The Splendour of the Ordinary

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

Against Nature: Changing Views of What’s “Normal”

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”

Iconoclasm: The Death Of History

Featured String: Iconoclasm & the Reformation What's all this then? The word "Iconoclasm" was coined originally to describe two specific periods of history. This "war on icons" (images of divinities), the First and Second Iconoclasms, took place between 726--787CE and then again between 814--842CE, in the early Christian Byzantine Empire which covered much of modern-day Turkey, … Continue reading Iconoclasm: The Death Of History

ArtString: Love & Identity

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