Wearing a sticker, having gained admittance to a museum or gallery, must have been the in thing in 2012, but they are difficult souvenirs to keep. These two examples have survived because I must have peeled them off my coat, shirt or hat and stuck them to the back of my pocket diary for 2012.
The SeaCity Museum, which forms part of Southampton’s very striking Grade II listed civic centre, is home to a very interesting permanent exhibition about Southampton’s links to the Titanic. According to the museum’s website, “more than 500 households lost a family member“, when the ship sank on the 15th April 1912. I seem to remember that the Titanic arrived in Southampton during a peak in unemployment, so an unusually large proportion of Southampton’s residents went to sign on as members of the crew and service staff, but don’t quote me on that.
The Russell-Cotes Art Gallery and Museum sits on top of East Cliff in Bournemouth and was the brain child of Sir Merton Russell-Cotes, owner of the Royal Bath Hotel, fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and Mayor of Bournemouth (1894 – 1895), who built the villa as a birthday present for his wife, Annie. The pair travelled widely, buying things they liked and filling the house with them, until 1907, when they announced they wonted to give the house and contents to the people of Bournemouth as the foundation of an art gallery and museum.
It’s not the best reproduction of the work in question, but I had to take something away as a souvenir; “Le Parisienne” being one of my favourites [you can get a better view of it on the National Museum’s website, where the blue is described as “heavenly“]. I fell The Parisian Girl on my first visit to the National Museum back in 2012 [when I bought the souvenir mug featured previously in this section of my blog] and I would recommend the Impressionist and Post-Impressionist Galleries to any art lover. The National Museum Cardiff does not charge an admissions fee, so on all my subsequent visits to the city I have made time, however busy my schedule is [and what ever the weather], to sit down in front of this Renoir. I recommend that you look at some of the other paintings to, if you’ve got the time, because the gallery attendants might well raise an eyebrow if you rush in, ignoring all the other works, sit down in front of one and then walk away! The painting forms part of The Davies Sisters Collection, which includes, “Renoir’s famous Blue Lady, La Parisienne, Monet’s Rouen Cathedral, three of his Venetian views, Rodin’s The Kiss and other works by Manet and Pissarro“, so there is plenty to see.
To quote the The Peoples Story Museum’s website, “If you want to experience a real slice of Edinburgh life in the past, from workdays to washdays, high days to holidays, The People’s Story is the museum to visit”.
To quote the Bristol City Museum and Art Gallery’s website:
“Where else can you order your food with a view of a 17th-century chimney piece from Lewins Mead and eat your food with your back to a huge 18th-century bronze Chinese bell while being overlooked by two stone lions as two floors above a dinosaur skeleton rears up on its hind legs?”
I did indeed eat my delicious chocolate muffin and drank my tea with my back to this “huge 18th century bronze Chinese bell” and enjoyed every minute of it, as did my sister and four year old nephew [in fact my nephew still refers to the Bristol City Museum as “The Cheese Museum” in reference to the soft cheese triangle he ate on the day this photograph was taken].
A Bristol based associate of mine remarked that it must have been incredibly difficult to remove from its original position, but I’m not so sure. The plaque attached to the bell describes how the bell was acquired by a Royal Navy officer in aftermath of the Taiping Rebellion and I wonder if the bell could be moved quite simply with the right application of man power and an adequate amount of rope (two things readily available on a Victorian man-of-war, I would have thought).