What is it?! British Museum.

“Museums enable people to explore collections for inspiration, learning and enjoyment. There are institutions that collect, safeguard  and make accessible artifacts and specimens, which they hold in trust for society.” Museums Association

While museums act as repositories of artifacts for the historical benefit of the keen and willing, it takes away much importance and significance for the which the pieces/art/works were originally made.

It is my intention to visit 5 museums, explore the pieces within them and document with keen interest, their content .

 

THE BRITISH MUSEUM.

I became particularly excited when the talk of visiting a select number of museums arose, and the first on my bucket list was undoubtedly the British Museum. This museum has housed an artifact directly connected to my ancestral origin and I had on a few occasions, turned down the chance to visit this repository of artifacts from all over the globe, out of the mere fact that I might be overcome by raw emotion and rage. This is a place that is dedicated to human history and culture, permanently housing about 8 million works and is ranked as the largest and most comprehensive in existence, with works originating from all continents, yet, I still ask these questions that never gets answered appropriately; weren’t these pieces stolen or looted? Why won’t these works be returned to their lands of origin in order to maintain the right balance and fulfill the main purposes for which they were made? I guess these are questions for another day.

 

Photo 09-10-2014 10 42 48

 

If anything, starting with works from ancient Egypt was the best way to kick-start my journey through the British museum. I was filled with intrigue and awe for the works on display. The style employed must have been very naturalistic, as this is evident in the all the works exhibited. The placement of the works within the museum has been carefully thought-out to create a very interactive connection between the audience and the sculptural piece, thereby striking the right balance.

Photo 30-11-2014 12 54 47

 

Photo 30-11-2014 12 54 56

 

Photo 30-11-2014 13 00 50

Photo 30-11-2014 13 01 03

Photo 30-11-2014 12 57 03

Photo 30-11-2014 12 57 14

 

Photo 09-10-2014 10 54 19Photo 09-10-2014 10 55 22

Photo 09-10-2014 10 55 39

Photo 09-10-2014 10 56 12

Photo 09-10-2014 10 56 26

Photo 09-10-2014 10 58 03

Photo 09-10-2014 10 58 16

Photo 09-10-2014 10 58 27

Photo 09-10-2014 10 58 50

Photo 09-10-2014 10 59 20

Photo 09-10-2014 10 59 50

Photo 09-10-2014 11 00 22

Photo 09-10-2014 11 00 27

Photo 09-10-2014 11 00 39

Photo 09-10-2014 11 01 07 (1)

Photo 09-10-2014 11 02 22Photo 09-10-2014 11 02 26

Photo 09-10-2014 11 02 50

Photo 09-10-2014 11 02 45

Photo 09-10-2014 11 04 58

Photo 09-10-2014 11 09 31

 

I must confess that I was overcome with indescribable emotion upon finally making contact with this piece (even if a case stood between us). The Queen Pendant Ivory Mask, stands revered as one of the most respected art pieces to originate from sub-Saharan Africa, representing the face of Nigeria’s buoyant and vibrantly diverse cultural background. I, initially expected the piece to be much larger than what was seen, and this made me appreciate it, and the skills of the master-craftsmen eve more. The strict attention to detail is phenomenal and highly impressive. The piece measures 24cm in length, 12.5cm in width and 6cm in depth. It is a piece that has been rendered utilizing a very naturalistic approach.

This will be the piece I pick as my main object in answering the question ‘what is it?’ .

IDIA CROWN

IDIAS

Photo 09-10-2014 11 09 55

 

Photo 09-10-2014 11 12 11 (1)

 

Photo 09-10-2014 11 12 24

Photo 09-10-2014 11 10 26 (1)

Photo 09-10-2014 11 10 16 (1)

Photo 09-10-2014 11 10 44

Photo 09-10-2014 11 11 30 (1)

Photo 09-10-2014 11 12 48 (1)Photo 09-10-2014 11 13 17

 

 

Photo 09-10-2014 11 13 34

Photo 09-10-2014 11 13 56

Photo 09-10-2014 11 18 55

Photo 09-10-2014 11 16 56

Photo 09-10-2014 11 17 04

Photo 09-10-2014 11 17 12 (1)

Photo 09-10-2014 11 16 37

Photo 09-10-2014 11 17 21

Photo 09-10-2014 11 14 30 (1)

Upon viewing the brass plaques, its evident to see that the Benin empire was opulent, culturally rich and traditionally vibrant, and these works were a celebration of such. The brass plaques also lays emphasis on the exposes to the military might of the the Benin empire, symbolic connotations as depicted in the use of animals like the mud fish and the leopard and also the presence of foreigners, mainly the Portuguese, with whom they shared good trade and diplomatic relations.

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s