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Ragged University talk

November 13, 2012

Ragged University events are about individuals sharing their passion and skills with other individuals, not about individuals promoting a group or organisation… In Manchester they take place in the Castle Hotel and the next talk is on Thursday 15 November, from 7 to 10pm, and one of the speakers is Henry McGhie from the Manchester Museum –

Museum nature and the nature of museums by Henry McGhie

For over a century, visitors to Manchester Museum have learned about natural history by looking at stuffed animals in glass cases arranged by their scientific classification. Many favourites – the tiger, gorilla and polar bear – are still there in a series of 15 themed displays entitled Life, Bodies, Peace, Humans and Disasters.

But some distinctly un-museum like objects have now been added including origami birds, clockwork teeth and neon signs. Henry McGhie, Head of Collections and Curator of Zoology, said “The whole thing had become confused, it was out of date and it was time for a very serious change.” insisting the artistic reinvention of the old Animal Life gallery was “far from cosmetic”. Here he gives an informal talk loosely around Living Worlds and how the collection aims to inspire people to think about the past, present and future and understand how we connect with nature…

  • Background to the Manchester Museum
  • Museum nature’ and the point of a museum is?
  • From natural history to human ecology
  • Specimens- documents vs agents for change
  • People power

It’s free, starts at 7pm and there is free food.

Designated as an Outstanding Collection

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