Posts tagged British Museum

Decoding Anglo-Saxon Art by Rosie Weetch and Craig Williams

The objects invite careful contemplation, and you can find yourself spending hours puzzling over their designs, finding new beasts and images. The dense animal patterns that cover many Anglo-Saxon objects are not just pretty decoration; they have multi-layered symbolic meanings and tell stories.

A great article about the various intricacies and symbols that can be found in amongst the patterns on Anglo-Saxon jewellry. I hope this becomes a series and we get entries about stonework and other objects.
And whilst you’re on the website, take a minute to look at the wealth of other articles and exhibition minisites

Decoding Anglo-Saxon Art by Rosie Weetch and Craig Williams

The objects invite careful contemplation, and you can find yourself spending hours puzzling over their designs, finding new beasts and images. The dense animal patterns that cover many Anglo-Saxon objects are not just pretty decoration; they have multi-layered symbolic meanings and tell stories.

A great article about the various intricacies and symbols that can be found in amongst the patterns on Anglo-Saxon jewellry. I hope this becomes a series and we get entries about stonework and other objects.

And whilst you’re on the website, take a minute to look at the wealth of other articles and exhibition minisites

Another (albeit very succinct) celeb museum review. This time Katy Perry on Instagram and the new Ancient Lives exhibition at the British Museum.

Another (albeit very succinct) celeb museum review. This time Katy Perry on Instagram and the new Ancient Lives exhibition at the British Museum.

Celebrity Museum Review - Billy Bragg and the British Museum’s ‘Vikings’

image

Billy Bragg - “Bard of Barking” and activist, one of my favourite artists of all time. If you don’t know him yet, check out A New EnglandGreat Leap ForwardBetween the Wars and a NPR Tiny Desk Concert (all on YouTube). 
Post by Billy Bragg from his facebook page.

Shakespeare's Restless World - BBC Radio series

"In a 20-part series to be broadcast on BBC Radio 4, Neil MacGregor, the Director of the British Museum, looks at the world through the eyes of Shakespeare’s audience by exploring objects from that turbulent period.

"Neil uses objects to explore the great issues of the day that preoccupied the public and helped shape the works and considers what they can reveal about the concerns and beliefs of Shakespearean England. Contributing to the programmes will be Shakespeare scholars, historians and experts on witchcraft and warfare, fencing and food, luxury trade and many other topics. They discuss the issues these objects raise – everything from exploration and discovery to violence, entertainment and the plague."

Cultural Equality Now Conference at British Museum

Join some of the UK’s most interesting thinkers, including Mark O’Neil, Bernadette Lynch, Bonnie Greer, Sandy Nairne, Helen Weinstein and Rita Mclean to tackle the questions facing museums, galleries, heritage sites and libraries and archives today.

This conference is for practitioners, policy makers and researchers interested in diversity in the cultural sector. The talks will focus on keeping the access and diversity agenda alive as budgets shrink, who funds and supports this work now, the opportunities and threats of the Big Society and Localism, the effect of the new Equalities Act on different organisations, and changing approaches to inclusion in the sector.

55GBP

Conference fees have been subsidised by the British Museum to help you attend.

Museum Studies day at British Museum

Museum studies student day

Thursday 24 February 2011, 11.00–15.30 Tickets £10

British Museum staff give a behind-the-scenes insight into the running and organisation of an internationally celebrated museum. Education, curatorial and collections management staff discuss museum theory and practice, particularly in relation to the special exhibition Journey through the afterlife: ancient Egyptian Book of the Dead. Students wishing to broaden their knowledge of museums and the culture and heritage sector are welcome.

Full programme

http://www.britishmuseum.org/whats_on/events_calendar/courses/museum_studies_student_day.aspx

Tickets available through the Box Office

I went a few years ago when I was studying at Leicester and it comes highly recommended. If you are currently feeling a bit down or disenchanted with a career attempt in the museums field, this is the kind of thing is the kind of thing to recharge your museum-love battery.

Go there, listen and ask questions. And if they say something revolutionary or striking be sure to report back!

'I wrote 2U B4'! British Library shows up textspeak as soooo 19th century

hydeordie:

If u really r annoyed by the vocabulary of the text generation, then a new exhibition at the British Library should calm you down. It turns out they were doing it in the 19th century – only then they called it emblematic poetry, and it was considered terribly clever.

Details were announced today of the library’s new exhibition devoted to the English language, exploring its 1,500-year history from Anglo-Saxon runes and early dictionaries to not dropping your Hs and rap.

The show will demonstrate how quickly language can change (does anyone today give a second thought to asking for a latte?), and how the same debates and fears crop up time and again. For example, one of the exhibits will be Jonathan Swift’s Proposal for Correcting, Improving and Ascertaining the English Tongue, from 1712, in which he angrily suggests that English is in chaos and a state-sanctioned group of experts is needed to “fix” it for ever.

