On education in Europe and the USA

Clever Magazine
Student life United Kingdom Daria Bella Matuznaia

Must Visit Museums of London

I am sure you have inevitably thrown a glance at the majestic buildings of London's museums and galleries while passing by. At least, that's what I cannot hold myself back from doing as its 190 museums always keep me guessing: what could they exhibit in so much space? That is why I have arranged an expedition to London museums, to help you with the difficult decision of choosing the one to go to.

The Museum of Natural History

Once, returning from the Christmas break, I saw a long terracotta building with columns all over its perimeter through a car window. The atmosphere of Victorian England contrasted with the walls, covered with tiles and brick, featuring the flora and fauna of a tropical jungle. Right away, I knew I had to come back here to learn about this place a little more. The Museum of Natural History in London is truly one of the most beautiful buildings you'll see in the whole city. The remarkable stone stairs, a gigantic whale's skeleton hanging from the ceiling, and the refractive sunlight falling from the stained glass windows suddenly transport you to a different reality, be it Hogwarts' Great Hall or any other imaginary place. However, it's not only about the picturesque architectural characteristics of the building but also its content. From prehistoric marine reptiles in virtual reality to a vast bird gallery, being home to around 80 million items within its collection makes the Museum of Natural History in London one of the most all-embracing centres of natural history in the world. It is a real gem for artists looking for inspiration in the natural world or for aspiring scientists, wanting to learn more about particular species. Throughout my visit, I had a knowledgeable and fun adventure learning the story of Earth, travelling through the 4.6 billion years of its history in the Earth Hall, experiencing an earthquake through the Earthquake Simulator, and comparing my own weight to an elephant.

Victoria and Albert Museum

What London does very well is inspiring to learn more about art and culture. Its golden ratio is definitely the Victoria and Albert Museum. Why is it so special? There are infinite reasons for this claim, and here are only a few. This museum's collection has over 2.8 million items, including a two-thousand-year span of art in every possible medium, as well as books and archives. Namely, there are British watercolours, drawings, ceramics, fashion, furniture and woodwork, glass, jewellery, metalwork, portrait miniatures and sculpture. Every one of these mediums is divided into a few other narrower sections so you can explore your interests specifically. For example, the fashion collection is subdivided into shoes, glasses and more. Its collection of classical pieces is similarly astonishing. There are paintings by Rossetti, Raphael, Botticelli, Turner Junior, Tintoretto.

Apart from the Museum's permanent collection, there are multiple temporary exhibitions in a variety of areas, from Japanese manga to Gabrielle Chanel's journey. Therefore, it is impossible to see everything in one visit, even if you come as the sun rises and leave as it sets. So to enjoy it fully, visit it more than once, giving yourself more time to soak in the Belles Artes.

The British Museum

The British Museum is one of the most well-known museums in London, permanently keeping its place in multiple lists of London unmissable attractions. Here, I have to inevitably agree, because it has the most fascinating collection of historical artefacts I've ever seen. Its fame does not make it basic, as it uniquely brings world cultures under one roof, its visitors explore the history of various civilisations without travelling. However, I want to point out one particular exhibition that seized all of my attention, which is the Ancient Egypt collection. It is not a standard historical exhibition, but multiple rooms displaying numerous segments of Ancient Egypt's civilisation. There are Egyptian sculptures, art, displays on Early Egypt, Egyptian life and death, including mummies and the tomb chapel of Nebamun, and probably more I haven't seen yet. It is one of the few places that made me stop and read the description of every artefact. The fascinating history of ancient civilisations, makes you want to explore more to understand humanity, and how certain traditions affected you personally. I genuinely can’t wait to come back here again.

Note: do not visit the British Museum on weekends, as it is an extremely popular destination and gets very crowded in the most fascinating rooms of the museum.

Tate Modern

Sometimes, museums feel like work instead of leisure, reading about and guessing the hidden meaning behind the paintings. Nonetheless, there is one museum where this becomes a fun challenge. Tate Modern is not your typical art exhibition, but rather a place for relaxing entertainment. It is a collection of iconic contemporary art, including works of Picasso, Andy Warhol, Georgia O'Keeffe and James Pollock, that challenges our understanding of beauty, incorporating materials and objects that you never thought could be art. Short arthouse movies, art installations and various immersing activities make a trip to Tate Modern a surreal, self-healing experience. You'll be surprised how influential sounds, textures, and colours could be on a human's internal state and that even a white canvas can become art in the right settings.

The atmosphere in Tate Modern is perfect for evokement of feelings unknown to you before, potentially replacing a therapy session. During my visits, I leave all of my worries behind its doors, completely submerging into the unusual arrangement of things. I would recommend coming here for a full day because a few hours are definitely not enough to absorb the creativity and beauty of the unordinary.

Just to conclude, while attending museums, we have an opportunity to learn about the past, the present, and wonder about our future through engaging with different expressions of humanity. It is a vital student and generally human experience, which instigates internal changes, distracts from stress and provides self-healing sessions. It is much deeper than just looking at the displayed items; it is about exploring our nature in uncommon ways.