Research, Gardens & a Walrus

If you saw my pervious photo post you’ll know where I went on my latest adventure. 😉

The HORNIMAN MUSEUM AND GARDENS!  So I’m going to spoil my attempts at leaving my final thoughts at the end.  It was truly amazing! People keep asking what museums are in my top 5 (that I have EVER visited- it is HARD to choose OKAY?) and this one is now in it.


I managed to finally make it out there after it being on my list of ‘to sees’ for months. Anyone who said I should go- You were right!!!  What finally prompted this visit was a recommendation from a professor to go for research.  I’m writing a paper (still in its early phases so no HINTS) and they mentioned that this museum would fit well with my topic. They were right! (a lot of people are right in this post except for me cause I put off for so long.

Without further ado:

The Horniman Museum and Gardens

Like many Museums, this one was founded by an older white gentleman who really loved collecting stuff. He made his money in the Tea trade! My kinda man. Off to a great start!

 What was specifically remarkable about Horniman was about fun and education.  He wanted to “bring the world to Forest Hill” so those who could not travel would still be able to learn about the other side of the world.  That commitment to education really shines throughout!  It clearly states near the entrance of the first gallery that the information is aimed at a well informed young adult.  Go Horniman!


The Natural History Gallery! It’s got all these taxidermied specimens displayed amazingly along with the evolutionary background.   I enjoyed the special exhibition that’s in the left of the display case. It connects aspects of the collections to the practice of a modern artist. Go Horniman!


The famous (has its own twitter account! Check it out here x) Horniman Walrus!  It’s actually way to big because the taxidermist did not realise that Walrus’ are very wrinkly.  It is super over stuffed but endearing. Go Horniman!


Some of the Evolution displays. She’s an orangutang!  Go Horniman!


Bronze’s from Benin.  The Museum presents itself very well through its text.  The Africa World’s exhibit (where these are located) works very hard to ground all the pieces in their unique histories and move away from the idea that ‘Africa’ is a country rather that an entire GIANT continent.  

The Benin bronzes are a particularly potent example.  These were looted from Benin City by British Invading forces and then brought back to London to be auctioned off. It’s a particularly horrible example of the colonialist project.  The museum worked with experts from Africa over two years to be able to represent them correctly and with dignity. Go Horniman!


In the Centenary Gallery the Museum takes on museum studies, anthropology and their histories.  It has four displays in this space and shows how things would have been displayed with ‘primitives’ as not as far in their evolution as the Anglo-Saxon’s were.  It was a horrible idea that has been completely thrown out but had huge ramifications for the slave trade, colonialism and forced sterilizations.  These are all things that effect us and politics today.  They clearly state that it was all racist bullshit. Go Horniman!


Look at how cool those displays are! They reminded me a lot of the Museum of Anthropology’s Mulitversity Galleries (where I used to work!)  The current director of MoA was the director of the Horniman.  It shows and I LOVE it.  😎Go Dr.Shelton & Go Horniman!


The Gardens!  These were so beautiful I couldn’t believe it. Even in winter when its usually not the best.  I really liked the sunken garden (pictured above)  The sides were all themed around plants that are used for dyes.  Go Horniman!


Look at that sweet info plaque!  It relates these plants to actual OBJECTS IN THE COLLECTION.  Amazing stuff really. Go Horniman!


Those buildings in that back are the centre of London! Such a marvellous view.  The tall one on the left is the Shard. Go Horniman!

Who doesn’t want to go here? Right, RIGHT!?!

Rating: 5/5

Pros: This place is amazing! Truly! It has something for everyone, great rotating exhibitions, a clear voice that doesn’t claim ownership over other cultures, great collection, beautiful cafe, shop and AMAZING gardens.  There’s cool interactives, kids spaces, easy maneuver-ability, helpful staff, there is even an aquarium (i didn’t pay for that ticket)

Cons: The building is four additions so it’s a bit complex but there are lots of signs posted just no easy maps. It’s a bit far from Central London but only a 9min walk from the Overground Station- though if you have mobility issues this could be a problem.



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