The British Museum

I love the British Museum.  Love it love it love it.

During GCSE Art, I’d go camp out in the South East Asian gallery and just draw stuff.  Not very well, I hasten to add – my Art report always called me ‘bold’, a nice way of saying ‘can’t draw a straight line if she tries’.  I’d sit and stare at gods with more arms than sense, at the ten-headed demon carved in ivory, at elephant-headed Ganesh and the serene smile of Chubby Buddha, Skinny Buddha, Teaching Buddha, Crowned Buddha and all Buddhas in between.

At RADA, the British Museum was a place to run away from the chaos.  During lunch breaks, I’d sneak down to the Islamic Art section and stare at plates adorned with great swirls of text, and wonder whether, if you understood the words, interesting messages or parables would be revealed as you ate your way down to the porcelain below.

Now, it’s where I go with friends to have fun.  When my Medic Mate went to Nepal for a few months, there was a veritable battle between her friends for the honour and privilege of borrowing her British Museum membership card for a few weeks at a go.  When I met the father of a friend, it was in the Mesopotamian section, sat on a bench between two roaring Hittite lions.  ‘By the pony’ is a standard statement for setting a meeting place, the pony in question being a little Roman chap on top of a marble horse.  I love the Japanese prints, including the modern-day ones of cityscapes and towers, rendered in the same style as ancient drawings of Mt. Fuji by long-dead masters.  I could stare at the intricacy of carved scenes in green jade, or try for hours to follow the pattern in red lacquerware in the Chinese section.

I love the British Museum.  I will never, ever get bored there.

 

4 Comments:

  1. (As normal) I agree with everything you say.

    The British Museum is easily my favourite museum in the world (that I have visited thus far) and I have wiled away many a lazy day exploring the contents that lay within. There is always something new to see – or an old favourite to revisit – and so it’s near impossible to be bored within its walls.

  2. I have a confession to make – I’ve been in London for almost 2 years and I still haven’t visited the British Museum. My excuse is that the Museum of London keeps me occupied; I love it like you love this one. And I recently discovered the Petrie Museum…

  3. I was at the BM for the first time in 10 years last week while on a holiday from Australia. (I’m back home now) I’m always amazed by what can be found in there and I only had time to scratch the surface while I was there. The other museums I love in London are the V&A for its sheer variety and the Wallace Collection for its elegance. I’d love to be able to visit them all again some day but its such a long and physically taxing trip in economy class.

  4. We go and look at John Dee’s scyring glass whenever we’re passing through. It’s not just in case mystical messages might appear.

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