The Horniman Museum

We went to the Horniman, which feels psychologically a long way away, although not as the crow flies. I was interested to see its display policy, given that its combination of anthropology and evolutionary natural history is so wildly unfashionable. I thought it was handled well, making it obvious the extent to which its origins lie in Horniman’s wide-ranging interests as a tea planter, but emphasising the benefits of his internationalism and including contemporary works, like an I-phone. The displays were done by Ralph Appelbaum Associates, who also did the Weltmuseum in Vienna.

It begins with a display of Horniman’s beetles, which perfectly conveys his taxonomic interests:-


I liked this wolf eyeing up a bloodhound:-

I can’t remember what these were (the nervous system of a cat ?):-

Guanaco hoof collar:-

Tattooed Memory by Temsuyanger Longkumer:-

Net bags from Oceania:-

Glass spearheads:-

A gut parka:-

A kayak model:-

Agban, the deputy commander in chief of the Benin army:-

And a priest:-


One thought on “The Horniman Museum

  1. An inspiring report. Seeing the original notes on the beetles is wonderful. The net bags were familiar from the RA’s Oceania show, which you’ll be all too familiar with and I loved. And the gut parka, what an artefact! I must learn more about Horniman and get back to Forest Hill as soon as the pandemic allows.

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