{Scotland} Hidden Surprises at the Hunterian

June 21, 2013

Scotland

I promised you another Scottish post from our recent holiday, so it’s back to Glasgow today. Named after yet another Scottish collector, the ‘The Hunterian’ is the legacy of obstetrician and teacher Dr William Hunter (1718 – 1783) as well as being the oldest public museum in Scotland, dating back to 1807. The museum is located on campus of the University of Glasgow, and is one of the leading university museums in the UK.

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The Hunterian actually comprises four different venues: Hunterian Museum, Hunterian Art Gallery, Anatomy Museum and Zoology Museum. The Anatomy Museum is mostly reserved for teaching and research and is viewable by pre-arrangement only, but the Zoology Museum – tucked away in a corner of campus where even staff at the university didn’t know of its existence – was open to the public, and of course I have to visit any museum that has “hidden” written all over it.

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The visit was interesting, to say the least. After actually having found it, and having signed in to the visitors book (an excellent way of keeping track of exactly who visits, so probably only feasible for museums with a small number of visitors^^), it felt a bit like stepping in to a storage cupboard. Some of the cases were empty, without any further explanations, some even with cleaning supplies still in them, whilst in other places there were boxes and furniture piled up at the side of the room and behind exhibition cases.

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But perhaps it was just this that gave it its appeal, the feeling of being privilege to someone’s private space – and admission is free, so who were we to complain. And they did have some quite cool exhibits, like the brilliant insect-shaped series of cases in which, unsurprisingly, the insect collection was displayed.

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Also, this made me laugh. Can you guess what it is?

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Check back next week for part 2 of our Hunterian visit!

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4 Responses to “{Scotland} Hidden Surprises at the Hunterian”

  1. Christy@SweetandSavoring Says:

    I’m so curious what that last picture is! I like what you said about the sense of privilege and someone else’s private space- just the kind of thing that’s the most intriguing to explore!

    Reply

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