Tuesday, 19 May 2015

BEDM Day 18 - Museums

Today is International Museum Day so I thought I'd go 'off topic' and think about museums.

I remember being taken to Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery as a child and loving the whole experience. I loved walking up the huge sweeping staircase, feeling very grand as I did so - maybe I had a Downton Abbey complex even back then! Emerging into the round first gallery and wondering which way to go first. I always paused to stare at Epstein's sculpture of the Archangel Lucifer - so imposing, so powerful; I've had a fascination with sculptures of Satan ever since and love the one in the Ashmolean. We always headed to see the mummies - my mother didn't like them at all but me and my sister insisted that we go and gawp at them.  One gallery that fascinated and repelled at the same time was the one containing stuffed animals - I remember being mesmerised by the hairs on the tiger's tongue! I sound like a gruesome little monster, don't I?

I love the V&A when I'm in London. There's so much to see that I can't imagine how long it would take to see everything in the museum. I wander at random and always find something new and fascinating to enjoy - on my last visit it was a Gothic chalice from Florence.

I try to visit the Ashmolean whenever I get a lazy day to amble through Oxford without needing to rush around the shops before my bus goes. Here is my favourite Satan sculpture and so many beautiful paintings including Uccello's The Hunt in the Forest - I could stare at that one for hours, losing myself in the depths of the forest.

So visit a museum, stare at the pictures, browse the gift shop and enjoy the richness of mankind's past.

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