Do we go to museums to see wonders? Perhaps things we couldn’t see anywhere else in the world; animals that are now extinct like dinosaurs or dodos, or creatures that we may never get a chance to stand alongside like whales or naked mole rats? I would say that we probably do, but that this is a bit of a ridiculous desire considering we don’t know how interesting the everyday animals in our lives are.
It’s always a wonderful experience when a museum makes you catch your breath in wonder. It is, after all, only in the museum world that I will come face to face with a polar bear upon stepping over the threshold. The feeling here is bitter sweet. I’m of course incredibly sad that such animals have died or been killed, but I am also fascinated by the skills of the taxidermist to create natural beauty and a seemingly everlasting life from death. Access to such incredible animals in museums also provides an excellent opportunity to learn, and I happy to say that on an otherwise sleepy Sunday in Tring, the museum was buzzing.
‘Is it more stuff in jars’, was the question from my boyfriend, who I was very definitely dragging along on this birthday treat to myself. And yes, yes the Spirit Specimen Tour at the Natural History Museum in London is a behind the scenes peek of their ‘stuff in jars’ store which holds around 22 million animal specimens.
Swimming through the air, mouth gaping, back arched as it dives; the newly displayed Blue Whale in the Hintz Hall of the Natural History Museum is spectacular. I was upset to hear that Dippy the Diplodocus was going to be replaced. He had been the guardian of the Hintz Hall for each of my visits, so it was hard to imagine how anything could take his place.
It’s taken me a month to get to this gem of a temporary exhibition but gosh darn it, it was worth the wait! Imagine if a museum asked visitors what they wanted to display . . . if they just put out a theme and then said ‘go on then, bring us stuff’. I mean that would be chaos, that would be insane, that would be A FLIPPING BRILLIANT IDEA WELLCOME COLLECTION – YOU UTTER LEGENDS.
‘I actually think this might be better than the Natural History Museum in London’ . . . direct quote from my long suffering partner in crime who I drag around every museum going.
If I’d left my heart in Tokyo, it wouldn’t have been down by the river (don’t you know) . . . it would have been here.
Have you ever seen a jar of moles or a penis worm? What about some dodo bones, or the almost complete skeleton of a quagga? Well thanks to the Grant Museum I can tick those visions that have been missing from my life off the never ending list of bizarre and wonderful things to see at a museum.
Eton College is regarded as the epitome of Britain’s privileged elite. Not many can boast their own Natural History Museum, but Eton College can. Tucked away down a side street near the ornate chapel, it’s open to the public on term time Sunday afternoons, also has an extensive outreach program to local schools in the area. Continue reading “Eton College Natural History Museum”
In the past museum have been the beacon of ‘no touching’. If you consider MC Hammer harsh in his touching policy I don’t advise you to go to any traditional museums any time soon.