So I went to the Wellcome Collection in Euston yesterday and it was probably the best exhibition I've ever been to. Mainly the permanent collection part with all of Henry Wellcome's bits and pieces. There was some great artifacts for sure but the best thing was the way it was displayed and the way the viewer interacted with the exhibit. There were drawers with extra information and for the display cases there were sort of cupboards which sat flush with the wooden wall and were very discreet, almost like you had to discover them, which had more detailed data about the articles being displayed in front of them (behind you if you were looking at he cupboard) and a little more history ad dates and stuff- kinda like some meta data or something the cases had enough information that you understood the artifacts (a guillotine blade for example) and then more information could be obtained which gave even more insight to the piece- (used in the french revolution, how many people it killed, the last person it killed, it was considered humane etc). The exhibition had the feeling that i want to embody in my work- wonder and discovery and levels of information and quality (everything was quite dark and there was a lot of wood on the walls and displays).
Henry Wellcome was an interesting guy too- he was a proper accumulator, in the collection is the first bit of money he ever earned- was it just for posterity or some foresight that he knew it would be interesting later on- the guy collected like a fiend and it is perhaps an interesting thing to think about money and collecting. The guy only got to have a collection because he had the space to put the things he had bought in. (I keep thinking about this private to institution type collection- the walsall gallery did it with their 'Peoples Exhibition' of th public's collections, it was ages ago and i never saw it but i would like to see it again- maybe i could set one up. So Wellcome had the passion and, not randomness or indiscriminancy, but the variety and diversity of a private collector but the money,space and influence of an institution.)