The last couple of days have been filled to the absolute brim. I will try to combine them in one post. So yesterday being Monday, not a lot of museums were open in London. I was so lucky to get the chance to meet the curator of the Americas and Oceania objects for the British Museum! She was lovely and answered every question I could possibly have on Mexican pottery. I saw a few of the examples they had in their collection which meant going behind the scenes and checking out how they store the items and what cataloguing system they have developed. Needless to say I was in my own little museum heaven. I don’t want to publish the photographs I took due to copyright etc but I did sketch the ones I saw. Brace yourselves for the next Van Gogh… Continue reading Meetings and Medicine
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. Continue reading Wellcome to London
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
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: http://tassenmuseum.nl/en/. 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 Bags and Boats
If I wasn’t completely museumed-out in Mexico earlier this year then here is my opportunity to go overboard! Tomorrow I leave for Amsterdam and the UK to present at a Conference in Liverpool. My topic is how museums represent the trans-Atlantic slave trade. Along the way I am going to see as many museums as humanly possible. London is home to the most museums and art galleries in the world. I’ve picked the ones I’m super desperate to see and I’ll be writing reviews/general commentary in the form of blog posts as I go along. There are a few obvious choices left out of the list. There are a few I’ve been to more than once and that I’ve sadly sacrificed for the greater good of other museums I am yet to venture in to.
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.
Surrounding the water display are three huge buildings. To see everything in this museum would take probably a week. There is just so much to see I don’t know how you could leave feeling satisfied after only a day. I started in the most logical place I could find, the introduction to Mexican cultures room.
After this I couldn’t help myself and rushed to the Aztec Hall right at the back. Right in the middle of the hall is the Aztec sacrificial stone. Gory but amazing. The insight this object gives to the past is astounding – google it! If the stone doesn’t leave you awestruck the rest of the Aztec Hall will. Huge models displaying how Mexico City once looked as well as statues and jewellery can all be found inside. I really enjoyed seeing statues that depicted human ailments. The Aztec knowledge of the human body and illness was more advanced than you might think.
After the hall I headed over to the culture of Mexico building. There are so many rooms filled with textiles from all cultural areas of Mexico and how they have transformed over time.
After trying to see the museum as best I could solo I returned with our group a few days later. Our guide really took the objects and gave them life. A random statue of a lion became a symbol that once stood on the Temple of the Sun and was worshipped daily. it’s amazing how little bits and pieces can help you reconstruct things in your mind. From the tiniest of statues to the largest of sacrificial stones!
I really recommend this museum to anyone and everyone. It is one of the best in the world for its collection and display. It was wonderful to see a museum proud of its heritage and past, displaying it to the public and educating thousands of visitors per year.