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.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

China Landscape @ the British Museum

So. on Friday I took a whistle-stop trip to London to get some fieldwork done at the British Museum and the V&A. Whilst at the former I was sufficiently intrigued by the garden - that has appeared outside the main entrance - to take a look.

China Landscape is a collaboration between the museum and Kew Gardens, and recreates a Chinese-inspired landscape in the heart of London. Most of the plant species on 'display' (if that's the right word in this context?) are native to Sichuan province, which - given the recent, devastating earthquake - lends an extra poignancy to the installation.

The garden appeared to be fairly new; the plants don't quite yet look completely at home in their new location, but give it a couple of weeks and I'm sure the vegetation will be lush and the flowering plants will be bursting with buds. Well worth a look, should you happen to be in the area. The exhibition is free, and on until October 27th.

I've never before come across a garden in a museum, or - at least - one that forms an exhibition, with plants as objects. One ponders, could this be the beginning of a new exhibitionary fad?!

The entrance to the garden, marked by a calligraphy-adorned rock.

The facade of the British Museum in the background (complete with crane!)

A scholar's rock - for contemplation

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