We have a copy of Photographs of British Algae in the library that we are very fond of. It was the first ever photographically illustrated book and was produced by Anna Atkins, who is considered by some to be the first female photographer. She was born in 1799 and had support in her scientific interests by her father, John George Children, who was a member of the Royal Society. Sir John Herschel, who invented the cyanotype, was a family friend. Anna recognised the possibilities of his new invention which required only a few chemicals, water and sunlight to produce imagery. In 1843, Anna started working on the cyanotypes that would make up her book. Only twelve other copies of the book exist, as each print inside the book was produced individually and then sent to the recipient to bind themselves. Because of this, each edition is unique, as they have been bound in a different order. . . . . . . . #storiesmw #womenmw #MuseumWeek #stem #photography #cynotypes #library #book #rare #rarebook #instabook #instabooks #instalibrary #blue #algae #botany #science #womeninscience
Today's theme for #MuseumWeek is stories and we have lots of those in the collections. These chapbooks from the early 1800s tell the stories of Tom Thumb who, as his name suggests, is as tall as a thumb, and The comic adventures of Old Mother Hubbard and her dog. Chapbooks were an early type of popular fiction, produced cheaply in small booklets. They commonly featured nursery rhymes, folk stories and poetry.
It is #britishflowersweek and our Gardens are blooming in the sun ☀️ Check out our story for more flower power 🌺🌹🌼🌸🌷
Today is sports day for #museumweek so we've wrestled into our PE kit and have started picking objects for our team. First up to bat, these playing cards featuring sporting types like Dennis with his dinghy and Roger and his racer. 🚣🏎 Next we have a vest from Nigeria with a picture of footballer Sam Okwaraji and the slogan success is no accident but hard work. 🇳🇬 Then we have a basketry rattan football from Sumatra, used for the game sepak raga. ⚽️ From 1980s this poster which came from the USSR - the slogan reads: Exercise muscles through sport! Prepare your body for the fight! 💪 The top bat is from a Samoan version of cricket while the bottom bat is for a same similar to rounders from the Maldives. 🏏 Lastly, we have this Western Samoa rugby team shirt and shorts. 🏈
Continuing with #MWFood, we have this satirical cartoon and accompanying article from a broadsheet of 1815 entitled The Pig-Faced Woman of Manchester Square. It shows an elegantly dressed lady of the Regency period with the head of a pig eating out of a trough. It refers to a rumour which swept London that a pig-faced woman was living in Marylebone. Stories about pig-faced women originated in Holland, England and France around the same time in the 1600s and continued on to the early twentieth century.
It is #MuseumWeek and we will be sharing different objects each day along a theme. Today's theme is food so for our usual #MusicMonday we are sharing edible instruments (sort of). These instruments are all made from gourds, which are hard skinned fruits from the same plant family as melons, pumpkins, squashes and cucumbers. You can play these instruments in our handling collection, and they come from west and South Africa.
If you are heading to the Friends' Art Fair drop into the cafe to try one of these homemade cakes. First up is a cotton sponge coffee cake, the second is a white chocolate rum and raisin cake and the last is a red velvet cake 🍰
All the artwork is in and up for the Friends' Art Exhibition 🎨 Come and join us this weekend between 10.30am and 4.30pm on Saturday and Sunday.