2018 Spring Rebecca Roman Temple Exchange UEA

London: Lessons in Museum-Going

As I’ve touched on in previous entries, London is a massively sized city. It rivals New York in this way, along with also being one of the main banking headquarters of the world. Central London is littered with tall suits and briefcases rushing to another day in the corporate life. They walk with purpose and urgency; two traits that aren’t exactly typical of outsiders–like me.
Spending a few days in London has given me the opportunity to take in all the sights and popular destinations that the city offers. Well, it was a start at least. It was impossible for me to see everything I want see in London in only three days, and the past three days have been jam-packed.
Some of the biggest attractions of London for me are the countless museums and galleries. The British Museum for example, with its FREE admission, houses the most extensive, and impressive, collection of artifacts from across the world I have ever seen. I spent three hours spent in there and I’m certain that I didn’t even get through half of museum. The British Library was another one of my priority stops–free, as any good library is, and overflowing with countless, priceless artifacts and original sources. Beyond just literature, it hosts an impressive collection of sound and musical artifacts, including early handwritten drafts of some of the most popular music of all time. I spent significantly little time in my hostel room–at the end of a trip I’ve found that a truly successful trip boils down to that: just how much time was spent exploring, and how little time was spent in bed!
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A clock– yes, a clock— on display at the British Museum. In a museum that houses millions of artifacts and pieces, my professor’s advice was essential to making the most of my experience there. I found that I gravitated towards the museum’s jaw-dropping collection of clockwork!
With such an abundance of priceless history at my fingertips, I certainly found it easy to experience information overload and become overwhelmed. It reminded me of the valuable advice a cherished professor of mine gave during an Art History lecture: when walking through a museum, gravitate towards whatever catches your eye first and focus on that, as opposed to trying to spend an equal amount of time with every single piece in one room. By following this advice, I found myself fixating on the slightest details and developing infatuations with select pieces, making for a much more memorable and intimate experience that went beyond just seeing certain pieces for the sake of being able to say I had seen them.

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