So, there is a great story behind this painting: "The painting is believed to be the result of a challenge between father, William Nicholson, and son. Nicholson senior, whilst looking at one of his son's works showing a single jug, commented, 'but why one jug?' to which his son, Ben, replied 'well, why don't you paint a hundred?' Here we see the result - Nicholson's still-life 'tour de force'."
Why did he have this many jugs? In part, because of his still life paintings.
"The jugs, mainly English pottery and some china ones, were an important part of Nicholson's life. They adorned the surroundings in which he lived. His son, Ben, later admitted, 'But of course I owe a lot to my father - especially his poetic ideal and his still-life theme. That didn't come from Cubism as some people think, but from my father - not only from what he did as a painter, but from the beautiful striped and spotted jugs and mugs and goblets…. which he collected. Having those things throughout the house was an unforgettable early experience for me'. (Sunday Times, 26th April 1963)."
Our location is a Very Rural tourist information centre, with two visitors, two volunteers and a boarder collie.
Me: We did try to visit the local museum, but it was closed.
Tourist information lady: That is strange. It's after Easter and before October, and it's a Tuesday, and it's not gone half one yet. It should be open, David is very keen.
Her friend: Unless The Other David was due on today?
TIL: I'll phone David for you and ask him to pop down and open the museum.
Me: Stammers about that not being necessary, really, even as she's making the call.
*quiet fear that this is about to go full League of Extraordinary Gentlemen*
TIL: He's not picking up.
Me: THANKS BUT DON'T WORRY ABOUT IT, WE'LL CHECK OUT THE OLD CINEMA INSTEAD!
*visitors politely flee*
I'm not a raging Star Wars fan, perhaps a bit more so than the usual bod on the street, so the May The Toys Be With You
exhibition at Leicester museum pricked my attention, and was also a great way to catch up with two Star Wars fans and small child at the same time.
Rather than trying (and inevitably failing) to write a polished review, this is going to be the first of my “Explaining it in a pub” reviews. Essentially, the near stream of consciousness I'd give if you asked me “How was that place you went to? Worth it?”
We were excited as we entered the Exhibition space, the first few cabinets had some familiar and some unusual toys, and quickly made a direct connection to a local manufacturer, which helped the exhibition feel genuinely relevant rather than just a crowd pleaser. We could see there were lots of cabinets, well set out with space for excited kids, plus large decals on the otherwise white walls.
I've been very rubbish about posting museum reviews, usually because I write up half my notes, then leave the document languishing for ages, and finally come back to it and either:
A. Forget what the rest of the notes mean.
B. The exhibition it's about has finished.
C. Both of the above. Which might make for an interesting-ish, but not actually useful blog post.
So I'm going to be giving you some reviews I’m thinking of as “Explaining it in a pub”. Sort of stream of consciousness, or bullet point pros, cons, what grabbed my attention, a bit of gut reaction, with not too much in depth museum jargon or analysis.
Essentially, how I'd chat to a reasonably interested mate if they asked me in a pub “How was that place you went to the other weekend? Worth it?”
The fist of these will be coming up soon about the Star Wars toy exhibition at Leicester museum, hopefully, before the exhibition finishes…
That silence you hear?
That's the blissful silence of a room not full of 11 to 16 year old children.
Because they just ran through half of the museum like a swarm of whooping vermin and are now two rooms away.
Dear teacher, if you have just entered the room and are greeted by blissful silence, that's probably an indicator that your students are in another room.
If your students are in another room, you are no longer accompanying them on their visit.
Now is not the time for you to take a slow and gentle stroll, engrossed in each cabinet's contents.
Please don't look at me like that when I ask you to be in the same room as them.
It's not my fault that you bought a group of howler monkeys into a public space, who glared at me with barely veiled disdain and amusement when I asked them to stop running and shouting, and pointed out all of the glass hazards and other visitors.
Asking your oldest student to make sure the others don't go into the third room is a sort of solution.
Half your students are now accompanied, the other half are now only one room away. Which is an improvement.
Eight students are leaning on a set of doors, obeying "Don't go in that room yet" while also forming an attractive barricade.
There are another couple chasing each other in circles around a glass cabinet.
There's no education session or tour arranged, but trying to get them on board with not just running and yelling is worth a try.
Attempts to engage them in looking at things and taking an interest in anything for more than ten seconds is greeted by sullen silence, or flickering mayfly attention spans accompanied by yelled exclamations, or flat out walking away to annoy each other.
The teacher, now in the room, is vaguely apologetic, and haphazard in any attempt to regain control.
Yes, they are obviously enjoying themselves. But not really in any way I'd describe as positive.
Shouting "That looks like your minger sister! Minger! Minger! Minger!" is, in a way, engaging with the exhibits.
Hang on, those six kids in the cafe... Oh, so they are part of the school group, but were slow eating lunch and the teacher decided they could catch up once finished.
Shall we revisit - If your students are in another room, you are no longer accompanying them on their visit?
The awkward moment when your museum finds that a local facebook page has been cheerfully copy/pasting your facebook events to create Their Own event pages, because they think it'll help your events reach more people.
What is mainly seems to do is reach people, confuse them, and make them frustrated over unanswered questions in the event discussion section.
Why didn't we answer your question on the event page? We weren't notified about a question on the event page. There isn't a question on the event page. Oh, that's a link to an event page which isn't ours. But looks exactly like our event page...
Road to hell, best intentions, paving, and all that.
Webcomic and occasional blog about the heritage sector.
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