I’ve always loved museums. On a rainy afternoon as a child, a trip to Bradford Industrial Museum never failed to please me, with its Shire horses and steam engines, and ancient charabancs you can climb into, pretending to be homeward bound, tired and sandy from a long Sunday School day out to Blackpool. Imagine my constant joy then, to be living in London, a train ride away from so much treasure – The British Museum, The Natural History Museum, the Science Museum, the V & A … Be still, my beating heart.
I’ve had to spend the last six Saturdays in London (‘up in town’, as the locals say), waiting for my teenage engineer who’s doing a class at Imperial College. So, having waved him off, I’ve been there in the queue for one museum or another every week, before they even open, armed with my sketchbook. I’ve loved standing there, watching people from all over the world, speaking so many different languages, juggling coffee and buggies and children and raincoats (this IS London after all), eagerly awaiting the opening of the doors, beyond which lie… Well. Who knows? You’ll only find out if you go in. Shall we? No, please. After you (we ARE British after all)!
So what’s inside?
Things that might give you nightmares! Things that might make you laugh.
Things that will make you want to go back, and back again, gazing into the glass cases at weird creatures you couldn’t make up if you tried. The world churned around me as I sketched these beautiful uglies – fast and furious, before another Dad wanted to get to the front to lift up his kid, to have a better look. We are GOOD to our children. And who am I to stand in their way? I’ve got years of the Industrial Museum to shore me up.
Of course, several themes started to surface in my mind, and so here are the first two pictures, inspired by The Natural History Museum. There will be more! It’s going to take me a while to work through all those sketches.
Which London museum is your favourite? Here are three of mine.
Natural History Museum http://www.nhm.ac.uk
The V & A http://www.vam.ac.uk
British Museum http://www.britishmuseum.org
****When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life: Samuel Johnson****