Thoughts And Feelings On My Discoveries at The British Museum Over The Last Five Weeks (Asuman Alpagut, ITP 2019, Turkey)

Written by Asuman Alpagut, Museum Researcher & Anthropologist, Museum of Anatolian Civilizations (ITP 2019, Turkey).

There is a saying that museums are the memories of the cities. Well, for me I can say, the British Museum is the memory of the world. I’ve been on the ITP for almost six weeks. As I visited the Museum and the lessons we saw in the programme, I understand how big the world cultural treasure is and how effective it is in bringing this treasure together to its visitors. Hundreds of thousands are coming to see the collections, from many countries and of variable ages. The British Museum is like a gathering centre in London.  

In the Museum there are many sections but, for permanent exhibitions, The Sutton Hoo Gallery and The Albukhary Foundation Galleries of the Islamic World, had recently been renewed and their interactive approaches are good for showing the modern museum concept.

Replica of the Sutton Hoo Helmet

The interaction not only belongs to permanent displays but for the temporary exhibitions as well, especially Manga.  The processes for the preparation by the curators and specialists and the sharing of the details and information, shows how an exhibition gets ready for their audience in the long run.  After visiting the Manga exhibition, it feels great to find yourself in an exclusive place where many things are for sale and from Manga as well in the Museum shop.

I am trying to see the galleries that I haven’t been able to visit in the museum during the rest of the ITP programme. As I visit the museum, I feel that the museum is getting bigger. It’s like a magic box. I feel lucky and happy to spend six weeks in this magic box. What I have learned and the experiences I have gained have been incredibly amazing. It was very important for me to see the differences and similarities between The Anatolian Civilizations Museum and The British Museum. Especially, collections management and temporary exhibitions areas are top for me.

Display in the Albukhary Foundation Galleries of the Islamic World

We have come to the last week of the programme at the British Museum. In this process, the Object in Focus project has gained momentum. This study showed me what I should do in an exhibition to make an effective impression on the visitor. With this work I understand the fact that the object has to be a full part of its own story.