Showing posts from May, 2006

Museums and Narrative Environment lecture

I gave a lecture to the Creative Practice for Narrative Environments students on the subject of Museums. My point was that a Museum can be thought as a form of medium, and that the Museum should consider a close definition of its purpose. It should then decide which media was appropriate for which purpose. To do this what was necessary was a narrative environment audit. i.e. information about the Old Operating Theatre might best be told by a visit to the Old Operating Theatre, while information on the history of medicine might be best dealt with by selling books in the bookshop, links on the internet, a lecture series etc. St Thomas Hospital might be dealt with by putting old displays on a workstation and on the web, a walk around the local area, publications on sale in the shop and lectures etc.

Wash that USB Stick

Just discovered my USB stick of the easy drive variety in the dryer following a wash in the washing machine. My experience of electronic devises is that any soaking means throwing them away. So I had no hopes it would work - surprisingly the only issue was that the computer failed to recognise it and wanting to reinstall it! When reinstalled it not only worked but it still had all my data on unharmed! Another success is that Pentax replaced my Pentax Optio digital camera after in went wrong just after the guarantee period.

Victoria and Albert Museum

I took an Elderhostel group around the V&A today. It is in the throws of major restoration work which has made it very difficult to navigate - can't help thinking they could have scheduled it a little better so that not so much continuous work is going on. Very nice to see that they are uncovering the original mosaics and ripping up the terrible black lino that has hidden the original Victorian floors. Hopefully, they will put together some of the original paint finishes too. The real pity is that you cannot get to the original Victorian restaurant rooms and that the Donatello room is unavailable. The Cellini Tondo is always good to see. The costume court continues to disappoint me - once it had a fantastic display of the changing fashions from the early 17th to the present day. Now it is bitty, partial and incomplete.

Busy Week in the Museum World

Very busy week - I've giving a 10 day long course on the history of London but also trying to help students from my Central Saint Martins Course while also going to visit the Heritage Lottery Fund for help with the Old Operating Theatre Museum. Some controversies and many meetings and all non stop. Poppy in China and the children decide to have parties while mum is away. Tough!

Modernism again

Interesting Dan Cruikshank programme on Modernism that filled in the gaps left by the V&A exhibition. Particularly on fascism and modernism. The text book response is that Hitler and Mussolini rejected modernism with its stripped down aesthetic for a backward looking neo classicism expressed in traditional materials or a nationalistic artsy crafty vernacular. the bauhaus was closed. Modernist texts burnt. Gropius, Van Rohe in exile etc and huge bloated architectural new Rome schemes set up. But, to my way of thinking this ignores the obvious modernist influences in Fascism . The design aesthetic of the Swastikas surely is influenced by modernismN EUR in Rome has a neo classical theme but surely very. Very modernist in conception? See earlier in blog for EUR -- Sent from my Treo

My list of pubs in Southwark

My list of Pubs in Southwark The George - Borough High Street Name: The Horniman at Hays - Location: Southwark Address: Hay's Galleria, Tooley St, London, SE1 2HU [020 7407 1991] Name: Royal Oak - Tabard Street Name: The Old Thameside Inn - Location: London Bridge Address: Pickfords Wharf, Clink St, London, SE1 9DG [020 7403 4243] Name: The Anchor - Location: Southwark Address: 34 Park Street, Bankside, Southwark, London, SE1 9EF [020 7407 1577] Name: The Barrowboy and Banker - Location: London Bridge Address: 6-8, Borough High Street, London, SE1 9QQ [020 7403 5415 Name: THE BUNCH OF GRAPES Address: 2 ST THOMAS'S STREET LONDON SE1 9RS Tel 0207 403 2070 Name: The Market Porter - Location: London Bridge Address: 9 Stoney St, London, SE1 9AA [020 7407 2495] Name: The Blue Eyed Maid - Location: Borough Address: 173 Borough High St, London, SE1 1HR [020 7378 8259] Name: The Globe - Location: London Bridge Address: 8, Bedal

Dentistry in the Neolithic

The Times 6 April reported a collection of drilled teeth Pakistan (Mehrgarh, in Baluchistan province) dating to the seventh millennium BC. The dentists used flint-tipped bow-drills for the removal of tooth decay. ‘In all cases,drilling was performed on a living person as they continued to chew on the tooth surfaces after dental work. according to Roberto Macchiarelli, of the University of Poitiers in France. No fillings survived, without something to plug the holes it would be very painful. Reported in Salon-IFA