Ok now that my contract is coming to the end I seem to be cramming in as much as I can historical before I leave. Somewhere I have been meaning to visit over the last 11 & half months is the Sir John Sloane Museum off Lincoln’s Inn Field. In fairness for the first 4 months of my time at Gray’s Inn it was closed and renovated.
So last Tuesday I headed over and was made to switch off my mobile and put my bag in a plastic bag and wait outside in the cold for 5 minutes despite 5 people leaving as I froze. Once in I HAD to sign in (pointless as you do not HAVE to sign out) so were not off to a good start. You walk in and there is no natural flow to where you should go and explore. The first room was an old fashioned Library come Dinning Room. I could image the cast of an Austen drama sitting in there. There was something odd all away around the house there were spikey cones on all old chairs one assumes to stop the general rif raf sitting down. Well if that is the case put signs up take some of them away or put ropes across them. The spikey cones are just weird. It is also worth noting this room is quite spacious compared to most of the rest of the house that is over stuffed and filled.
Now I found myself in a small room with a bored looking young man reading. Body language was clearly not interested in the general public he was supposed to be watching.
Next I found myself in a small room with a very enthusiastic and lovely lady, there was a desk that belonged to Walpole the first PM and an interesting model of a epitaph for a lord.
I had to walk across a grill to get into a room with some stunning pictures. If they hadn’t been Hogarth or Canneletto’s I wouldn’t have persevered with walking over a the grill that I could see a drop through. I hate walking over grills or glass floors I am quite sure that I am not the only person who feels uncomfortable doing so.
The Hogarth was called The Election, it was stunning. The Canalettos of Venice especially the city scape of St Marcos were breathe taking. The room was however too small and a there was a man who was opening and closing doors revealing images far to fast.
Then I found myself in the room apparently called the Colonnade there was an impressive nude statue of Apollo however the space was full of people and impossible to navigate so I headed down some small stairs to the basement. Ther were an array of bits of broken statues and things. There is no theme or rhyme nor reason why things were together. The main attraction was an empty Egyptian coffin and a mummy in truth it was beyond creepy!
I finally moved swiftly you the gift shop. Postcard and note book were brought. There was in fact some stunning items on sale and I would happily mooch around the shop again.
I am unsure why the museum shows so much extremely over whelming to the senses surely having less on show and more information about the object would be better. The general treatment from the staff or volunteers was rude apart from the chap in the shop and the lady in the room with Walpole’s desk. Lack of anywhere for you to be able to stop and stand or sit to take it all in was a major problem. All in all the experience was claustrophobic and disappointing.
However it has sparked and interest in the man himself; what kind of man collects so much in a life time and why? But that I feel is for another post.