Posts Tagged 'bethlem royal hospital museum'

Inquisitive Londoners

In mid-May we told you how the Archives & Museum’s Registrar uses her spare time: studying for a degree in Museum Studies, and curating a student exhibition. That exhibition passed off successfully, as did another the Registrar developed for the Bethlem Gallery. She is now working on a new one.

Not to be outdone, last month the Archivist made a bid to comprehend the world of museums from the sister world of archives by participating in a two-week seminar on London museums, co-ordinated by Johns Hopkins University and hosted by the University of Westminster. The seminar comprised visits to many of London’s major museums and galleries, discussions with professional colleagues concerning various aspects of museum practice, and collaborative project work.

While impressed by the scope and reach of the museums surveyed, the Archivist was curiously reassured to find evidence of problems as well as successes there, and was moved to write in retrospect: ‘I have not lost my belief in all that small museums in general, and my museum in particular, are positioned to do in a way the big nationals cannot.’ It appears that the Archivist is not alone in this. When readers of the Evening Standard were recently asked to choose a favourite London attraction, one response read as follows: ‘My nomination goes to the museum at Bethlem Royal Hospital, the original Bedlam, south of Beckenham, which holds a magnificent collection of art and artefacts. Realistically, I can’t imagine Visit London bothering to promote such a remote attraction; but inquisitive Londoners will be glad they made the effort.’

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Photo by Marilyn Sklar

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Monthly Saturday Openings From August 7

From next weekend, Saturday 7 August, visitors will have a chance to view the Museum collection on a Saturday, thanks to our new volunteer team. No doubt this will be welcome news to all those who, like us, work 9 to 5 during the week. What’s more, Saturday openings will coincide with those of the Bethlem Gallery, giving visitors a chance to view every exhibition, including those of current service user art and historical exhibitions curated by the Archives & Museum.

The Museum will be open from 11am – 6pm on the following Saturdays in 2010 (generally the first of the month):

7 August
4 September
9 October
6 November
4 December

For more information about our collection, and how to find us, visit our website. For more information about the Bethlem Gallery, visit the website. The Gallery and Museum are located close by each other on the Hospital site, and staff will be happy to direct visitors.