It was one day during my holidays that I had the urge to visit one of my all-time favourite museums – the Horniman Museum. The fact that if was founded by a tea merchant just adds to the reasons of why I love it and apparently you can still buy Horniman Tea in Spain…
I was at the museum a while ago, but the time was ripe for a repeat visit. Through the still-sleepy fug of the early morning, one thought came screaming to the forefront of my mind.
“HANG ON A SECOND, HAS THE WALRUS GONE TO MARGATE YET?!”
Luckily, the walrus does not set off until 25th May as part of Turner Contemporary’s Curiosity: Art and the Pleasures of Knowing exhibition, so I still had plenty of time to pop in and say “Hello” to my not so little friend.
In an ironic schoolboy error, my visit coincided with the half term holidays. I love the Horniman to bits, but let me give you this one piece of advice; don’t visit during the school holidays. I have nothing against kids in museums, in fact I’m all for it, but I found the experience a bit overwhelming. The picture above doesn’t even come close to capturing the chaotic cacophony children can’t help but make when they’re genuinely excited. It was really easy to see how this place was shortlisted for the Family Friendly Museum Award in 2011.
After some ducking and weaving, I get close up to perhaps the most famous Walrus in England – nay! the World! Overstuffed and much beloved by all who visit, the Walrus really is the heart of the museum’s collection, it will be really interesting to see what happens when he’s on vacation…
Anyway if you can’t make it all the way to South East London to visit, no worries, the Horniman “does digital” with the best of them. Their Twitter feed is always interesting, and they have lots of interesting projects such as their Bioblitz and their Museum Pics tumblr.
One final note; have you heard about the Horniman’s infamous Cheese Horse???
You can see badges from the Horniman Museum over at the Museum of Museum Badges.