Saturday, 16 May 2009
Oxford University's Pitt Rivers Museum has been revamped to shed new light on an extraordinary and sometimes bizarre collection of human artefacts. It is in fact one of the world's greatest collections of anthropology and world archaeology.
I was there on an art-school study trip some years ago and asked one of the warders to recommend a particularly fascinating object amongst the thousands on show. His eyes gleamed as he made his way to find it. Excitedly, I gathered a group to join in, our noses pressed up against the display case as he pointed to... a matchbox lined in cotton wool bearing the endoskeletons of two large insects dressed up like dolls. I was mortified. Later, I retrieved my curatorial reputation by discovering a transparent waterproof parka worn by the head flensing man of a whaling crew. It had been fashioned from a whale's 8ft long foreskin, oh yes.
For a more comprehensive and well-informed insight into the Pitt Rivers Museum do go to their website and checkout the panoramic tour which covers every aspect of this treasure house in remarkable detail. You won't be disappointed.
Posted by Rose C'est La Vie at 08:51