My name is Jack Shoulder and I would like to adopt the Museum of Classical Archaeology.
Tell us a bit more about yourself
I live by the sea in sunny Brighton on the south coast of England. I do lots of digital work with museums; during the week I work at Culture24 helping museums, galleries and archives find new audiences online and at the weekends I run digital family education workshops at the British Museum in their Samsung Digital Discovery Centre. When I’m not doing all of that I write a blog about my adventures in museums called Jack’s Adventures in Museum land and collect badges for my Museum of Museum Badges.
Tell us a bit more about your adopted museum
The Museum of Classical Archaeology is based in Cambridge, England, and is one of the nine museums based at the university there. Admission is free and the museum is open from 10am ‘til 5pm during the week and from 10am ‘til 1pm on Saturdays during university term time. It’s a bit odd as far as museums go, because everything in it is fake – it’s a museum of plaster casts of famous Greek and Roman statues and sculptures.
Why have you chosen to adopt this museum?
When you go to a museum, you tend to expect to see something authentic: the Real Deal. This is something you don’t get here. When you see an object that’s the Real Deal, if you’re lucky, you only get one story; why it was significant in its time. At this museum, “Every cast tells two stories. One ancient. One modern.” It’s not just this though, what really made this museum for me was their willingness to interact; scattered throughout the gallery were signs inviting you to ask questions, “even the silly ones” complete with an arrow pointing to where you could find the experts. They’re also really good at chatting to their visitors online, which is really nice too.
Why would you recommend people visit?
I’d heartily recommend this museum for all sorts of reasons; the main ones being how welcoming it is and how friendly the staff are in real life and online and how it gives you access to treasures scattered all over the world. I love taking pictures when I’m exploring museums, and everywhere you turn in this one, there’s an amazing picture just waiting to be captured. Also, it can be really quiet because it’s a little bit off the beaten track, and there are few things better than getting a museum all to yourself!
How would you sum up your museum in three words?
Veni Vidi Placuit.