Departure lounge ramblings on music, places, climate change and stuff outdoors

Posts from the ‘Museums’ category

Dropping in on Dr Johnson of Lichfield

I do love a good dictionary and Dr Johnson remains the master of the genre, three hundred years after he compiled his first such tome. This is why markontour and friends took a short detour to Lichfield on our long drive back to London from the English Lake District, for it was in this little Staffordshire city that Samuel Johnson was born in 1709 and his childhood home has be turned into a lovely museum and bookshop.

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John Kemp Starley and the two wheeled revolution

The ever-wonderful Vestry House Museum is currently showing a great little exhibition about the development of the modern bicycle and the Walthamstow man who invented it. As Walthamstow successfully experiments with mini-Hollands – neighbourhoods designed for pedestrians and cyclists – it’s fantastic to know that the bike itself has its roots in E17.

Artists and Empire

The best bit of the Tate Britain’s compelling ‘Artists and Empire’ exhibition comes right at the end, in the ‘Legacies of Empire’ room. Here, Hew Locke’s clever guerilla art sees him adorn a statue of Bristol’s founding father, Edward Colston, in cheap plastic gold trinkets, a modern equivalent of the tat that imperial traders exchanged for slaves. For, as Locke explains in an accompanying Restoration, Colston and Bristol’s wealth was built on human trafficking.