Greenwich ship in a bottle ~

Ship in a bottle, May 26, 2012

Today’s adventure was to Greenwich to see the exhibit “Royal River: Power, Pageantry, and the Thames” at the National Maritime Museum — fabulous! At one of the museum’s entrances we saw this wonderful ship in a bottle, which turns out to be a brand new museum acquisition. It’s “Nelson’s Ship in a Bottle” by London artist Yinka Shonibare MBE (Member of the Order of the British Empire); read more about Shonibare and the campaign to give this artwork a permanent home here. Who’s Nelson you might ask? Admiral Lord Nelson (1758-1805) is a British national hero for his leadership in the Napoleonic Wars, most particularly in the decisive battle at Cape Trafalgar, in which he also lost his life (upon which his body was preserved in brandy for the trip back to London, where he was given a state funeral, movingly documented in the “Royal River” exhibit). Read more about Nelson here.

Dream room at the Geffrye ~

Late nineteenth-century room, May 25, 2012

Today we went to The Geffrye Museum of the Home, whose website describes as follow (we’ll join in with making the first sentence true!):

The Geffrye Museum is one of London’s best-loved museums. It shows the changing style of the English domestic interior in a series of period rooms from 1600 to the present day.

My personal favorite among the many charming interiors was this example of a late-nineteenth parlor; just to the right of this shot was a small upright piano. The room’s charm is maybe a little hard to pick up on without seeing the whole thing, but to bring at least this much into sharper focus I’ll add a slightly more close up view (below) of the curtain fabric, a bright, large-patterned floral print, which really added color and surprise to the otherwise quite formal space.

All the rooms illustrate middle class English dwellings, so it’s a little ironic that the museum is housed in an eighteenth-century almshouse; that said, this almshouse definitely suggests an enlightened view of giving aid to the poor!

A virtual tour of the museum is available here.