23 January 2011

petrified in time


what else to do on a gloomy day in January than to go and see some dead stuff.
Stuff being the operative word, 'cause if you are a bit squeamish about taxidermy {as am i} then you might want to look away now.

We walked off to our local house of doom/education that is the Horniman Museum {no sniggering in the back row!} that houses are large collection or peculiar stuffed and fossilised critters. The fact that they were alive around the same time as Queen Victoria, and electric kettles had not yet been invented, makes me feel that its morally ok to look at them.

an amazing place that is well worth a visit, if not just for the beautiful mahogany display cabinets and parquet flooring.
In fact, there are lots of interior design ideas tucked away in this museum, especially the pastel colour backgrounds, utilitarian font and typewriter written paper labels. I loved the sea life cabinets that would look great in a bathroom me thinks.

some artefacts from the Isle of Wight, like me! {although I'd like to think I've aged better?}


Bull Dog or Sea Lion?

such a good colour palate, shall take this pic off to Dulux.

that IS a fish.

there is a small aquarium too, but DON'T go there on the weekend as squillions of small kids are running around screaming and you wont be able to get a cup of tea.

we found a nice pub nearby, we will miss this place when we move!


  1. Oh my. I want every single little thing you just posted pictures of to be petrified in my home, and on display. I spent a good amount of time on ebay a few weeks ago looking at taxidermy birds. This is adding fuel to the fire!

  2. Wonderful! I love this kind of thing and they look less dusty than the Natural History Museum, thats for sure. Bravo Artemis.

  3. I love the Horniman! I used to visit all the time when I was a kid...but haven't been back for years. Thanks for the reminder and a great overview of the fabulous Victorian throwback - definitely time to revisit!

  4. I love this museum! Endless inspiration. I went there twice last year to draw for hours on end. I love how traditional the signs and display cabinets are as well. Properly old school! xx

  5. Those white corals and shells are just stunning, and the hemicidaris (shell? fossil?) is so beautiful; imagine a giant-sized one of those in a room! Great colours in your aquarium pics. If I went I'd avoid the furry and feathery exhibits - spooky!

  6. Wow! I love this collection so much!

  7. I like your photos artemis, (the corals are especially lovely) but how does everyone let you take pictures? You must charm them or be super sneaky!

    I always get told off when I take a picture in public spaces. Last month, it was at the local sushi bar. The lady descended on me like a dragon.

  8. i love museums like this, they're creepy and dusty but intriguing and perfect on cold days. love the pics!

  9. great post with some lovely shots, brings back fond memories of this amazing time warp museum.
    (here in france i miss south east london and especially the dulwich picture gallery, east dulwich, cafes and pubs and hornimans) thanks for making me homesick!...

  10. If only it didn't cost so much to get taxidermied (is that a word?)critters through customs. Oh well perhaps it's best I think I might have less house guests if I filled my home with oddly beady eyed beings.
    Love the blog, keep up the great work

  11. gorgeous series of photos, beautiful colours and I love the display, i hope they never "modernise" it ~ thanks, loved looking at this!

  12. Never been here but it's definitely on my London list of things to do!

  13. oh familiar pictures! I spent an awful lot of my childhood in the horniman looking at dead animals and being pertrified of the skeletons!

  14. Hi Artemis, been a fan of your blog and beautiful pictures for a while now - I was in the Horniman Museum on Sunday too co-incidentally, I thought these pics looked familar at the start of your post! I hearted all the old-school standard-issue typography and pastel coloured cabinet backs too, favourite was the mask room though and also the huge tribal embroidery costume thing in the Africa room. Great place though it was a bit like a gigantic middle class creche, would like to revisit on a term-time weekday! Keep up the lovely blog x

  15. Hi, I think the drawing of the bull dog/sea lion you queried is actually a manatee. Close relation of elephants, weirdly.

    I have snorkelled with them in the Florida Keys. They are enormous but very gentle and eat weeds.

    Just so you know... :)

  16. Wow, what an amazing place! How have I not heard of it before now?! I'll definitely be paying it a visit on my next trip to London. Lovely photos!

  17. I love museums, I spend hours on end in them.

  18. Oh I'm with you I don't like looking at dead stuff stuffed!
    It confuses me why any one would these days.
    The hare in your photo almost looks like it's spirit is still there but frozen in time. Awful :(
    Reminds me of the bit in Narnia when the witch has turned the animals to stone.
    Kat x

  19. Hah, I was in there on Friday! Seems like we took pictures of lots of the sane things, too — the quetzal, starfish, hare, pangolin, and the lovely displays that are so well designed... so it was funny seeing them pop up in Google Reader this week, especially as I was planning to blog about it too, once I'd got all my pics online! (bit preoccupied with photos from a seaside jaunt atm).

    I really enjoy reading your blog btw — always lots of cheery stuff to remind me why I love London. (not that I really need reminding but you know what I mean!)

  20. Your post always make me laugh!!! Super cute and funny! I should go visit some local museums too. I take them for granted, since they are always there :)