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Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Field Report: Museum of Curiosity

Out in Soho last night what should I stumble upon but the Museum Of Curiosity. As someone who works in museums I'm always suspicious of things calling themselves museums when they are not ( in this case a commercial art gallery) but because it's more of a concept I'm going to give it a free pass.
You are first greeted when you walk in the door by a taxidermied ostrich in a glorious wood display case complete with object label. It's the show stopper of the exhibition and they know it. I very much doubt it would fit in my living room, but I would be willing to try.

The Museum of Curiosity has hit the whimsical and morbid tastes of the Victorians dead on (get it?) with skulls, bugs, butterflies, taxidermy, prosthetic limbs and the like jumbled in with candles, looking glasses and paintings. A cello who always wanted to be a ship hangs from the ceiling and you can even step into the disused safe room where the proprietors appear to be unpacking anatomical models.
Speaking of which, does anyone know what that building used to be? It's worth a visit just to see the architecture.

My conclusions? Definitely worth a visit. Beautiful building, beautiful art. Perhaps I'm just jealous because I couldn't afford anything anyway, but the Museum of Curiosity feels a bit like a gentrified Last Tuesday Society. Similar concept, but instead of a crammed moth-ball scented basement it's an open well-lit Soho gallery. But why compare? Visit both! If cabinets of curiosity are 'in' the more the better!

You can follow the Museum of Curiosity on Twitter @CuriosityMuseum, or to find out more about the Last Tuesday Society and it's Gallery visit http://www.thelasttuesdaysociety.org/

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