Hope in Hintze Hall

Adult Entry: Free
Nearest Tube: South Kensington (District & Circle, Piccadilly lines)

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One of the first things that hits you as you enter the newly-presented Hintze Hall at the Natural History Museum is movement. ‘Hope’ the whale arches at the apex of her dive, drawing your eyes in a graceful curve from the tip of skeletal tail to iconic gaping mouth. Historically, museums were restrained to a furiously horizontal suspension. Hope reinvigorates this assumption, brushing aside the old restraints as she dives silently towards the crowds below. Continue reading

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Hokusai: Beyond the Great Wave

Adult Entry: £12
Nearest Tube: Holborn or Tottenham Court Road

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In the history of museum exhibitions, big names do well. Tutankhamen; The First Emperor (and his Terracotta Warriors); Pompeii. In that order they make up the most popular exhibitions ever hosted at the British Museum. With that in mind, the British Museum have rolled out another big hitter for the summer: Hokusai. Continue reading

Every Object Tells A Story

Adult Entry: Free
Nearest Tube: South Kensington

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The title of this exhibition, ‘Every Objects Tells A Story’, hangs somewhere between pretentious and redundant, and is all the more disappointing because of how good everything else about it is. That dealt with, I can begin my praise of this uniquely presented exhibition.

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Hunterian Museum

Adult Entry: Free
Nearest Tube: Holborn, Central Line

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As someone who works day-to-day with the dry, safe, non-organic collections of Greek and Roman antiquities, it was a considerable step outside of my comfort zone to visit the biological repository that is the Hunterian Museum. The museum, housed within the Royal College of Surgeons, holds around 3,500 ‘specimens’, which is a pleasant way of saying ‘dead things in jars’.

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Fear and Love at the Design Museum

Adult Entry: Exhibition £14
Nearest Tube: High Street Kensington, District & Circle Line

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Breaking: New Museum Opens In South Kensington! In other news; independent coffee shop opens between a Starbucks and a Costa. Casualties expected.

It takes guts for an upstart museum to shoulder its way into the territory of multiple very established institutions. How could the Design Museum compete with the collections housed at the V&A or NHM? Fortune, we are told, favours the bold, but perhaps it also favours the principled.
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The Metropolitan Museum of Art II

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Lets move to our second case study: The Temple of Dendur. This temple was removed in its entirety from Egypt and brought to a specially created room in the Met, where it was faithfully reconstructed. It stands in a tranquil hall, one glass wall looking out onto Central Park, surrounded by a shallow canal. The room could not do a better job of inciting the grandeur and serenity of the original temple.

Do we interpret that the available space has improved the interpretation? Or perhaps only that the available space has increased the maximum quality achievable for that object. Continue reading

The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Adult Entry: Suggested donation $25
Nearest subway:  86th Street, IRT Lexington Ave.

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I went on holiday to New York last month. This was pleasant for a number of reasons, among which was the chance to fulfill a long-delayed desire: to visit The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

I have been to the museums in other major American cities, but sadly too long ago for me to review them with any clarity. This trip, therefore, provided an excellent opportunity for me to approach my visit critically and do some comparing with our British counterparts. Continue reading