Unlike Jan and Graham Upton (refer to previous post), the owner of Anna’s Museum is only at the beginning of her journey in collecting. But even at the young age of twelve, Anna already demonstrates incredible skills in selecting and exhibiting objects.
The budding curator describes her museum as: ‘a small private collection of mostly natural history finds, displayed in a former shop window in central Brighton.’
Although technically closed to the general public, the afore mentioned shop fronting enables a portion of the collection to be viewed by passers-by. Consequently, Anna’s Museum is well-known by local residents.
Having lived in Brighton for a number of years myself, I have seen these displays grow and change over time, with a definite curatorial style developing through the owner’s maximal use of space. On the rather gloomy day that I happened to walk by recently, there was a notice in the window explaining that the museum was temporarily on hold, while works take place on the building’s exterior.
By positioning myself between a layer of scaffolding, I was still able to glimpse Anna’s most recent display, which comprises of a mixture of natural objects, such as crystals, shells and fossils, and also some taxidermy animals. The most startling object, which caught my eye from across the street, actually seems to be made from both of these materials; an unusual equine creature sat in a red high chair, with a stuffed head and drift wood limbs. It is this curious mixture of objects that makes Anna’s displays so eye-catching and unforgettable.
As a fan of the museum, I look forward to seeing Anna’s next display when building work is complete. In the meantime, I have been following Anna’s blog, which is an ever-growing online catalogue of her vast collection.
To find out more about Anna’s love of collecting, please read this fantastic interview on beetlecherry.com.