Monsters in Museums

The nights are getting crisper, and darkness is descending upon the land earlier each evening. This can only mean one thing; “Winter is” as they say “coming.” But before Winter arrives, we celebrate that most bizarre of holidays. You know the one, it’s where we make shapes out of gourds, dress up as the things…

Jinxed Jewellery: The Case of the Cursed Amethyst.

Safely stored away in the Natural History Museum‘s special display of sparkling diamonds and mysterious meteorites known as The Vault sits a stone with a sinister story. Stolen from an Indian Temple in 1855 during a mutiny, it made its way back to Victorian England with devastating results for all who claimed to own this perplexing…

Greek Tragedy and Gladiators at The Guildhall Art Gallery

First opening its doors in 1886  to display the City of London’s ever expanding collection of art, the Guildhall Art Gallery made a massive discovery just over a century later (102 years later to be precise) when London’s Roman Amphitheatre was *finally* uncovered below the Guildhall Yard. I say “*finally*” because people – and by…

Desperately Seeking Walter

Walter Potter, Victorian eccentric and taxidermist extraordinaire has found himself back in the spotlight recently. His famously infamous collection of taxidermy tableaux (having been broken up and sold off a few years ago) now find itself –along with the man himself- the subject of a recently released book. Although I’m sure the PR and Marketing…

Shunga: Sexytime at the British Museum

“A foolish couple copy the shunga and sprain a wrist” warns an anonymous quote from 1861 adorning a wall in the British Museum’s saucy new show; Shunga: Sex and Pleasure in Japanese Art. With such a warning on the walls (along with a parental guidance one, naturally) this exhibition has piqued my interest, along with…

Dulwich Picture Gallery: England’s First Public Art Gallery

If you’ve stumbled across this blog before, you might have noticed that I have an interest in the history of museums after discovering traces of the world’s first museum; the Musaeum Tradescantianum  at the Garden Museum, the Ashmolean and a few others besides. But what about the first Art Gallery? The oldest Art Gallery in the…