Wednesday, 9 February 2011

The Museum of Everything

(via Time Out)

Following on from our visit to see Brighton Rock, the weekend continued on a sixties theme with a visit to The Museum of Everything.

Close to Primrose Hill, the museum is in its third incarnation and this time has been put together with Peter Blake. His interest in British folklore and popular culture pervades the whole place - whether it's freakshow postcards, adverts for circuses or a shell grotto.

You start off the museum visit in its tearoom - with music blaring out and some Blake-esque tin signs on the wall, this surely was the 60s cafe of my dreams - and then each twist and turn through the spaces of the museum takes you to a new discovery. The place is crammed full of curios so it takes a bit of time to study each thing and I imagine everyone who visits finds their own little object of fascination. I was delighted to see a seaside shell clearly bought as a souvenir from Cleethorpes and a performance poster advertising the company's first visit to Grimsby (my little corner of the world rarely makes it into the wider art world).

(via audreyq)

I loved the room devoted to Carter's Steam Fair, pictured at the very top of this post, and also the work of Ted Willcox, an ex-World War II serviceman taught to sew who used his skills to create half-saucy, half-sweet pin-up girls motifs as shown above. The Walter Potter exhibit also proved eerily fascinating - stuffed animals that have put into all sorts of fanciful tableau (as well as Blake, apparently Damien Hirst and Harry Hill are also lenders to this show which figures). They were a bit too weird to put onto here but google them and you'll soon see what I mean. 

The museum finished with a miniature fairground created by Arthur Windley which whirled into action every 15 minutes. On a bit of internet snooping on my return, I realised this was where Juergen Teller had shot the new Missoni campaign (there are more fabulous pictures here). 

The museum closes soon - next week I think - so I urge you to go before it does, it really was fascinating. I can't wait to see what they put in its next incarnation. 

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