The curator of a ground-breaking exhibition being staged in Wisbech has paid tribute to the museum where it is been displayed.
Jes Fernie, who has organized the ‘History rising’ project in Norwich, Cambridge, London and Wisbech, described the Wisbech & Fenland Museum as a jewel and the ‘daddy of museums’ when she spoke at a twilight lecture at Wisbech Grammar School (on Wednesday).
Comparing the institution to Sir John Soane’s Museum in Lincoln’s Inn Fields, Ms Fernie told the audience that included a group from the Thomas Clarkson Academy that both museums were almost domestic in nature and you could walk round them in two hours without feeling exhausted.
The Fenland region was privileged to enjoy a fantastic legacy with this treasure house, a ‘museum of a museum’, that was one of the first purpose-built museums in Britain and contained 167-year-old vitrines that had never been moved.
The installation that she had curated and produced at the museum, ‘On the enclosure of time’, was a hardcore contemporary art exhibition which provided a contribution to the conversation about display structures.
In a question and answer session following her talk, entitled ‘What are you looking at?, she argued that no displays were neutral and she attacked the idea of filling museums with interactive technology.
She said: “It’s like the curators are trying to compete with computer games makers.”
The next in the series of twilight lectures that are designed to challenge and develop effective critical thinking is by a past pupil of the Grammar School, Mike Rose, a member of the British Antarctic Survey.
A science engineer who has also worked on the new Halley research station project, Mr Rose, who attended the school from 1975 to 1980, holds the polar medal for services to Antarctic science, which was awarded by the Queen in 1999.
His presentation, on Monday, March 17, is at the school’s Dwight centre and runs from 4.10pm to 5.10pm. Admission is free and more information is available from organizer Mrs Jane Missin, who can be reached via the school’s reception office on 01945-583631.