In the eye of the beholder…

With in the span of about a week I went to the Nautical museum and the Museum of Ethnography. The are neighbors, I should have just done them in one fell swop. Although I didn’t have the time on my first visit and I did get some exercise walking there. There are a few more museums in the vicinity although not part of the “free admission”-decree so I won’t bother ( the museum of Sports anyone? If it’s not free I’m not touching that place with a stick).

This is a classic excursion for schools, I remember having been more then once during my school years and a few times after that too! They’ve had some really cool exhibitions like one about Voodoo that I much enjoyed. They also have some wonderful objects like fabrics and bowls in their collections and nowadays they are put on displace like a cabinet of curiosities. I can ogle for hours, almost pressing my face to the glass to get a good look at them, and they are impossible to photograph well with a phone.

As I understand it, this is now part of the permanent exhibit. Another thing that has been there for years is the Japanese tea pavilion. I think such a thing would make more sense at the museum of South-East Asian art but here it is. And lovely at that, placed in amongst the greenery creating a calm surrounding for it. I’ve menat for the longest time to visit and take part in the tea ceremonies that they host there but not yet. One day I’ll manage (however I have been a part of a tea ceremony but that was at the British museum).

And there are bits and bobs of other things, some Native American headdresses, a kimono or two, that sort of thing. It feels like the museum is in transition; from an old narrative of “we just view things” to a greater realisation that what you see depends on who you are. It must be a tricky path bringing collection like these into the future. I’m  not expressing  novel ideas here, I guess a fair amount of literature in the discipline of sociology is devoted to it.

The current temporary exhibit is one about values and norms, focusing on the LGBT community. It is directed, I would imagine, to school children and as that it is probably very good. A reasonable and pedagogical introduction to a topic that can be difficult to talk about. I had a look at it and then went back to drooling over luxurious fabrics.

The restaurant and the shop are both good.

And that’s that. I can tick it of my little list and move on. Not all museum visits are life-changing and not all blog-post are good. Done is better then perfect.

Things mentioned in this post;

The museum of Ethnography



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