Sunday, 10 August 2014

Brighton Museum & Art Gallery: Part 1

Brighton Museum & Art Gallery, with token gull
Yesterday, I met up in Brighton with a school friend, V, and we had a nose around the museum and art gallery!
Asides from injecting a little culture into life, this is also another step towards a goal from The List:
010. Visit 30 museums/art galleries/exhibitions
Brighton Museum and Art Gallery is at 19th century building tucked away in a corner of the Royal Pavillion Gardens, originally part of George IV's stable complex!

Bit opulent for horses, isn't it?!
I like visiting this place, although it's been quite a while since I last went in.
Exhibits include:
  • Pottery
  • Local History
  • Natural History
  • Fashion
  • World Art
  • Fine Art
  • Loads more!
I took a load of photos, so am splitting this into two posts: Upstairs and Downstairs!
This post covers some of what can be found downstairs...

Of course, I have to start with the lips sofa...

I love Surrealism, so I'm happy that a little corner of the museum includes something so iconic!
There is an entire room dedicated to furnishings, which includes miniature replicas of the lips sofa and another chair, where visitors can sit and take photos (let's face it, everyone wants their picture taken on a lips sofa...I didn't, because so many people were there doing it!)

This sweet tea-time set was on the table to the left of the lips sofa. I really adore the design and colours that were used. I find it interesting because, at a distance, you'd be forgiven for mistaking the pattern as being William Morris! Only when you move closer do you realise the pink is not birds, but gloves!

Speaking of birds, this light really caught my eye! Rather beats what you'd find at IKEA, doesn't it? Just imagine the sort of place this would have been found, in its day. Hanging in the gallery, it has become a reminder of the glamour of the past.

The Museum Cat
 This large cat is in the shop/information area. It is the museum cat! I recall seeing something similar on a school trip to some London museum.

In the pottery and porcelain section, there were all manner of items to look at. This is the only picture I took that came out, though you can see the reflection of my feet, as though they are protruding from the bottom of the bowl! I love the slogan written inside, and heartily agree!

Being a seaside city, Brighton Museum & Art Gallery has a room dedicated to seaside-y things! There are models of piers, and some old arcade machines - such as this fortune-telling machine - to name but a few exhibits.

The museum even boasts an old shop front! The shop window is filled with corks, and handwritten signs claiming it to be the last cork maker! As you can see, there is a sign by the door: "Beall & Co, The Cork Factory, 51 Gardner Street". Being that Gardner Street is within the trendy North Laine area of Brighton, I looked up what is there now. It's now The New Fabric Fair!

My favourite part of Brighton Museum & Art Gallery has to be the Ancient Egypt exhibition. Though spread across two separate rooms and only being small, it's really interesting. Of course I may be biased because I've been into Ancient Egypt since I was around 8 years old!

The Ancient Egyptians were known for their pyramids, mummies and the sphinx, but the little things are just as fascinating. These little amulets - be they worn, carried or buried with the dead - would have been hand-carved with tools far inferior to those we have today. No laser-cutters for them, just a steady hand and an abundance of skill.

There are a number of items of pottery within the exhibit. I particularly like this one, with the face.
I have to reccommend the Ancient Egypt section in particular on a hot day, as it's temperature-controlled so lovely and cool :)

These sandals are almost hidden away in the corner of one of the rooms. Made from leather and wood and originally painted, they have survived millennia--they date from the First Intermediate Period, which is 2180-2025 BC!

Sandals are a good place to finish this post, as we move upstairs, to find fashion, costume and more...

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