Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Ipswich Museum

Apologies for the long silence on here - there hasn't been a great deal of 'stuff' to report on recently, but a couple of weeks ago I and a dear friend decided to take a turn about Ipswich Museum. I'd visited once or twice years ago with my high school, and I've been meaning to go back for... well, ages!

It's a very small museum, but I think it's absolutely beautiful, and so I just have to share some of the photos I took of it - permission has been granted by the museum, of course.

It's a general museum with various exhibits, but the part I wanted most to visit was the Victorian Natural History gallery that greets you as you step through the front doors - once you get over the mammoth towering by the doorway.

All the animals are Victorian mounted specimens and hunting trophies from all over the world, including the world's only fully-intact specimen of a Rothschild giraffe, highly endangered today.

The rhino that stands next to the giraffe was the victim of a theft a couple of years ago. Ivory thieves broke into the museum and hacked off its horn. They never found the culprits and the horn it has now is a replacement - with a little tag indicating that it is a replica.

Not even stuffed rhinos are safe from poachers!!!

Separate from the main Natural History gallery is another gallery dedicated mostly to British wildlife, in which there is a very nicely-made fox that I of course thought was far more interesting than most probably would!

It's just as well I didn't bother bringing my sketchbook with me as it's quite dark in the Victorian gallery (and i didn't want to make my friend stand around waiting for me to draw stuff!), but as the gallery has retained its old-world look the dimmed lighting just adds to the quiet, elegant feel.

Instead, I made some studies of animals from the photographs I took afterwards. Not exact copies of the specimens, as many of them are old and very... well... 'taxidermy-looking'. But I used their poses to make my own copies.
Red Fox and American Cougar

Great Blue Heron and Osprey
Male Muntjac skull

It's not a famous or large museum, but I think the Natural History gallery is wonderful! I hope they never even TRY to modernise it because it's just lovely!
If you're ever in the vicinity of Ipswich and like animals and old-style decoration, I highly recommend giving the museum a visit - with Christchurch Mansion also worthy of a gander a short distance away.