Friday, November 27, 2009

Friends meeting Dec 5

The Friends of the Museum of Witchcraft meeting is on next weekend Dec 5 at The Wellington Hotel 1030 to 1700. speakers include Geraldine Beskin, Simon Costin & Helen Cornish. Free entrance to Friends or those wishing to join on the day. A walk to the Joan Wytte memorial stone on Sunday 6th. Hope to see you there.

'Harry' Takes a Break in Bournemouth

A visit to the museum this summer by Dr Martin Smith of Bournemouth University has started the ball rolling for a tantalising research project regarding our beloved tarred head known affectionately as 'Harry'. Martin is an osteoarchaeologist and was excited to come across 'Harry' in the cabinets as it turns out he/she could be one of only three such specimens known to exist in the UK.

Today he came to pick up 'Harry' and transport him/her to Bournemouth for some tests which we hope will give us a lot more information than we currently have. From Cecil Williamson's notes it appears 'Harry' was found in a box (which we still have) in a bombed out church in London during WWII. Martin and his colleagues will be performing a CT Scan and various other tests to try to narrow down when he/she was alive, where he/she came from and other information as yet unknown to us. We've always presumed he was a man but there is evidence already to show she may be a woman.

'Harry' is one of our favourite exhibits and we always say hello and have a chat when we do the morning cleaning every day. It will be great to have more information on him/her. We'll keep you updated via the Friends newsletter and future posts. I've attached a photo of Martin delicately placing 'Harry' into the transport box.

Luckily Sarah Ransome from the BBC was here doing an interview with Graham for Radio 4 about businesses recovering after disasters and she managed to do a piece with Martin which we think will be on Radio Cornwall shortly. If we hear anything about when this will be on on mention it on the Twitter site. Here is a picture of Graham being interviewed by Sarah with Martin in the background.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Grey Chapel Gallery

We had a lovely time up in Glastonbury a couple of weeks ago and while we were there we popped in to see Sylvia Wolfe in her recently opened business 'The Grey Chapel Gallery'. It's sort of across the road from the entrance to The Chalice Well so easy enough to find & Sylvia mainly sells artworks with an esoteric theme & some really unique pieces ranging from handmade staffs to snakeskin walking sticks, tribal masks and bronze phalluses. If you're after something different this could be the place for you. I think its been running for about 3 months so is still quite new. Sylvia is German originally and is passionate about her business as well as being one of the friendliest people we've met. There is an exhibition of Ann Sudworth paintings on at the moment. For details have a look at the website . Here is a photo of Graham, Sylvia & her partner Peter.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Cleaning Frenzy

Had a bit of a whizz around the museum last Thursday cleaning for the end of the much dust accumulates so quickly, especially in the library. Having the new roof put on earlier in the season meant that dust got to places we didn't know were places!!! All beautiful now though....we'll be working on a couple of new exhibits while the museum is closed over winter so there'll be something fresh for all our repeat visitors to see when they come back next year. We try to change or update things every year to keep it exciting for everyone. A new window display is being worked on as well.
By the way, there's an interesting art exhibit at Tate St ives called 'The Dark Monarch - Magic & Modernity in British Art'. Worth a look if you're in the area, some Ithell Colquhoun, Osman Spare, Henry Moore et al. There's a rather nice unicorn from Damien Hirst to greet you as you walk in.

Saturday, November 07, 2009

V & A Talk a Success

A fab night was had by all at the V & A Halloween Late Night last Friday night. Simon Costin performed his Dine with Death painted head to toe in red surrounded by others in High Victorian garb. He arrived in a rather fabulous hearse. Unfortunately I didn't get to see it in person as Joyce & I were doing a talk in the Arts Library. Joyce is writing a new book on magic in the Middle Ages called 'Wicked Enchantments' and she was asked to speak on this subject at this event. I read out the spells in my best Medieval Australian accent. Apparently the talk was 'sold out' within 5 mins of the tickets being released. Joyce did a great job & the reaction from the audience was very popular. Interestingly one of the questions was 'where is the Museum of Witchcraft?' Clearly we neeed to do some more promotion as there are still people out there who don't know we exist.