Saturday 11 July 2009

The Box of Delights

This mosaic designed by Robert Anning Bell was completed in 210 days, 
mostly by young women.
Th Neo-classical design 'Humanity in the House of Circumstances', 
symbolises personal limitations and personal aspirations.
The figures represent Arts, Poetry, Music, Endurance, Humanity, Love, Hope, Charity, Wisdom, Meditation, and Resignation.

The totem pole was London's first Alaskan pole carved by Nathan Jackson,
 a Tlingit.

Despite a considerable programme of modernisation,
the curators have had the wisdom to preserve at its heart
some of the original galleries and displays,
including this overstuffed walrus
from Hudson Bay, Canada.

Some of the exhibits will offend present day sensibilities

but there is something irreplaceable

about that peppery, musty, memory triggering smell;

that gloomy lighting and ancient labelling.

The new galleries are beautiful,
but as I wandered around them, 
I was more unnerved by the confused murmurings of
ghostly voices from projected images on the glass displays,
than I ever was by the stuffed animals.

And to finish, a temporary display of Wycinanki, 
The Art of Polish paper cuts.

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