Updated: Jan 17
Itinerary of the day:
The History of Science Museum: my photos
The museum I found the most interesting was the Pitt Rivers Museum. The way they addressed the colonial history behind their collection of objects was very good, reflecting on the impact this had on the countries/communities they took them from and how the ways in which they were acquired were wrong. I think this is the best way to go about museums like this as its about having a dialogue with those who originally owned the objects and the meanings behind them, be it spiritual/personal/practical etc.
It was also very engaging to have so many different objects from all over the world crammed into the museum. Objects were organised thematically, so comparing similar pieces from different countries next to each other provided an opportunity to see the similarities and differences between each. Overall what I took from this is that it proves we are all very similar. Every country has similar ceramics used domestically, leather and metal armour for war or religious/spiritual symbols worn as jewellery. The racism and discrimination during colonialism that white Europeans were above other cultures and civilisations is completely disproven just by some of the objects 'collected' (stolen) in this museum. Words such as 'primitive' used to describe other cultures in the original descriptions shows such prejudice thinking. I'm very glad that the museum is communicating with the communities such objects came from. It would be a shame to just shut down the museum, but by talking to the cultures whose these objects belong to we can learn more about them, create replicas if appropriate and get the community involved within the museum.
When looking around the museum I was focusing on vessels and weaving, relating to what I'm currently doing in our unit 1 project.
The Pitt Rivers Museum: my photos
Visiting the Ashmolean:
We only had a very short amount of time here so I was focusing on anything that grabbed my attention. As I am fond of ceramics and vessels, you can see from my photos that that was what I primarily viewed.