Inauguration of the Sussex and Brighton Museum (The Brighton Herald 5th November 1861)

The great local event of the week has been the inaugural proceedings connected with the opening of the Sussex and Brighton Museum at the Royal Pavilion.

Inauguration of the Sussex and Brighton Museum (The Brighton Herald 5th November 1861)
Inauguration of the Sussex and Brighton Museum (The Brighton Herald 5th November 1861)

The origin of this Museum, the nature of the building and the character of its contents, we have explained again and again. Only last week we usurped for the nonce the office of curator, and conducted our readers over the whole museum, – opening one after another all the compartments of the wondrous cabinet, and pointing out the value and significance of the treasures deposited in each.

Inauguration of the Sussex and Brighton Museum (The Brighton Herald 5th November 1861)
Inauguration of the Sussex and Brighton Museum (The Brighton Herald 5th November 1861)

Professor Owen (who was warmly received) said: I feel much honoured by the invitation given to me to offer some discourse before you on some subjects which might seem to be applicable to the auspicious occasion on which we are all here assembled, – the inauguration of the Brighton and Sussex museum, – in this most beautiful and most convenient building. I do this with very great pleasure, because to any who set themselves apart from those pursuits which are the most attractive and are the most general in this practical, busy country, – the pursuits, I mean, which have for their aim the acquisition of improved social position, or wealth, or power, I say,  whoever sets himself apart for the more abstract investigations of pure truth, and who looks for little reward beyond the delight of acquiring knowledge, must have very great pleasure in finding such a sign of genial sympathy with his pursuits as the founding of a Museum indicates, and particularly a Museum of natural objects, such as that which forms so important a part of the institution we have assembled this day to open and inaugurate. Indeed, the collection of the varied and beautiful works of Nature is one which we must all feel a pleasure in. It seems to be instinctively planted in our nature as a delightful occupation.

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