Oxford University Museum

December 10, 2015

oxford university museum of natural history, dodo, skeleton, tortoise, camel, lailaoxford university museum of natural history, dodo, skeleton, tortoise, camel, lailaoxford university museum of natural history, dodo, skeleton, tortoise, camel, lailaoxford university museum of natural history, dodo, skeleton, tortoise, camel, lailaCamel Skeletonoxford university museum of natural history, dodo, skeleton, tortoise, camel, lailaoxford university museum of natural history, dodo, skeleton, tortoise, camel, lailaoxford university museum of natural history, dodo, skeleton, tortoise, camel, lailaoxford university museum of natural history, dodo, skeleton, tortoise, camel, lailaoxford university museum of natural history, dodo, skeleton, tortoise, camel, lailaI was lucky enough to spend a week in Oxford recently with one of my dear friends. There is a certain charm to the place itself but for me the highlights are definitely the museums. Last time I was there I wrote a post on the wonderful History of Science Museum and this trip we visited the OUM of Natural History and adjoining Pitt-Rivers Museum.

Museum Musings

It was actually quite an odd experience. The Museum itself is great; wonderful architecture and factual displays. As you probably know by now, I’m obsessed with animals. Whilst we wandered around I thought that perhaps my love of animals stems from being exposed to a lot of animals at a young age. There were a lot of kids wandering around and drawing pictures of giraffes, tigers, lions etc – all the exotic, faraway animals you learn about in school.

Thing is, I can first remember seeing a giraffe aged about 4 and at this point in my life, I’ve met most of these animals numerous times. I wondered if that has something to do with why I’ve always felt so strongly about animal rights and care. Perhaps the dangers and problems animals face seem more real when the animals themselves stop being theoretical?

Seeing a preserved taxidermy tortoise when just a few short weeks ago I was interacting with real ones was a truly bizarre experience, the camel skeleton just reminded me of Casanova (the camel that “flirted” with me in Egypt), and by the time we reached a stuffed fox, all I could unhappily think about was the foxes that play outside my bedroom window here in London. I was still fascinated by the skeletons of dinosaurs and the fossils of long extinct animals, but for some reason I found the exhibits of animals still alive today really jarring and it left me feeling a bit despondent (as per usual) about the way animals are treated in our society.

My friend made the point that it’s weird to see skeletons and taxidermy and think that all those animals were hunted. I sarcastically replied that it’s hardly like animals roll over and die for us to eat them every day – but he had genuinely never considered the fact that animals were hunted to be displayed before. Perhaps it’s just the way different brains work?oxford university museum of natural history, dodo, skeleton, tortoise, camel, lailaoxford university museum of natural history, dodo, skeleton, tortoise, camel, laila
oxford university museum of natural history, dodo, skeleton, tortoise, camel, laila

8 comments so far.

8 responses to “Oxford University Museum”

  1. Denise says:

    You look sooo beautiful, I loved the pictures! Well, I would feel the same, seeing animals there, preserved, OK, but I would feel awkward too. True, people eat and wear animals. I am a vegetarian, but I am not perfect and wear leather sometimes – not always, but sometimes. We are humans, not perfect 🙂 I loved the museum! Never went to this museum, but I can see how lovely it is!
    DenisesPlanet.com

  2. Roselinde says:

    Cute dress and cool dodos 😉

  3. ellieeburns says:

    these photos are beautiful! i want to visit oxford! x

  4. […] posts; my favourites are the Museum of the History of Science and the Pitt Rivers Museum but the NH Museum and Ashmolean are more than worth a look too if you have enough […]

  5. […] Photos: Cite de l’Architecture, Amy, Walking In A Winter Wonderland, Oxford University Museum […]

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  7. […] Night part II Day 7: Highbury Day 8: Under The Mistletoe Day 9: Christmas Cleaning Day 10: Oxford University Museum Day 11: Christmas In Oxford Day 12: Pitt-Rivers Day 13: Oxford Mini Guide Day 14: Blue Blue […]

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