Featured string: Standing on the shoulders of giants: science in art We don't tend to memorialise scientists in art any more despite still producing great thinkers, any more than we really publicly memorialise military leaders in quite the same way; new statues rising in cities or atriums of public buildings tend to be either corporate … Continue reading Standing on the Shoulders of Giants: Science in Art
Featured string: The Splendour of the Ordinary Spending a lot of time with museum collections and history, as I'm lucky enough to be allowed to, means grappling with the surprising timeline of inventions and "normalisations" (when using stuff that's been invented becomes normal--this can sometimes be a large gap. For example, the first video call was … Continue reading The Splendour of the Ordinary
Featured string: Teeny Weeny Peeny: the phallus We're all adults here. Or at least I hope we are. So we should be able to face the following with some semblance of maturity: there a lot of dicks in art. Especially old art. So many gentlemen's members (very rarely are the members in question attached to ladies, … Continue reading Let’s Talk About Dicks, Baby
Featured Strings: If You Liked London Zoo, Animal Charm: Lovely Livestock From the earliest years of our lives and some of our earliest art as human beings (even perhaps before we were human beings), animals are everywhere in art. Before photography, art was the only way of providing any kind of accurate image of unknown … Continue reading The Animal Parade
Featured String: Against Nature This string deals with things that are or were at some point considered "taboo". The word itself doesn't come from English, but has travelled back to English-speakers with James Cook from a number of Polynesian languages, where similar-sounding words have the same meaning: something that's forbidden to do. Some taboos are almost universal: … Continue reading Against Nature: Changing Views of What’s “Normal”
Featured String: In the Beginning was The Word In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. John:1-1. Writing has been with the human race since at least 5400 years ago, and it's cropped up independently in more than one culture. Apparently one thing our ancestors shared … Continue reading In the Beginning was the Word: The Written Word As Art
Featured String: Disability in Art & Artists Disability in artists is usually presented either as the whole of their identity, often erasing the quality of their art, or completely removed from their story, leaving only the art in its place. With this string I did my best to find artists in the collections whose biographies … Continue reading Hidden Figures: Disability in Art & Disabled Artists
Featured String: Love & Identity As the curators at the British Museum no doubt found in 2017, when they began assembling an LGBTQ history trail to celebrate 50 years since the partial decriminalisation of homosexuality in England and Wales, it can be difficult to get really compelling evidence that an artefact has what, for the sake … Continue reading ArtString: Love & Identity
Creating the Women Artists string, I knew I'd face some hurdles.
Futureproofing: Disasters? In light of the recent and absolutely catastrophic cultural and scientific loss both to Brazil and to the world in the fire that consumed the national museum in Rio, there are a lot of questions to be raised about what the future is for museums as conservators and curators of culture to join the … Continue reading Storehouses of Knowledge or Warehouses of Risk?