I've wanted to visit the place for a few years now (probably since their Vesuvius exhibition..), and I was only inspired further by posts like this one, by the ever delightful Rosie.
I am very pleased to report that even with such high expectations as mine, I was not disappointed! :)
The building itself is beautiful, and only hints at the treasures within.
I started up stairs, exploring some of the oldest exhibitions in the museum, and spent the next four hours making my way through time and space as I happily bumbled my way round the enormous space.
Reconstructed drinking horns, 600's AD
Stone Axe, approx 3,500 BC
Replica Sutton Hoo Helmet, 7th Century AD | Bronze Age Gold Cape
Sarcophagus of Ankhnesneferibre, God's Wife of Amun 586-525 BC
A Mummy. Obviously.
Tucked away at the back of the museum I discovered a couple of temporary exhibits, and the Chinese exhibition. I love how stepping out of your every day can lead to new discoveries; I never expected to especially enjoy this particular exhibition, but actually it was one of my favorite parts. So much of the art was so beautiful; this sketch totally transported me to another place.
'Long Landscape' reproduction hand scroll, by Kano Seisen'in Osanobu, aged 14 (original by Sesshū Tōyō)
This piece on the right was one of my absolute favorites!! The artist took candid shots of his every day experiences, as part of his 'Diary' series. The shots form a really beautiful glimpse into a different place, a different culture. I really want to describe it as an old school version of instagram.. but that probably cheapens his work..
Seriously though, in my mind, it would be totally worth going back to the museum just to see this again.
Ceremonial Tea Jar, 1870's (aren't those colours just beautiful!) | Diary Aug 10th '77 - Noda Tetsuya
In the basement I discovered a display of African artifacts, predominantly sculpture. The exhibit had a really earthy vibe, and as ever, there was more to see than I could possibly take in during the short time I was there!
Wooden doors, created in the early 1900's for the royal palace at Ikere | 19th Century wooden mask
The ground floor housed a history of the enlightenment, their 8 mummies exhibition, and plenty of Greek history.
A teeny, tiny perfume bottle, approx 670 BC | The much much larger Parthenon Sculptures, 440 BC
With time running out, I hurried round the rest of the exhibition, taking a moment or two to explore the expansive Assyrian carvings, taken from the North Palace at Nineveh, before heading home.
The Lion Hunt, Assyrian Carving, approx 640 BC
That roof.. I just love it!