Just some ponderings about a recent visit to the BM
I had an hour or so to kill the other day while I was down in London doing some fieldwork, so I thought I'd call by the British Museum to see if there was a chance of seeing the first emperor exhibition. Although to be honest I was kind of hoping that I wouldn't be able to! - It's one of those exhibitions I feel morally like I should see... but am not sure why exactly! Maybe someone out there (Amy perhaps?) could sell it to me!
Anyhow, I haven't been to the BM in ages and had a very heavy bag full of err... essential fieldwork materials.... (I hadn't just been shopping for dresses to wear to the series of weddings that seem to be happening this year...honest!), so when I got into the Great Court I just decided to sit and observe what was going on around me. I have to say that this was fascinating! I used to go there for a bit of time out every now and then as a student in London, but had forgotten just how interesting it is to watch what people do in that space. So many little stories going on all around you!
I watched a French family with a very enthusiastic dad and less than enthusiastic child, who was made to stand next to the monumental lion statue from Kindos for a photo (http://www.britishmuseum.org/explore/highlights/highlight_objects/gr/c/colossal_marble_lion.aspx)
It's funny that when the camera was pointed her way she did the obligatory photo performance, you know the one, the cheesy smile etc - despite her original protests. You can imagine the scene: 'Dad...why do I have to go and stand in front of that stupid lion for another photo? You’ve already got me in front of the marble statue of a youth on horseback, the black siltstone obelisk of Nectanebo II and the Head of Amenhote' It got me thinking though about the biography of that lion, once placed at the top of a huge funerary monument in Asia Minor, and now the backdrop for countless obligatory photograph performances! I wonder what it would say if it could speak? And I wonder what, in years to come, that photo will mean to that girl and her family?
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.