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  • Archive for March, 2011

    Scribbles and skulls

    By Rachael Sparks, on 31 March 2011

    From a public perspective, objects are what a museum is all about. Yet behind every object is a story, built up from a range of sources and evidence, that enables us to contextualise that artefact and give it some form of meaning. This meaning may change as scholarship advances or audiences diversify. But without that level of research, we would have little more than a lot of nice ‘stuff’ on display.

    A crucial link in this chain of information comes from archival sources. The Institute of Archaeology is fortunate in having a range of original field records to support its collections, allowing us to learn more about the circumstances in which material was originally excavated. These also provide a window into the methods and practices of seminal figures in the development of archaeology as a discipline. The tomb cards written by Flinders Petrie and his staff are a classic example.
    (more…)

    Trapped in the desert – part four

    By Jack Ashby, on 31 March 2011

    A delayed account of zoological fieldwork in Australia – Part 10

    From April 2010 I spent about five months undertaking several zoological field projects across Australia. I worked with government agencies, universities and NGOs on conservation and ecology studies ranging from Tasmanian devil facial tumour disease, the effect of fire, rain and introduced predators on desert ecology and how to poison cats. This series of blog posts is a delayed account of my time in the field.

    Week Eleven

    This week I’ll discuss something interesting and unexpected that happened on our way back out of the desert – some community engagement. (more…)

    Who’s Great?

    By Debbie J Challis, on 25 March 2011

    The answer is Alexander, or more properly Alexander III of Macedon. In February I accompanied the Friends of the Petrie Museum to Holland to see two exhibitions on Alexander the Great at the Hermitage Museum and Allard Pearson museum in Amsterdam.

    Although I work at the Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology, I am a rogue classicist with an unhealthy interest in Greek Egypt. My partner in crime, John J Johnston, and myself had already planned to theme our LGBT History Month for 2011 around Alexander the Great in 2010. We were then very excited to see that two exhibitions were planned around Alexander in Amsterdam. Jan Picton, Secretary of the Friends of the Petrie Museum, suggested that I tag along on a Friends trip to assist with information.

    We also visited the Leiden National Museum of Archaeology where two Buddhist heads (see above) from Afghanistan in the ‘Greek style’ reminded me how far flung Alexander’s empire and Hellenic influence spread in his eastern campaign.
    (more…)

    Trapped in the desert – part three

    By Jack Ashby, on 24 March 2011

    A delayed account of zoological fieldwork in Australia – Part 9
    From April 2010 I spent about five months undertaking several zoological field projects across Australia. I worked with government agencies, universities and NGOs on conservation and ecology studies ranging from Tasmanian devil facial tumour disease, the effect of fire, rain and introduced predators on desert ecology and how to poison cats. This series of blog posts is a delayed account of my time in the field.

    Week Ten

    Last week I went through some of the activities I was involved in when I joined a month-long field trip to southwest Queensland’s Simpson Desert with the University of Sydney. This week I want to talk about the people who I was with… (more…)

    In Stone – Conservation and Stonework

    By Debbie J Challis, on 23 March 2011

    On March 10, the Petrie Museum hosted In Stone: Egyptian Stonework. The event was a celebration of the work done on recent conservation efforts, funded by the Friends of the Petrie Museum, and the mounting of stone inscriptions. Conservators on hand talked about the conservation process, while two geologists talked about identification and the provenance of Egyptian stone.

    Table with conservation materials onThe geologists set up a microscope to look at thin sections of stone and other stone samples, along with geological maps and fossils. Another table at the event exhibited special labels about the six large stones that were conserved recently by Clivden Conservation – which gave a behind the scenes look at how the stones were restored. Guests who attended were intrigued by these concepts and enjoyed informal conversation throughout making this a very successful event.

    Thank you to the Friends of Petrie, our Petrie Staff, as well as Eric Miller (formerly from British Museum, currently teaches at City of Guilds), Dr. Ruth Siddall (UCL Earth Sciences), and Dr. Charlie Underwood (Birkbeck College).

    Danielle Payton

    Trapped in the desert – part two

    By Jack Ashby, on 17 March 2011

     

    Cattle and zebra finch

    Cattle and zebra finch at a water bore

    A delayed account of zoological fieldwork in Australia – Part 8
    From April 2010 I spent about five months undertaking several zoological field projects across Australia. I worked with government agencies, universities and NGOs on conservation and ecology studies ranging from Tasmanian devil facial tumour disease, the effect of fire, rain and introduced predators on desert ecology and how to poison cats. This series of blog posts is a delayed account of my time in the field.

    Week Nine

    Last week I went through the tactics for trapping small animals in pitfall traps in the Simpson Desert where I spent a month with the University of Sydney’s Desert Ecology Research Group. This week I’ll talk about some of the other things that we did while we were there. (more…)

    Day One At The Grant Museum

    By Mark Carnall, on 16 March 2011

    After just over 8 months of closure the Grant Museum reopened its doors in new premises yesterday with a special late night opening until 8pm.

    A view of the new Grant Museum of Zoology in the Rockerfeller Building

    Image (c) UCL, Grant Museum of Zoology/ Matt Clayton

    After just over 8 months of closure the Grant Museum reopened its doors in new premises yesterday with a special late night opening until 8pm.

    Not only was it strange to have visitors in the space again the initial response has been absolutely fantastic. (more…)

    The Edwards Museum of Egyptian Archaeology?

    By Debbie J Challis, on 15 March 2011

    Last week the Petrie Museum had a packed house to honour Amelia Edwards with a mesmerizing performance by Kim Hicks. The actress captivAmelia Night 014ated the audience with poise and a bit of humor through her monologues and readings of Edwards’ travel tales. It took place to mark International Women’s Day.

    It also marked the re-display of the cast of a bust of Amelia Edwards in the  entrance of the Petrie Museum, in front of an image of her study kindly supplied by Somerville College Oxford. Amelia Edwards was a prolific novelist whose ‘sensation’ novels and ghost stories make Wilkie Collins (Woman in White or The Moonstone) look like a trembling violet. (more…)

    Moving the Grant Museum

    By Jack Ashby, on 15 March 2011

    Today has been a long time coming.

    About a year ago we agreed to close the Grant Museum from 1st  July, something that had been in planning for quite a while. Today is the day we open up again.  Here’s what’s happened in the last eight and a half months…

    (if you don’t want to read on here’s a video about the whole process:


    (more…)

    You’ve seen them in the lecture theatre…now see them in the art gallery!

    By Subhadra Das, on 11 March 2011

    Strang display
    A visitor looks at prints on display in the Strang Print Room

    Coming soon to a university art collection near you is an innovative new exhibition format designed to showcase art works from a unique perspective. The concept is simple: take one person whose specialist subject is something other than art and let them choose pieces from an art collection to share with the rest of us.  

    Pop-up displays at the Strang Print Room is a series of temporary, informal displays which will showcase selections of artworks as chosen by visiting ‘Pop-up Curators.’ There are no preconditions to their selection; the works they choose could share a subject or technique, be the work of a particular artist, tap into the zeitgeist, or just be the things they find utterly fabulous. (more…)