British Museum

Visiting the British Museum

Do you know the British Museum allows it’s visitors to take photos of it’s collection?

I treated myself to a “day off” and visited the British Museum

One of the excellent things about the British Museum is that they allow visitors to take photographs. At least in the form of “tourist photos” which is what I was doing. I arrived before the queues had built up, and after going through security and bag search, I was in.

photograph of the British Museum, main entrance

The British Museum’s iconic roof window

This was my first visit to the museum since the iconic roof window was built. So, being a tourist, I took some snaps.British Museum. Photo of the magnificent lobby with it's iconic roof. British Museum. Photo of the magnificent lobby with it's iconic roof.

Walking stone sculpures

I don’t know if the British Museum curators know some of their statues can walk about? I took these photos of “stone sculptures of female deities” from Huaxtec. It was only later I noticed that the deity at the front took a step forwards before I took the second photo! Her movement is a lot more obvious if one can toggle between the photos (rather than scroll).British Museum; photo of stone sculpures of female deities from Huaxtec, Mexico. British Museum; photo of stone sculpures of female deities from Huaxtec, Mexico.

Alien versus Predator

I didn’t read the description of the following, but I think I recognize it as coming from a huge pyramid in an ice cave deep beneath the Arctic somewhere.Photo of artefact in the British Museum. Alien versus Predator? Maybe not. But it looks familiar.

Even deities have bodily functions

Here is a photo of a grumpy female deity doing a dump (I don’t know how the experts know it is a female deity).

Photo of statue in the British Museum - grumpy female deity doing a dump

A real conundrum

The next three photos were taken in succession, and I have no explanation for the pure whiteness of the second photo. Did my camera capture a moment of enlightenment?

British Museum - photo of Buddhist statue accidental photo of enlightenment? British Museum - photo of Buddhist statue

“Head forward and up”…

How not to do the Alexander Method (Buddhist sculpture in the British Museum)

        …or maybe not

(This joke is for followers of the “Alexander Method”)

How not to do the Alexander Method (Buddhist sculpture in the British Museum)

A very subtle self portrait

Can you see me?

British Museum - wrapped blue paper and reflection of the photographer

The nine planets

The British Museum contains many priceless objects of eye watering beauty and craftsmanship. The museum kindly and gently educates us just enough to know what we are looking at. Assuming the information is accurate of course.

For example, just inside the museum’s rear entrance (in Montague Place) you can see statues of the nine planets. These are eyewateringly beautiful sculptures of gods and demons that represent the 9 planets of Indian astronomy, astrology and myth (according to the plaque). As usual, the museum educates with a few well chosen words.

British Museum - photo of one of the "nine planets" of Indian mythology British Museum - the nine planets of Indian astronomy, astrology and myth British Museum - the nine planets of Indian astronomy, astrology and myth

Back into the British Museum’s iconic lobby

Where one can buy some expensive refreshments and rest one’s feet. On the day I visited about 60 or 70 percent of the visitors had an oriental appearance. You can see one of them sleeping in the second photo. He was still there after I finished my refreshments.

British Museum - photo of it's iconic lobby and ceiling

British Museum - photo of it's iconic lobby and ceiling

The British Museum has an excellent collection of Ancient Egypt

Some people look very content when they are dead (stunning craftsmanship).

British Museum - photo of beautiful sarcophagus from Ancient Egypt

Heiroglyphs

Is this evidence that the ancients talked too much?

British Museum - photo of Egyptian Heiroglyphics

The Rosetta Stone at the British Museum

Talking of talking the British Museum also has the Rosetta Stone. It was surrounded by a crush of visitors, so I didn’t take a photo of it. I’ve seen it before anyway (will people recognise this is a joke?) If you want to find out more or see a photo follow the link.

Bah Ram Ewe

I have included this photo because I feel an affinity for it

British Museum - statue of ram figure from Ancient Egypt

Assyrian collection

Another example of extraordinary craftsmanship

Photo of Assyrian Frieze in the British Museum

Detail of the handbag and wrist watch

Photo of Assyrian Frieze in the British Museum - detail showing handbag and wrist watch

 

A final view before leaving

British Museum

Technical info

For what it is worth these photos were taken using an Olympus OMD EM-1 MkII fitted with a 12mm lens (equivalent to a 24mm lens on a full frame camera). This combination is extremely light and easy to carry around. Worn with a Black Rapid camera strap one doesn’t really notice it at all. I did bring another lens with me, but I didn’t use it.

In my (allegedly humble) opinion all cameras are a compromise (for variables that include but are not limited to price, weight, size, speed of shooting, performance in low light, resolution and image quality, etc, etc)

The EM-1 MKII is quite severely limited by being unable to take professional quality images at any iso higher than 800. But it is extremely light, and it has some excellent lenses. Personally I also don’t like the controls. But it can shoot totally silently… and bla bla.