Gulls, Auks, Terns and Skuas

Ever since I railed about Kelvingrove Museum and Art Galleries being redeveloped and left lacking I've been on the hunt for something to replace the things-in-glass-cases mecca of my childhood. It's inevitable that with two kids (boys particularly) we spend a lot of time in museums - they're warm, they're free and on a good day they're interesting. So I've become something of a connoisseur over the past few months and am developing an obsession with stuffed animals, those fusty old charts showing the ages of man and museum labels. So much so that I've collected them all in an I Heart Museums Flickr set.

Before reporting back on this week's find I'll start with an old dispatch from the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh which deserves full marks for top class museumy-ness. It's a beautiful building for a start - stern and airy at the same time. And it's full of really interesting stuff which is mostly left on its own the way it should be (there are nods to interactivity at the Museum of Scotland end). The highlight for me was the Hall of British Birds - a spectacular time capsule of 1970s design - all hessian, earth colours and round corners. I sent some photos to Ace Jet 170 for Found Type Friday and he describes the Clarendon signage as "like a beautiful curvaceous woman". It looks like this is being gradually modernised too so enjoy it while you can. As there's currently a Pixar: 20 years of animation exhibition on there's an extra reason to go sooner rather than later.

The Zoology Museum at University of Glasgow used to have a cracking collection of stuffed animals and old fashioned vitrines.

Top tip Bacall, thanks. I've been meaning to go there again. I remember some terrifying things in jars. Isn't there an Anatomy Museum too?

I too am a big fan of museum displays and am a regular visitor to the Museum of Scotland - however in recent years they have closed off part of the museum for renovation, and that was the part that had some of the best 70's era displays of all! I'm heartbroken that they are dispensing with these as not only can you marvel at the things on display but at the fact that the display quite literally 'belongs in a museum' itself. :(

I also share your obsession with stuffed animals. I recently put some on flickr too from the museum. I like that they are often made to look almost sinister and could while away many a visit speculating on what was going through the head of the person building the display, choosing how to 'set the scene'. Fascinating.

The Anatomy Museum at Glasgow Uni is 'officially' open to medical students only, I haven't been in there for years but it's worth sneaking in for the scary things in jars. You might need to wear a white coat for extra effect.

The Royal College of Surgeons in Edinburgh has a museum - their website warns "The museum displays human remains which some people may find unsettling." So if that's your thing, you know where to go! I've never been but maybe I will now...

Bacall - that rings a bell. I used to share a flat with an embryology student, I think she got me in.

AK - that sounds intriguing but a bit scary. Maybe not one for the kids.

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