As one of the first ‘maximal spaces’ that I have visited for the purposes of this blog, Musgrave Museum meets the maximal criteria perfectly – not only in its physicality but also in its subject matter.
Now in his mid nineties, George Musgrave is described as an artist, designer, filmmaker, storyteller and collector. His various interests and experiences are chronicled in this small museum, which is housed in what used to be a shop, just off Eastbourne sea-front.
Every inch of the space is filled with creations, artefacts and objects that are of interest to Musgrave. And much like a comprehensive artist’s retrospective, the museum space does not simply engage the visitor in the man’s work, but also gives a sense of his life experience and, most prominently, his passions. Touchingly, this engagement begins with a dedication to Musgrave’s father: a father he never knew.
These passions come into focus with the museum’s ‘centre piece’, a series of forty paintings, which depict the life of St. Paul. This enthusiasm for the saint’s story has resulted in thirty years of research, painting and a visit to Malta.
The maximal nature of this space, with it’s winding corridors; packed display cases and overflowing walls, reflects a life of diligent research and prolific creation. Whilst some may be content to leave a biographical account in words, Musgrave has given his life story materiality. A biography which is highly involved, whimsical and somewhat uncanny.