Art Trip to the Pitt Rivers and Natural History Museum

On Tuesday 31st January, UC5 art students visited the Pitt Rivers and Natural History Museum in Oxford, to gain inspiration for our new exam title 'Beginning and or End'.

On a slightly damp morning, we arrived and were immediately greeted by the huge Tyrannosaurus Rex in the Natural History Museum.

After a short talk by one of the staff, we were given some highly detailed sketchbooks and were pointed in the direction of certain displays. We were then left to roam the two museums independently, collecting sketches and photographs necessary for our recording.

The Natural History Museum houses a detailed collection of specimens ranging from prehistoric creatures, to present-day animals, aquatic life, birds and minerals.

The Pitt Rivers Museum has a beautiful collection of approximately 50,000 objects. This Museum focuses on anthropology and told stories of human history. The collection seemingly covered all cultures but, due to specific instruction from the founder, Lord Pitt Rivers, the objects are ordered by purpose rather than by culture. The museum is a maze-like complex of glass cabinets on the first floor, with two upper floors and a towering Totem Pole situated at the rear of the museum.

From Samurai armour, weaponry, toys and games, to shrunken heads and different perceptions of beauty, the museum was a diverse assortment of articles, that left our title open ended. This trip was invaluable and will have a prominent influence on our work.

Eleanor Smith, UC5

Pitt Rivers 2