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Specimen of the Week 204: The ringtail skeleton and tail skin

JackAshby7 September 2015

The ringtail skeleton. Bassariscus astutus. LDUCZ-Z1116

The ringtail skeleton. Bassariscus astutus. LDUCZ-Z1116

For the past couple of weeks we’ve been closed to the public while works began to replace our ancient heating system. This means that my favourite parts of the Museum (basically where the marsupials are) have been out of bounds, and so I’ve had to branch out somewhat beyond my usual cabinet to select my Specimen of the Week.

I’ve kept it topical, to link with recent zoological (specifically genital) social media trends, and also to an animal that shares its name with a group of marsupials.

This week’s Specimen of the Week is… (more…)

Why Twitter is good for museums – making discoveries

JackAshby9 April 2014

Using Twitter as a way of building a community of support, engaging people in content and shedding light on life behind the scenes in museums (that we don’t just dust stuff) is too obviously demonstrated by the real world to be spending too much time discussing. Not to mention the power to market events and exhibitions quickly and cheaply – assuming don’t over-use social media as a marketing tool.

On Monday I conducted two pieces of “research” on our collection which sprung up out of the blue and would have been very difficult to solve without turning to our Twitter followers to tap their collective brain to find a quick answer. Both of them were on specimens that begin with “H” and end with “Bill”. Weird.

Tweeting Turtles

Hawksbill turtle showing his interesting eyes LDUCZ-X1177

Hawksbill turtle showing his interesting eyes LDUCZ-X1177

(more…)

Museum Week: Behind The Art

Helen RCobby27 March 2014

'Under Milk Wood' by Paula Rego, 1954, Oil on canvas

‘Under Milk Wood’ by Paula Rego, 1954, Oil on canvas

It’s Museum Week, which is proving to be a brilliant opportunity to get to know new galleries, explore a museum’s history and join in with celebrating the wonderful work that museums do – not to mention the art they have and the imaginative spaces they create!

There has been a different theme each day – and today it’s ‘Behind The Art’. Here at UCL Art Museum we thought this would be the perfect opportunity to rediscover some of the many female artists that studied at The Slade next door and whose work is part of the UCL Art Museum collections. We’re thinking Gwen John, Winifred Knights and Paula Rego.  (more…)

The great zombie apocalypse

RachaelSparks8 October 2013

Curatorial dilemma no 1: how to defend against zombie attack

Curatorial dilemma no 1: how to defend against zombie attack

On September 18th, UCL Museums and Collections participated in a worldwide event on Twitter: Ask a Curator day.  The plan was to have a handful of curators on call to deal with questions as they flooded in from a curious public. The reality was that we didn’t have many queries sent directly to our feed, so we went out into the Twittersphere to seek out interesting questions to answer. As Keeper of the Institute of Archaeology Collections, I spent an hour manning the virtual desk, and found it an interesting experience. (more…)