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  • Archive for December, 2012

    Specimen of the Week: Week Sixty-One

    By Emma-Louise Nicholls, on 10 December 2012

    Scary MonkeyYou think you know a guy and then he suprises you. Friend, relative, partner… no matter how long you’ve known someone for, they can always despise a shirt you thought they’d go nuts over or express how much they hate Christmas cake in a hereto unbeknown festive culinary revelation. I thought I knew the group of animals to which this week’s specimen belongs, very well. In fact, I’d say most, if not all people have some sort of knowledge base on this group. And yet, here, hidden behind other specimens on a crowded shelf of treats in a Museum display case, I discovered a gem of a species of this well-known group. This week’s Specimen of the Week is… (more…)

    Lights, camera, action!

    By Krisztina Lackoi, on 6 December 2012

    Ever wondered what happens behind the scenes at the Art Museum? Well, over the past couple of weeks we’ve been busy with filming and photo shoots. This may sound glamorous until you realise just how much hard work is involved, with an entire morning’s work often whittled down to a just a couple of minutes.

    film crew setting up for filming in UCL Art Museum

    Film crew setting up for filming in UCL Art Museum














    The Curator’s Egg*

    By Nicholas J Booth, on 5 December 2012

    Those of you who are based around UCL will probably have noticed the opening of the Octagon Gallery, UCL’s brand new exhibition space and the first part of the University’s ‘master plan’.  If you haven’t been to see it I urge you to. The cases are brand new and look great in the space, and we have used touch screens and AV for all the interpretation, so there’s plenty to prod and poke and play with. The idea of the gallery is to act as a show case for UCL’s collections and current academic research, and there is a wide variety of different objects represented.

    One of these objects  was recorded on our database simply as the ‘Big Egg’.

    Photo shows a large white egg shaped object on a wooden stand.

    Say what you see. It really is a Big Egg.

    When I saw this on the database I was disproportionally excited, as it’s the punchline to one of my favourite jokes –

    Q – What’s big and small at the same time?

    A – A big egg’

    (Armando Iannucci)

    On my first visit to the Science and Engineering Collection store rooms this was the first object I looked for and, when I eventually found it and unwrapped it from its bubble wrap (a bit like Christmas) I wasn’t disappointed. As you can see it looks exactly like a big white egg, but it also opens up to reveal a strange red cross on the inside. It can even be taken apart to reveal a pair of matching crosses. Why?


    Specimen of the Week: Week Sixty

    By Emma-Louise Nicholls, on 3 December 2012

    Scary MonkeyEver since I was a little girl (how many stories start with that sentence?) I have had an obsession with Explorers- polar explorers like Scott, Shackleton, and Franklin- the man who ate his boots, and explorers of warmer climes such as Dr David Livingstone (who I’ve met the great granddaughter of- oh yes) and Col Percy Fawcett who vanished in the Amazon on his quest to find the lost city of Z. If I had been born 100 years earlier I daydream it is my name you’d be reading in Museum exhibition labels. Excited was I therefore, when I learned the story of the specimen that I am about to introduce to you. This week’s specimen of the week is… (more…)