shops, are subject to all kinds of design fashions and fads - play areas for the under threes, interactive exhibits, etc. - but many untouched gems still survive with their Victorian mahogany display cases and hand written exhibit labels intact and a pleasant 'musty' smell in the air.
Lecturer Tony Peart (33) loves to seek out these forgotten gems up and down the country.
Last week he ticked off quite a few...
- High Wycombe (mostly chairs - but that's good because he likes chairs)
- Amersham (one room in a tiny house)
- Saffron Walden (unsurprisingly big on the saffron trade and pargeting)
- Banbury (in a new building but with spectacular views of a canal junction)
- Oxford (Ashmolean, Museum of Natural History, Pitt Rivers)
The Pitt Rivers is a truly remarkable place. It lurks in an atmospheric, semi-twilight state as an annexe to the Museum of Natural History and unlike most museums is not arranged by culture, geography or date. It's simply arranged by subject (e.g. superstition, the face, the human figure etc.) This leads to some outstanding and surprising visual juxtapositions.
What follows are just a few of the snaps he took, but hopefully they will whet your appetite to seek out the gems hidden in your own local museum.
We'd also like to see and hear about your museum and its contents (the stranger the better) so please drop us a line at:
grillust at cumbria dot ac dot uk
and we'll post them here.
The Pitt Rivers
African fetish figure
Japanese Noh mask
Jack White and Meg