Thursday, 13 August 2015

Oxford Adventures

Oxford is a very pretty place to visit. We spent our big anniversary mooching around the lovely museums and enjoying their collections of weird and wonderful things. We started at the big blue door of the Ashmolean, taking a look at their cabinets of beautiful objects, and enjoying their exhibition of work by female Chinese artists, then looking at their modern art collections - I do so love the organic shapes of Barbara Hepworth's work. 

After a brief stop for Afternoon Tea, we wandered on down to the Museum of Natural History, because I really do love Dinosaurs and collections of things in jars and bugs with pins. It is the most amazing building, so light and full of treasures.

 And of course, it leads on through to the Pitt Rivers museum, the most fantastical place that I have ever visited, and even on my third visit I do not believe that I have absorbed all of the things that my eyes pass over. There are cabinets taking up all but the tiny walkways between, each filled with amazing treasures, organised in a way I had never seen before - thematically by item, regardless of age, alphabetically by cabinet and quite regularly without geographical restriction. 

"In most ethnographic and archaeological museums the displays are arranged according to geographical or cultural areas. Here they are arranged according to type: musical instruments, weapons, masks, textiles, jewellery, and tools are all displayed in groups to show how the same problems have been solved at different times by different peoples" from the Pitt Rivers website

There is everything that could be imagined - jewellery, toys, sewing items, hair pins, religious idols, musical instruments, weapons, smoking paraphernalia and even a whole case showing the "treatment of dead enemies". I don't think I could ever get tired of looking around, peering into those cabinets, they seem to show the whole of the history of the world. 

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