Monday, 8 August 2011
An afternoon in the Museum
Popped down to the Ashmolean yesterday to take a look in their Greek exhibition before it disappears. I'd been in several times before it was refurbished and stuck my nose in a few times after, but its the first time I've had a proper chance to look around since the makeover.
The cast gallery was much the same as I remembered it, although a lick of paint had brightened the place up a bit. The shop has also be moved ready for the new Egyptian gallery which I believe opens in November. The architecture makes the place seem a lot more open and spacious, and I love the way that you can look down to the ground floor and across to other galleries through the balconies and windows.
Each floor has an orientation station, which tells you about what you can find and links pieces together. I enjoyed the 'West meets East' introduction, which included a fascinating large tapestry of unusual animals.My other favourite section was the music section, which was mostly made up of string instruments and included a display on how violins are made.
Lots of the display cases are now themed, rather than displayed by period. I imagine that this could make it very hard for students studying, let's say, the development of pottery, but I really enjoyed the way that you could explore a concept in your own way. I only had a quick chance to look at the 'Ancient World' galleries, but it seemed to be particularly effective there.
I'm really looking foward to popping back again when the Egyptian gallery is open.