The Attic (a name which commemorates our first physical location) is, first and foremost, a site for the research students of the School of Museum Studies at the University of Leicester: a virtual community which aims to include all students, be they campus-based and full-time, or distance-learning and overseas. But we welcome contributions from students of museum studies - and allied subject areas - from outside the School and from around the world. Here you will find a lot of serious stuff, like exhibition and research seminar reviews, conference alerts and calls for papers, but there's also some 'fluff'; the things that inspire, distract and keep us going. After all, while we may be dead serious academic types, we're human too.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Friday Cat Blogging #3

This week's featured cat and museum combo is the Moscow Cat Museum. Opened in 1993 as a result of a successful exhibition of cat-related works of art exhibited at INTERGALLERY in 1992-1993, the museum now features a growing permanent collection of over 1500 large-sized works. This is clearly the place to be for slightly unhinged cat obsessives (I count myself among their number, btw):

In this museum, the cat is not just a pet but a cult-figure of the house. The cat is an enigma which it is impossible to solve completely as it is the only animal which has been painted by artists from different schools, starting with realists and ending with avantgarde artists.

There are no stylistic boundaries in the Cat Museum and it is not important if an artist is well-known or not. Pictures from the beginning of the century stand next to modern drawings. There are exhibits made of clay and quartzite, wood and metal, batik and gold lace.

Her Majesty the Cat is shown either as a terrible but very lovely cat called Begemot, created out of different improvised materials, or as a kind-natured ceramic fish-cat, or as an evil witch woman who transforms herself into a cat. There are wonderful drawings with special magic. The "Lonely Bachelor cat" possesses this characteristic: the bright yellow pupil of the eye gently reflects the profile of a man and a woman.
But the most important showplace of the museum is the fluffy Siberian cat, which welcomes and sees off the guests. You can leave a message in the visitors' book by drawing "your own" cat.

(Fron the Moscow Cat Museum website)

The museum website features loads of images of contemporary (I use that term loosely - some are a tad 1980s Athena-esque) cat-themed art works and lots of features based on previous exhibitions and the background of the museum. While the owners appear to have a bit of a preoccupation with women and cats (i.e. check out the Beauty Contest pages, which - of course - I can't possibly approve of), the current exhibition is entitled 'The Secret Life of Cats'.

We presented the unusual look at cats - flying cats, fish-cats, mystic cats, incredible cats, cats from old tales, witch's cats, goddess's cats, cats from Ancient Egypt, cats from Middle Ages Europe, cats in love, scientist-cats, crazy cats…and another interesting cats from our dreams.

The exhibition includes paintings, graphics, ceramics, batiks, tapestries, collages, applications, installations, dolls.
(From the Moscow Cat Museum website)

Well, I don't know about you lot, but I'd certainly pay to see flying cats and scientist cats!

And now for some cats. These are the museum's resident felines, Bonnie and Massia.

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