The Museum of London is one of my very favorite museums. The mega-museums in London are a source of constant amazement: The National Gallery, The National Portrait Gallery, The Victoria and Albert, the Tate Modern, and the Grandfather of them all The British Museum. There is just so much stuff and, for the most part, I’m not allowed to (really) play with any of it.
Confession and question: I became a curator in the first place because of the call of bright shiny objects (okay fresco paintings) and the lure of the storage vaults, but doesn’t everyone kinda sorta wanna be able to explore the environments in historical rooms? Read Charles Dicken’s favorite books in his favorite chair by a fireplace. Have a look through the V&A’s Fashion and Jewellery & Accessories Collection to see if there is anything in the right size? (Probably not) Play an ancient board game with a mummy in the British Museum?
Oh there are opportunities to handle education objects or via reproductions or gallery interactives to simulate exploring historical objects but nothing that really satisfies the magpie in me and then, browsing the web this morning in anticipation of an upcoming trip to the UK I found an exhibition of photographs by Tom Hunter. The museum commissioned hunter to create a series of photographs in which he “he offers an alternative view of the passing of time in London” — what I like most about them is Hunter has used museum staff and volunteers, as well as others, in the photographs. Okay, so maybe I didn’t get to live out one of my little fantasies–but some somebodies at the Museum of London did. Cheers all round for the Museum of London who, to mark their re-opening, chose to celebrate their staff members as well.