Brighton Museum and Royal Pavilion: A Day of ‘Edutainment’ (Suruchika Chawla, ITP 2018, India)

Written by Suruchika Chawla, ITP 2018, Young Museum Professional, National Museum, New Delhi

Museums are inexplicable parts of human history since its inception and I, Suruchika Chawla as an ITP 2018 fellow from India, have been given an opportunity for new experiences and cultural exchange on a profound level. The British Museum ITP coordinators, fondly called Claire, Becca, Jessica and Andrea, act as friends and create an urge to explore the best that we should know about museums across the UK, whether big or small.

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Suruchika at Brighton Museum and Art Gallery

Brighton Museum and Art Gallery and the Royal Pavilion, though entirely different buildings in architectural decor and exhibition design, still have vast connections and harmony with each other. Just an hour away from London by train, the city of Brighton welcomed us with a cool breeze and a sunny day. It was ‘bright Brighton’. Covering exquisite themes from World Stories, Ancient Egypt, Mr. Willett’s Popular Pottery, Regency Architecture, Fishing and Fashionable Society, to the present day, such as Modern Art and Furniture, Design and sensitive issues around gender, Brighton Museum describes human eras and lifestyle in an interactive, educative and fun-filled way. There are pull-out drawers, audio props, touch-screen interactive televisions, film picture screens, activity areas, pull-out labels, computer and book resources and various display themes inculcated in this museum display to enhance the visitor experience at its fullest.

Thank you to Helen Mears, Susan Eskdale and Martin Pel who gave us a lovely understanding of some of galleries new and unusual to us.

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ITP fellows with Helen Mears, Brighton Museum and Art Gallery

The Brighton ‘Pleasure Pavilion’ (as indicated by Curator Alexandra Loske) is the opposite building, which was a neo-Classical building turned into an ‘exotic’/Orientalist/Chinoiserie mixture of design of Indian (exterior) and Chinese (interior) elements by John Nash in 1815-22. We had a session with Alexandra and with Abigail Thomas (Head of Enterprise and Business Systems) and then enjoyed the entertaining audio tour as we walked through the stories of rooms and people who lived them in that era. King George IV who acted as a lavish host to his visitors and enjoyed all grandeurs in his lifestyle, left this pavilion with excellent expressions of art in interiors, colour schemata and royalty.

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The Royal Pavilion from the outside

Brighton is a very visitor-friendly and also pet-friendly city, and so seeing showcases with paw symbols, short films with sign language translators, shopping facilities, good food joints, gardens, and most importantly the beach, all add to the fascination for all varieties of visitors.

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It’s a highly welcoming city and very beautiful and peaceful, which adds to its charm. Our group of ITPers (as we are called) enjoyed all the nooks and corners that added an entertainment factor to our educational trip.