End of Residence for “Wikipedian” at the British Museum
“The project is to identify ways of building a sustainable relationship between the museum and the Wikimedia community that is both mutually beneficial and in accordance with both communities’ principles.”
Final blog post details some of the outcomes - expected and otherwise - of the month long stint at as the “Wikipedian in Residence”.

End of Residence for “Wikipedian” at the British Museum

“The project is to identify ways of building a sustainable relationship between the museum and the Wikimedia community that is both mutually beneficial and in accordance with both communities’ principles.”

Final blog post details some of the outcomes - expected and otherwise - of the month long stint at as the “Wikipedian in Residence”.


The decline of Britain’s public museums (?)

I think there is literally nothing about this article that doesn’t make me seethe with anger. It is snobbish, elitist, and harks back with some sentimentality to the good old days when museums weren’t attempting to appeal to wider and more diverse audiences, weren’t asking themselves, “what can we do to make our exhibitions accessible to the vast majority of people in this country that haven’t studied Classics or have at least a spattering of Latin and Ancient Greek?” And, dare I say? More fun.

Writing for the arts section of the Independant, Adrian Hamilton acknowledges that:

"there is little doubt that the change in policy after free entry has immeasurably improved gallery going"

But this only serves to unsettle him it seems, that museums are being - gasp - made more accessible to non-experts and people who have a desire to learn about objects, periods, people they haven’t encountered in their working-class education. Hamilton implicitly lets it boil down to this by earlier referring to the educated middle-classes in opposition to these “normal’ visitors, who read captions - double gasp - an activity deemed “vulgar to the more aesthetic minds”.

Having acknowledged that free entry has improved visitor numbers and bemoaning the costs of ‘blockbuster’ exhibitions, audioguides and catalogues, Mr. Hamilton wraps up by suggesting that consideration be given to:

[…] the reintroduction of fees for museums. Children could remain free, the elderly given concessions and, like India and other Asian countries, ratepayers and taxpayers could be given lower priced access.

So that would just leave students, foreigners and the unemployed then? Great!

Goodness knows what terrible experience Mr. Hamilton has endured in a British museum in the last days to move him to switch from his normal emphasis on “international affairs with particular focus on the Middle East, Iran and foreign policy issues” to museum economics and their temporary exhibitions. Perhaps he made the grave error of hoping for a personal audience with the Rosetta Stone on a Saturday morning when it was raining outside? Perhaps he didn’t show up early enough to get the 11.15am slot he wanted for the Grace Kelly exhibition at the V&A? Perhaps we will never know.

A new blog has appeared which will be tracking the experiences of the British Museum’s new “Wikipedian-in-residence”, an attempt to ‘bring Wikipedia in house’. To follow Liam’s progress and see what he is planning to this (wikipedia based) project homepage has a comprehensive ‘to do’ list he has compiled, as well as lots of stats about how the BM links to Wikipedia.
Snippet: 

Points of note:
April/May 2008 - The GIANT SPIKE in page-views, dwarfing the  rest of the graph, is entirely the result of the article Crystal Skull. The  spike corresponds to the release of the latest Indiana Jones film -  “The Temple of the Crystal Skull”. People searching for the film  stumbled across the article about the museum object instead.  Interestingly, a fair number of readers actually clicked through to the  BM website after they found the article they originally sought (as seen  by the smaller spike in click-throughs for that month). This  demonstrates that Wikipedia can successfully convert the casual  pop-culture googler to a cultural researcher.

A new blog has appeared which will be tracking the experiences of the British Museum’s new “Wikipedian-in-residence”, an attempt to ‘bring Wikipedia in house’. To follow Liam’s progress and see what he is planning to this (wikipedia based) project homepage has a comprehensive ‘to do’ list he has compiled, as well as lots of stats about how the BM links to Wikipedia.


Snippet: 

Points of note:

April/May 2008 - The GIANT SPIKE in page-views, dwarfing the rest of the graph, is entirely the result of the article Crystal Skull. The spike corresponds to the release of the latest Indiana Jones film - “The Temple of the Crystal Skull”. People searching for the film stumbled across the article about the museum object instead. Interestingly, a fair number of readers actually clicked through to the BM website after they found the article they originally sought (as seen by the smaller spike in click-throughs for that month). This demonstrates that Wikipedia can successfully convert the casual pop-culture googler to a cultural researcher.

The 99% of the British Museum not on show

I love the bit at the end that gently puts it out there that of 80 000 objects only 1% are on display and:

Although the museum rotates the objects on show, any item can be seen by appointment.

Endless. Possibilities.