The Horniman Museum and Gardens

The Horniman Museum and Gardens

>>The Horniman Museum and Gardens are a local
treasure>>with internationally renowned collections
in south London’s Forest Hill>>The Museum began as the private collection
of Victorian tea-trader Fredrick Horniman which grew until it filled his whole house
which he opened in 1980.>>Since then the collection has expanded
significantly and now includes world-class collections>>of anthropology and musical
instruments, as well as an acclaimed aqaurium and historic>>natural history gallery.>>Over half a million people visit the Museum
and Gardens every year.>>A hidden gem, it really is.>>Quite a lot of my friends have told me
about it and I’ve been meaning to go for a long time.>>It’s really warm, it’s family based, it’s
educational, it’s fun.>>The bugs that first grabbed Frederick’s
attention still make up part of the museum’s 250,000 natural history specimens.>>Our Natural History Gallery is a little
time capsule really.>>People love the old cases because they
do give you a sense of walking back in time.>>Some people do get upset, thinking we still
today go around killing endangered animals. But, of course, we don’t.
>>What we’re about these days is trying to explain to people how we can conserve and
preserve wildlife.>>Frederick’s enchanting gift is celebrated
in in the Centenary gallery surrounded by exciting objects from our expanding collection.>>I think the Centenary Gallery is very dramatic,
it more looks at the ideas behind the collecting over the last 100 years.
>>You feel it’s very dark and strange and a mysterious place.>>These objects emerge into the light and
it gives you a chance to dip your toe into all sorts of different cultures from around
the world.>>Perhaps most famous among Frederick’s original
collection are the Egyptian mummies, now housed in our African Worlds gallery, which was the
first permanent African gallery in the UK.>>We’ve got objects from all over Africa.
It’s not a history of Africa, it’s glimpses into Africa and African lives… from Southern
Africa, right through to Morocco, east and west.>>As the museum continues to grow, we now
hosts an impressive gallery dedicated entirely to music>>Frederick Horniman was a compulsive collector,
and musical instruments were just part and parcel of his interests in human culture.>>We look at the way music and musical instruments
are represented through the course of human life, from the cradle to the grave.>>We show these milestones of life through
the objects themselves which care fascinating, colourful, beautiful to look at.>>Another cherished feature of the museum
is our ever popular Aquarium.>>The aquarium here has 15 different displays,
representing 8 geographical zones from around the world. There’s lots of different variety
to see.>>As well as caring for live animals, we
protect and take care of all of our inanimate objects. Along with thousands on display,
we also house hundreds of thousands of artifacts which are carefully stored and preserved for
research, exhibitions and future generations.>>We store the Museum’s collections here,
so we administer them in terms of making sure they’re stored correctly, packed correctly.
We have about 300,000 objects here. Everything with organic material has to go through our
freezing process and then hopefully that will then stop the objects being eaten.>>And the objects then get passed over to
Documentation.>>The Museum is surrounded by 16 acres of
historic gardens, home to a Victorian conservatory and offering stunning views over the city
of London.>>The gardens represent our outdoor living
collection. They are an extension of the museum, so it’s a bit like a combination between a
botanical gardens and a park. So from a meadow field to walk your dog to a traditional sunken
garden to a nature trail and a muddy bog to explore, there really is something in the
gardens for everyone to enjoy.>>Frederick’s vision for the museum and gardens
is continued through the Learning Department’s wide range of workshop, activities and classes
as well as their unique learning spaces.>>This is the Hands On Base. It houses about
3000 objects that can all be handled by our visitors. And it really helps to build a relationship
with an object that you don’t get if you’re looking at it behind a glass case.>>The Learning Department offers activities
and events for a whole range of visitors. We want people to come the museum and have
fun and want to visit museums for the rest of their life.>>I last came here as a young teenager. The
place is wonderful now and all this excitement… it’s eye-opening, everything you see is eye-opening.>>The Horniman thrives to this day by celebrating
a wide appreciation of the World, its peoples, cultures and environments through a dynamic
relationship with its collections, galleries and gardens.>>There’s something new and fascinating to
discover every time.

3 thoughts on “The Horniman Museum and Gardens

  1. Hi Rob, sorry our younger visitors were a bit noisy. If you do decide to visit again, we'd suggest you come in the later part of the afternoon – around 4pm. It's usually a bit quieter then.

    What kind of shop information would you like to see on your website? We're always working on the site, and would appreciate your input.

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