A Shiny Life For Me!

a personal review blog by Bianca

The Horniman Museum

The Horniman Museum
Forest Hill, London
4.0 out of 5.0 stars

I recently went to the Horniman Museum and Gardens in Forest Hill, which was first opened in 1890 to show off the private collection of Frederick Horniman, who used his inherited wealth to travel the world as a young man, collecting specimen with the intention on educating and enriching the local community in Forest Hill.

The museum acknowledges its history built on exploitation (the Horniman family’s wealth stems from the tea trade) and has been working for years to ensure that their cultural and international artefacts are displayed in respectful and ethical manner, hoping to make up for the colonial manner in which they were originally collected.

In 2018, the World Gallery opened, after having seriously re-evaluated the way anthropological exhibits were treated within the museum. This care and respect is tangible throughout the gallery, giving information about and showing respect towards a variety of cultures. This was definitely my favourite part of the museum, along with the musical instrument exhibit, which holds thousands of instruments from many time periods and all over the world.

The natural history gallery was a little antiquated looking, with taxidermied animals that had seen better days, but there’s also live bees and loads of interactive exhibits for children to get invested in. The gardens were definitely the highlight of the visit, with many walking paths, giant pumpkins and other seasonal plants, beautiful flower arrangements, and much more to see. An absolutely beautiful spot!

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