Fortuna Curiosa

Australian Abroad, Keen Capoeirista, Museum Mogul, Budding Blogger, Thirsty Traveller – currently Itapuã, Salvador, Brazil

Museum Visit: Manchester Museum

A few weeks ago due to an unexpected 3 hour train delay in Manchester I had the opportunity to make my first visit to Manchester Museum, a museum I had a great deal about.

As I walked in my eye was caught by a Roman Altar dedicated to Fortuna, a particular favourite of mine as the goddess of good fortune, but who, according to the Roman saying, ‘favours the bold’.


Altar to Fortuna

I was surprised as I read the label to discover that the altar was online to Manchester from the Ashmolean, one of our own museums in Oxford.


As I moved through the antiquities section there were several highlights for me including their extensive collection of Shabti figures…


a beautiful Egyptian funerary tablet…


and three Roman coins – I’ve always been a numismatophile – all of which I studies at university from the Flavian period showing a general crowned by victory, a Iudia Capta type symbolising both Rome’s defeat of the Judean uprising and the victory of the Flavians in the civil war, and one featuring a detailed triumphal arch.


Soldier crowned by Victory


Iudia Capta


Triumphal Arch

From antiquities I moved into the natural history section that makes up the majority of the museum. I was struck by the displays, which were extremely well lit to give the appropriate air of mystery.


In addition to the beautiful displays of specimens…

Imagethis section of the museum also featured a live amphibian lab, which was extremely popular with the kids while I was there (on a Saturday no less).

ImageI was also struck by the number of interactive displays in the museum, none of which I actually chose to use I must say…


but the interactives for kids were always surrounded, and I had to time it perfectly to get a shot of this 3D simulator without also photographing someone’s child!


Now that I work in museums, I must say that I am much more drawn to information and displays about the museums themselves than I ever had been in the past. I though that Manchester had an interesting a quirky display about the museum…


and a great feedback card system which people seemed to actually use!


They also had a great feedback from, short and to the point, which I actually took the time to complete.


Overall I thoroughly enjoyed my trip to Manchester Museum, both for their great collections, and some interesting ideas for presenting museum collections and engaging audiences.

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This entry was posted on December 3, 2013 by in Museums and tagged , , .
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