I am Ashurbanipal, king of the world, king of Assyria, British Museum, London

I’m not even going to pretend that I have ever heard of Ashurbanipal. I am embarrassed to say that I struggled to buy the tickets because I could not remember exactly what his name was, but that is the truth. This exhibition emphasised what an incredibly vast gap I have in my knowledge and it made me want to go out and fill it.
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I Object, British Museum, London

I have not written a blog for a while, but it isn’t because I haven’t been visiting museums, it’s because nothing has really inspired me to write. I guess I have been in a bit of an inspirational rut. Then I went to see I Object at the British Museum and it had that spark that ignited my brain and got me thinking.

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World Gallery, Horniman Museum, London

The Horniman Museum and Gardens has been on my list ever since I saw images of their iconic overstuffed walrus. This ‘absolute unit’ (that’s a technical museum term for size, let’s all thank the Museum of English Rural life for that) shadows all else from his perch on a plastic iceberg in the centre of the gallery. The gallery space has echoes of its Victorian roots, with its original balcony and display cases along the walls although some of the pastel colour choices in the balcony area must be more modern. It’s a nice space, but it could probably be used better what with its large empty ceiling space, but this is all nit picking, because I’ve seen what they have done with their newly developed World Gallery.

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Which Way North, Great North Museum: Hancock, Newcastle

The chance for a full museum intervention does not come around often and the Great Exhibition of the North allowed the Great North Museum; Hancock to do just that. The result is pretty hard to describe; colourful, varied . . . random. The items on display are pretty incredible, presenting innovations and art from across ‘The North’. Hockney, Hepworth and Stubbs as well as John Lennon’s piano and Dr Who’s sonic screw driver and on display. Postman Pat and Wallace and Gromit, all sit alongside the museum’s permanent collection.

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Roman Dead; Death and Burial in Roman London, Museum of London Docklands

Displaying human remains always flags up ethical debates, but this exhibition is really effective in presenting individuals, not specimens. It tells you as much about the people as can be inferred from the physical traces they left behind, both in the form of material culture and their physical remains. Continue reading “Roman Dead; Death and Burial in Roman London, Museum of London Docklands”

Dippy on Tour, Dorset County Museum

I’ve been quiet, but it’s not that I haven’t been busy, there just hasn’t really been any museum visits that have inspired me to write. So I decided to break the writer’s block and headed to Dorset County Museum because, if you haven’t heard, Dippy (that famous dinosaur from the Hintz Hall of the Natural History Museum) is touring the UK. Continue reading “Dippy on Tour, Dorset County Museum”

A Mile in My Shoes, Empathy Museum, London

The Empathy Museum is dedicated to helping people see the world from a different perspective, through another person’s eyes. Launched in 2015, it has used a series of participatory arts projects that focus on storytelling, presenting the true stories of individuals in a manner that informs a visitor on the true impact of prejudice, conflict and inequality. Continue reading “A Mile in My Shoes, Empathy Museum, London”

Harry Potter, A History of Magic, British Library

I find it incredibly rare to visit an exhibition and find it perfect. This is very often not the fault of the team and designer who put it together, or the objects that have been selected, it merely boils down to personal taste. Harry Potter, A History of Magic, was one of those special cases where I really just couldn’t fault it. I loved it. It uncovered the world of magical history that inspired elements of J. K. Rowling’s books. But then again, exhibition visits are very personal, maybe I’m biased as a Harry Potter fan. Continue reading “Harry Potter, A History of Magic, British Library”