Brighton Museum is closed on Mondays so staff can get on with vital work and exhibits can be cleaned and repaired.
I defy anyone not to feel a frisson of excitement to be allowed to walk around a place like a museum when you know the general public are not allowed in.
Just like the kids film trilogy Night at the Museum starring Ben Stiller and Robin Williams, I half imagine some of the exhibits will come alive and start talking.
There are people here getting on with their daily work such as cleaners, security staff, curators and all the regular office staff upstairs and in the Pavilion but at the moment, I’m the only one looking around the exhibits. Some of the galleries are dark, the café is closed and all the chairs are stacked on the tables, the shop is shut and the door through to the Dome café bar is closed.
Somehow it feels like all the exhibits have been displayed just for me. I’ve taken some pictures for a new Pinterest board and there’s been no-one to frown at me. I’ve gazed for quite a long time at the paintings which are along the stairs and entrances. When there are lots of people around, you can get swept along by the tide without really looking.
I’ve fallen in love with an exquisite tiny silver and white Wedgewood milk jug in the pottery display cabinet which I’d have snapped up if it had been in shop. I’ve never spotted it before and would probably never have seen it if I hadn’t been on my own today.
I’ve tried once again to look a Mr Willett’s Popular Pottery but it remains a mystery to me. I have resisted the temptation to touch any of the items, even though they are calling out to me.
I’m now sitting on a bench writing this in the lovely peace and quiet. It feels like the museum has kicked off its shoes, stretched back and is letting out a big deep breath of relaxation. Tomorrow the summer crowds with their rucksacks and loud voices will return but today is a well-earned day off for this glorious building and the big mix of things which live here.
Caroline Sutton, Blogger in Residence
“Night at the Museum poster” by http://www.impawards.com/2006/night_at_the_museum.html. Licensed under Fair use of copyrighted material in the context of Night at the Museum via Wikipedia – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Night_at_the_Museum_poster.jpg#mediaviewer/File:Night_at_the_Museum_poster.jpg