Tag Archives: #AtoZChallenge

The three York museums

There are three museums in the city of York: The Yorkshire Museum, York Castle Museum and the Yorvik Centre, and to some extent they represent the past, present and the possible future of museums. The Yorkshire Museum is old and was founded in 1830 by Yorkshire Philosophical Society to house their collection of geological and […]

The search for a xylophone

I’ve done this A to Z blog challenge for a few years and the biggest challenge remains the letter X. But this year I thought this would be easy, think of an object beginning with X and a museum which has one. X-ray didn’t get me too far, the Marie Curie Museum is in Paris. […]

War museums – the narrators of history

At the height of the First World War, Sir Alfred Mond MP, suggested to the then prime minister Lloyd George that a national war museum should be established. The war cabinet agreed. Mond travelled to the Western Front to study the best way to organise a collection based on war. And after a request from […]

V&A – all the arts

It’s our last trip down Exhibition Road in London, to the bottom corner, to the substantial building that was once known as the South Kensington Museum, then the Victoria and Albert Museum, and now simply the V&A. The V&A blurs the division between the already loose definitions of museum and gallery, it is both. It […]

Underground museums, the secret bunkers of Britain

Deep underground in Uxbridge is a museum. It didn’t begin life as a museum. It was dug out of the ground in 1938, by contractors, who were sworn to secrecy. The construction included pipework, electricity, telephone lines and sewers. The walls are made out of concrete, and a metre thick. Sitting above the ceiling is […]

The four Tates

There isn’t one Tate gallery, there are in fact four: two in London, one in Liverpool, the fourth in St. Ives, Cornwall. But the original Tate galley – Tate Britain – was initially known as the National Gallery of British Art. How did it end up being named after a sugar merchant? Tate Britain is […]

Science Museum – the problem of storage

For my N post I mentioned a road in London, Exhibition Road, that has three national museums situated on it. Today, it is the turn of the Science Museum, which is half way down the street. This is probably my most personal post because many years ago as a student I spent a year working […]

Railway museums, the big and small

Railways were not invented in the 19th Century. If you consider a track made from timber, you have a railway. These kind of trackways have been found on the causeways of the Somerset Levels and dating to around 5000 years ago! Moving forward, miners used wagons drawn by animals on tracks in Cumbria during the […]

Lady Lever Art Gallery – a philantrophist’s museum

Philanthropy and museums work well together. When needing to avoid paying taxes, what better way to protect assets than to invest money for the public good. The scope for philanthropy is broad and historically diverse. In 1739 Thomas Coran established the Foundling Hospital in London for orphans, while later in the century, William Wilberforce lobbied […]

Galleries – from long to national

Imagine a large palatial house, built to accommodate one family and a couple hundred servants. While the servants toil, the wealthy occupants have plenty of time on their hands. They would hunt, dine, make music, invite guests and entertain. On a rainy day, the ladies would walk up and down the long gallery, exercising and […]

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