#TakeFive - take a theme, find five objects, tell their story
To celebrate the reopening of the BRLSI, we have a new exhibition. Inspired by the highly successful Instagram postings, where every week five objects on a theme are highlighted, this new exhibition brings together 11 of those themes, ranging from ‘Cats’ to ‘Extinct’ to ‘Dragons’. Each theme illustrates examples of the rich diversity of objects from our extensive collections of artefacts and historic book library, donated by the citizens of Bath over the last 200 years.
How does it work? The five ‘Extinct’ items range from a Passenger Pigeon, the cast of a Dodo’s head, an enormous fossil Shark’s Tooth, a botanical illustration of ‘Hairy Spurge’, and a model of the Iguanodon that was made for the Crystal Palace park in the nineteenth century. The fact that none of these things are part of our natural world anymore is the sad fact that unites them.
We can, however, tell the story of each object and bring it back to life for a moment: the original life-sized Iguanodon, for example, was used in a Victorian publicity stunt that takes some beating. To mark the launch of the Crystal Palace display, a group of eminent Victorians were invited to celebrate the new year of 1853 inside its hollow belly, feasting on a banquet of mock turtle soup, woodcock and orange jelly. They sat inside the cavity, well lubricated, and clapped and cheered the speeches.
This approach of grouping objects under a particular theme has endless potential. With a growing digital archive of over 20,000 photographs, the possibilities of finding interesting and unexpected narratives and associations is endless. Every week there is a new posting on the BRLSI Instagram and Facebook pages featuring five images and captions.
Beside its Facebook and Instagram postings, BRLSI is currently working on ensuring that its collections can be made known to a worldwide public by displaying them on Google Arts and Culture, where they will sit alongside the works of over 2000 leading museums and archives.
OPEN WEEKDAYS 10AM-4PM
16-18 Queen Square