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  • Friends of the Grant Museum Annual Trip: Royal Institution & Linnean Society

    By Naomi Asantewa-Sechereh, on 12 December 2013

    Dried specimens of twinflower (Linnaea borealis)

    Dried specimens of twinflower (Linnaea borealis)


    Each year we organise an outing for the members of our Friends programme to visit other museums and attractions. Annual trips are a great way for us to meet the Friends of the Grant Museum and for them to meet other Friends. We try to visit places that aren’t normally accessible to the public or go behind the scenes. As the organiser of this year’s event I got to tag along.

    This year we visited the Royal Institution, home to eminent scientists such as Michael Faraday, and the Linnean Society, the world’s oldest active biological society. Here are a few of the things I discovered that day. (more…)

    The emergence of Empathy

    By Edmund Connolly, on 21 August 2012

    “We must learn to regard people less in the light of what they do or omit to do, and more in the light of what they suffer.”

    Bonhoeffer

     

    Although I may be hedging my bets by opening my first ever blog post with a quotation, I consider it suitably apt for the topic of creating empathy within the museum space. I recently met Roman Krznaric (founder of the School of Life) who has created the Museum of Empathy model, a space which, rather than just educating its visitors, encourages them to empathise with the denoted culture. This may be a case of understanding the labour and wage paid to go into the cup of coffee you drink, to facing the cruelties of enduring a hurricane.

    I must admit, at first I was not entirely sold on the idea, I failed to see why a museum needed to impose empathy on its visitors. Empathy is a very intimate, personal reaction, for a third party to dictate to me that I should be feeling empathy at a certain point in time jars painfully with all my British stiff upperlip-ness. For me, museums are places of education, beauty and self discovery, but it is precisely for these reasons that empathy is rendered so important a facet of the museum culture. Museums have become the medium of choice to discuss contemporary, community and even future issues that relate directly to the viewing public. They are no longer silent halls where times new roman boards dictate the meaning, dating or interpretation of objects; Museums are alive, changing and inspiring thought, but can they help one to empathise with the civilizations they define? (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…)