We visit the wonderful Museum of London with IFP students every year. Last year’s trip involved the whole cohort and was captured in this video by January-start student John Choong:
This year, however, only our January-start students were able to attend the museum trip. Three students have provided an interesting insight into what they discovered there by writing short observations / reflections on selected exhibits:
Viet Linh Dan Bui on the Olympic Cauldron
The trip to the Museum of London was an exciting experience. The current exhibition which I was amazed at is the London Cauldron. The Cauldron was used in the Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2012 hosted in the United Kingdom. The unique factor of the Cauldron is each flame carried a fragment of the Olympic flame in a shaped copper piece. It is only burning as one when they finally perfectly and finally nestled together. What I love most about the Cauldron is the meaning of it, the present day impact it gives to each person is different. Many individuals believe that each petal is the representative of all humanity and everyone should come together as one. This belief embraces the idea of unity, because despite where you’re from, your culture and race, we are one.
Safira Wibawa on the Spitalfields silk mantua worn by Ann Fanshawe
This dress was the type of formal dress worn at court. Expensive silk ordered through a City mercer, taken to a master weaver six months to weave, combining 14 different coloured threads and 4 types of silver wire. What interested me about this was the type of fashion back in the 1700s, as well as the name of the dress as Spitalfields is near the area I’m currently living in. I like that the French influence and style of the dress is distinctly obvious and how I have only ever seen such dresses on the television when showing the past, it really keened me to be able to see one in real life. French-speaking Huguenots dominated silk-weaving in East London, and there was a very fierce competition
Kittipit Viseshsin on the Great Fire of London
The particular artefact in the War, Plague and Fire permanent gallery I found very interesting is the painting of the Great Fire of London. This painting has an unknown origin as there was not an account of who painted this, but it was estimated that it was painted around 1675.
What I find interesting about this oil painting is that it shows chaos and panic in great details. Looking closely at the painting, we can see crowds of people trying to load their belongings onto the boat and tried to leave the town. Tower of London and St.Paul’s Cathedral can be seen in the background. Looking at the context of the Great Fire, I think how London has recovered after five days underneath a fire is really remarkable. From further reading on this tragic event, only small number of people died while 13,200 houses were destroyed. This offered a chance for London to rebuild itself after this and plague. Not only the new public square has emerged; monument, the London Building Act of 1667 was responsible for the re-emergence of London.
This trip to the Museum of London was definitely a remarkable experience as it offers me a chance to deepen my knowledge about the city.
Safira Wibawa on the Votes for Women Exhibition
This exhibit showed women a hundred of years ago, dating back to the first time they were allowed to vote, representing comradeship and a shared commitment to challenge an unjust, male-dominated society. This picture is a letter that a woman wrote from prison to her 12-year-old daughter, imprisoned for taking a stand. The present day impact of what those women did is very noticeable and even though the battle has not fully been won, the feminist era and equality fight would not be where it is today had those women not taken the first step to fight back.
Safira Wibawa on a Victorian Grocery Store
I could not find an exhibit particularly relevant to my ISP but the closest I found was of the Victoria Walk exhibit where it showed how different offices, banks, bars and shops looked at the time. This picture is of a grocer and since my ISP topic is on advertising, it was interesting to see how different brands branded their products and the visual ways in which the grocer tried to attract customers.