Imperial War Museum & Florence Nightingale Museum

What an absolutely incredible day! I have been told countless times by others how amazing the Imperial War Museum is and how I should visit it etc etc so I could not resist. To start, let me review the temporary exhibit: Fashion on the Ration.

This is probably the best museum exhibition I have ever seen. It was wonderfully curated and filled to the brim with fantastic objects. To begin, the exhibit explained how fashion during the Second World War suffered, but did not end. Rather, both men and women were forced to become creative and to cope with what they had. Like food, clothing was heavily rationed. The slogan of the times was “make do and mend”. It was incredible to see how inventive people became and what lengths they were willing to go to in order to maintain morale. Continue reading “Imperial War Museum & Florence Nightingale Museum”

Wellcome to London

Day one in London = museum number one: the Wellcome Collection. I was extremely excited to see this collection after reading up about it last year. The wonderful and bizarre contents inside did not disappoint. To give a little history Sir Henry Wellcome was a pharmaceutical entrepreneur and a keen collector of medical artefacts. His collection was first exhibited around the end of the Victorian era. It is now owned by the Wellcome Trust. There is a permanent exhibit as well as temporary ones that change from time to time.

I arrived around 10.25 am and was lucky enough to get a spot on a free guided tour of their semi-new forensics exhibition. It was marvellous. Do yourself a favour and look up Frances Gleaner Lee and her crime scene doll houses. She virtually revolutionised crime scene management using doll house models to teach up-and-coming police men how to look for clues and how to not tamper with evidence. What a remarkable woman. One of the models was on display and the level of detail Ms Lee went to is second to none. For example in the living room of the scene was a newspaper. Although just the front page is on display to the naked eye, each page has been filled out to be as accurate as possible. Continue reading “Wellcome to London”

Verzetsmuseum: Resistance and the War

I know I promised a review of the Sex Museum in Amsterdam but after visiting there isn’t really much to say. It’s a museum…about sex. You get the picture. There were some interesting parts – women’s lingerie dating back to the 19th century until today. Only visit if you have time to kill.

I should have premised these entries by stating that I have been to Amsterdam before. I spent ten days here early last year and saw all the big museums then such as the Rijksmuseum, Van Gogh Museum etc. This visit was more a refresher for the Maritime Museum exhibit. Since I have had some time left over I’ve been lucky enough to see the other museums Amsterdam has to offer. The ones I didn’t get round to seeing last time. Continue reading “Verzetsmuseum: Resistance and the War”

Tassen Museum & Het Scheepvaartmuseum

Since the wait for lunch is apparently long at this cafe I thought I might as well write my first museum reviews. This morning/afternoon I visited two absolutely marvellous museums here in Amsterdam. Since the wait for lunch is apparently long at this cafe I thought I might as well write my first museum reviews. This morning/afternoon I visited two absolutely marvellous museums here in Amsterdam.The first was the bags and purses museum.

As you can probably guess, I am completely enthralled by textiles. Handbags most certainly fall into this category. This museum reinforced the importance of a humble accessory showing how the bag has developed over the last few centuries. From bags with specific purposes to ones that were fashion statements this museum had them all. One statement that particularly caught my attention was that bags contain important elements of our life – what we carry can define us. What better way to see what value was placed on certain items throughout history than by unzipping the bag and looking within. Continue reading “Tassen Museum & Het Scheepvaartmuseum”

Spotlight: Anthropology Museum, Mexico City

What do you get when you combine an architectural marvel with amazing objects? The Anthropology Museum in Mexico City would have to be my answer. To describe how amazing this museum is would be impossible. Firstly, it sits in this huge park. Surrounded by greenery (even in winter) it is in an absolutely stunning location. The real beauty, however, can be found within.

When you first walk through the doors of the museum it looks pretty standard. Huge area with tiny desks and heaps of benches to rest on when it all gets too much. So you get your ticket and then it’s through door number two. You enter into this amazing open-air space with an Aztec column right in the middle. Water cascades down the column to the ground – literally the most beautiful entrance to a museum I have ever seen. Continue reading “Spotlight: Anthropology Museum, Mexico City”

Museum of Brisbane: Conservation Session

This morning was an amazing opportunity. Huge thank you to Virginia Gordon at the Police Museum for allowing me to come along to this conservation workshop at the Museum of Brisbane.

The workshop was conducted by a renowned textile conservator, Tess Evans. An hour and a half completely flew by as we learnt not only some tips and tricks for conservation but also had some hands on experience.

The workshop began with a short presentation by Ms Evans who explained the main reasons behind the disintegration of material culture. There is just so much out there to be careful of when trying to maintain and conserve a textile collection. For example, light damage is accumulative. So you put something out on display, think you’ll give it a moment out of the spotlight then put it back on. The damage will continue from where it left off. I am the kind of person that finds all this incredibly interesting!

Continue reading “Museum of Brisbane: Conservation Session”

Warrant to Search the Museum

This will be by far the cheesiest title I will ever use for a blog post. I have been volunteering at the Queensland Police Museum for a year now so I thought I’d write a bit about my time there. I should premise this by saying as a child I was practically raised on CSI and Law and Order. My father is an avid member of the British Police Memorabilia Club. It seems only logical that my fascination with the police and all things police-related led me to this wonderful museum.

I say wonderful for a few different reasons. The main being that I am constantly reminded when I go to this museum of why I want to get into this industry. Everyone who works there is not only passionate but so welcoming and devoted. I see a group of people who are in a museum for all the right reasons and this has encouraged me more than they probably realise. Continue reading “Warrant to Search the Museum”

Curating an Audio Guide

Very exciting post with regards to the audio guide for the Commissariat Museum! I have been selected to lay the foundations for an introductory audio guide tour. This is a fantastic experience to have and I am so looking forward to seeing what comes out of it. We’re using the IZI.Travel app which essentially allows for free uploading of an audio tour. I’m working on a general introduction tour so when people arrive at the museum they can take 30 minutes to get orientated and hear some of the stories in the museum. Continue reading “Curating an Audio Guide”

Easter in the Museum

Yesterday I held objects more than 2000 years old at the Abbey Museum of Art and Archaeology. To date, I have been volunteering as a research assistant, specifically cataloguing the Teotihuacan, Mexican collection of pottery figurines. One of my main tasks has been to carefully measure and weigh all figurines (in total 36). I can then type each of the heads and categorise them in the existent catalogue. Before I undertook this task the figurines pretty much all had the name “clay figurine”. Using incredibly recent archaeological research I was able to differentiate all of the figurines. In the future, these figurines will be much easier to locate! Continue reading “Easter in the Museum”

#Unite4Heritage with UNESCO

Thanks to social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter this campaign, Unite 4 Heritage, has come to my attention. It was launched this year by the Director-General for UNESCO Heritage in Baghdad. According to the official campaign website “the #Unite4Heritage campaign builds support for the protection of heritage in areas where it is threatened by extremists.” A major part of this campaign is encouraging everyone around the world to take photos of a heritage building or site. This can either be something important to an area or to an individual (obviously it can fulfil these two roles simultaneously). Basically, by raising awareness of heritage in your own area this raises awareness worldwide and may even help prevent any widespread heritage attacks from happening again. Continue reading “#Unite4Heritage with UNESCO”