Designated collection: Culture24 explores music and anthropology at the Horniman Museum

By Culture24 Staff | 01 October 2009
A picture of wooden dolls in a museum

(Above) The African World gallery at the Horniman Museum.

Designated collection: The Horniman Museum, Forest Hill, London

Nestled in a garden in South-East London's Forest Hills, the Horniman Museum is one of the most singular and unusual museums the UK has to offer, hosting one of the finest anthropological and ethnographic collections in the world. Similarly its stunning music collection numbers over 8,000 objects and is one of the largest in the UK.

As part of the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council's Designation scheme, aimed at celebrating some of the country's best collections outside of national institutions, Culture24 has been granted a series of exclusive inside glimpses of the Horniman, unravelling some of the secrets behind the cabinets and meeting some of the personalities who have made it so popular.

a picture of a gallery with glass display cases containing musical instruments

(Above) The packed display cases of the Music Gallery

Musical Instruments Keeper Margaret Birley leads us through the Music Gallery containing some of the 8,000 instruments held in the collection, and Dr Bradley Strauchen tells us why the Boosey and Hawkes collection was vital to the evolution of musical instruments in Britain.

Schools Learning Officer Graz Ciuksza speaks to Rachel Hayward about the innovative education programmes at the Museum, which has also joined forces with our own Caboodle site to give kids the chance to make their own masks inspired by Japanese Noh Theatre and Ogoni tribal versions in the collection.

Charismatic Keeper of Anthropology Wayne Modest also takes us on a tour through the powerful African World gallery and reveals a few of his highlights from the collection.

More on the venues and organisations we've mentioned: