Thursday, 23 October 2014

Sherlock Holmes exhibition at the Museum of London

Image (c) Kasia Wozniak, used with permission of
the Museum of London. Please don't pin/reuse!
Sherlock Holmes is having a bit of a cultural moment, so it's fitting that the Museum of London should have an exhibition on celebrating one of the English capital's best-known fictional inhabitants. It's running from the 17th October 2014 to 12th April 2015, and will explore real Victorian London as well as the world of the fictional detective and his transition from print to stage and film. Entry prices are £12 for adults, £10 for concessions and £9.50 each for 'flexible family' tickets.



As part of the Sherlock Holmes season the museum is hosting walks, a cocktail hunt, all sorts of things. There's also an exhibition of fashion photography, called 'He wasn't an easy gentleman to describe', shot by photographer Kasia Wozniak on a large-plate camera using the wet-plate collodion process. That's a Victorian technique that is starting to be used a little more - I've seen steampunk photographers using it. However, fashion photographers rarely use the technique, and it gives a really Victorian feel to Wozniak's work. The clothes her model wears are all taken from snippets of descriptions in the Holmes stories.

I was quite surprised to realise that this is the first exhibition on Holmes to take place in London for over 60 years. He's such an iconic character - but, as I said, it's his moment. (I have to confess, I really don't see the physical appeal of Benedict Cumberbatch, though he's great in radio plays.) The Museum of London is a great place for it. While it's very hard to compress the history of the city into one building, and I'm not sure it's done successfully as far as earlier centuries are concerned, the museum does have a nicely-done 'Victorian street', which gives you a sense of the capital a hundred and fifty years ago. I hope I make it to London before the exhibition ends!

Looking for stuff to do in London? How about the British Library's Gothic Imagination exhibition?

Like Sherlock Holmes? Have you read Professor Moriarty: Hound of the D'Urbervilles?

8 comments :

  1. I really like Cumberbatch as Holmes, though I guess in my head Brett and Rathbone are the men that first come to mind.

    Have you b chance ever seen any Elementary? Whilst in many ways it is just another US police procedural Johnny Lee Miller makes for an interesting Holmes. I think Cumberbatch is much more subtle and better but they're interesting counterpoints to one another as the modern Holmes.

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    1. No, I haven't seen that one. I think it's on one of my channels, and probably on catchup too, but it's never appealed enough for me to watch it, even with Lucy Liu.

      *Guilty confession* I have made time for both Gotham and The Flash...

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  2. I have tickets for next Friday so I will let you know what it's like :-)

    I have to say their Dickens Exhibition was excellent and really evoked Victorian London so I have high hopes for this one too.

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    1. Oh, cool! Take lots of photies!

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  3. I grew up watching the Rathbone versions, and always liked how the character was portrayed as a bit intimidating and fierce, rather than the sort of bumbling kind of character that seems to appeal more these days (in all sorts of reworkings of classics far beyond Homes).

    I hardly ever get to see exhibitions in London but this one's quite long running so I'm in with a chance perhaps!

    I will say though, that as books, the novels really have stood the test of time - I find them to be super reads, and I think the non-forensic time they were set in is far preferable to all this modern nonsense with helicopters, handguns, and so forth.

    P x

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    1. Yes, they are still jolly good to read, aren't they? Proof that a good story will last. It's been interesting reading the British Library crime novel reprints; as cruel as it sounds, I feel like saying 'Sometimes things go out of print for a reason'. Whereas Holmes never will.

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  4. We went up to see the exhibition last weekend - really great, very well curated (and don't worry- plenty of Conan Doyle Victorian-steeped historyness, relatively little Benedict so you're in luck!) Rx

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    1. Ah, that's good to know. And I envy you your trip to London.

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