Sunday, 6 April 2014

The Lost Tomb of Sir George Gellatly

Museums tell stories and display things.
Some stories and things are real, they can be authenticated, and others, well...

Introducing the Lost Tomb of Sir George Gellatly, found in the garden of the Nunhead and District Municipal Museum and Art Gallery.
A brilliant pop-up museum created for the Telegraph Hill Festival 2014

Sir George Gellatly's mausoleum was discovered at the end of this garden in Nunhead, SE London.

This way...

In we go...

His tomb.

Before you enter, those of a nervous disposition please take note...

His final resting place.

Here is Sir George in better health.

Like all good mausoleums,
there should be... music.

and "marble carving in the Italianate style, depicting George's wild and extravagant life."

Objects from round the world, collected by Sir George fill display cabinets.

 I even got to see behind the scenes, where curators had been hard at work.

 Like all good museums,

an engaging series of lectures had been planned,

a museum cafe opened,

and a shopping opportunity provided,
selling unique branded products.

We bought a DIY "Commemorative Display Bone Kit".

The Nunhead and District Museum and Art Gallery began in 2009,
open for two days every year during the Telegraph Hill Festival.

From previous years,
here are the Catacombs discovered under the floorboards in 2009,
opened to the public in 2010.
"They are 100 feet deep,
the site hasn't been fully excavated yet,
as we haven't had permission from the local authority."

I believe that last year the bodies weren't in such an advanced state of deterioration and looked remarkably like Barbies.

The inspiration behind this unique museum I am told, was a visit, years ago, to a municipal museum in Keswick, Cumbria, where, "objects from different collections were all mixed up, everything displayed together, wooden display cabinets, difficult to read handwritten signs, but all about to be revamped, modernised to meet with health and safety requirements and be brought up to date".

So this is a homage to museums in times gone by, yet it is incredibly innovative, energetic and forward thinking.

Such a fabulous municipal museum and art gallery.
I'll leave the last word to the curators...

"Would you like a tomb in your garden?
Let the museum know and you can have this one."

Open 5th and 6th April 2014. part of Telegraph Hill Festival open studios.
You have probably missed it for this year, but put it in your diary for next year, what will the future bring?
Or even better, start collecting and create your own  museum. I'll visit.

If you know of any other pop-up museums, please leave a comment.

1 comment:

  1. We had a brilliant educational visit to the museum today, my children learnt so much, such a shame it is going to be redeveloped as a Tesco Metro. Here's hoping they beat the developers and can return next year.
    Their plight reminds me of the Prefab Museum in Downham, also a pop-up museum documenting local history at risk of development. Another place to visit before it's gone.!/p/the-prefab-museum


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