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Creating colours from coalfields
Exploring the Unknown
6th Jul 2020
[[{"fid":"14167","view_mode":"large","fields":{"format":"large","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":"Creating colours from coalfields","field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":"","field_caption_heading[und][0][title]":"","field_caption_heading[und][0][url]":"","field_caption[und][0][value]":"","field_float_left_right[und]":"none","field_file_image_decorative[und]":"0"},"type":"media","field_deltas":{"1":{"format":"large","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":"Creating colours from coalfields","field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":"","field_caption_heading[und][0][title]":"","field_caption_heading[und][0][url]":"","field_caption[und][0][value]":"","field_float_left_right[und]":"none","field_file_image_decorative[und]":"0"}},"attributes":{"height":"480","width":"768","class":"media-element file-large"}}]]Throughout the coronavirus pandemic we have continually been faced with the unknown.  Even now as we are move into our ‘new normal’ we continually ask ourselves - what will happen next? How will we react?  The unknown can be terrifying.But it can also lead to fresh ideas and innovation. Researchers deal with the unknown every day. In fact, they embrace it. Questions will lead to more questions. The pursuit of knowledge is exciting and challenging. Sometimes even when we think we have an answer, it is disproved later. Our museum collections are continually used for research by our curators, academics and students, who make new discoveries all the time.So this month on our blog and social media we will be exploring the theme of ‘the unknown’, and what it means to us.#UCLUnknownStories of failureOur exhibition in the Octagon, FLOP: 13 stories of failure shows how mistakes can lead to unexpected discoveries, including the accidental invention of silly putty.Listen to the exhibition podcastResearching our mystery objectsEvery year students in UCL’s Collection Curatorship class (as part of their MA in Museum Studies) choose objects from across UCL’s collections to research in a practical project to introduce them to the core skills of a curator: to understand objects and how to research them. In previous years, students have solved the mystery of leech embryo wax models and what were previously known as ‘the Fancy Casts’. Creating colours from coalfieldsThe discovery of five new paint colours in ex-coal mines has been developed by UCL Slade School artist Onya McCausland. It has led to the first-ever use of paint derived from UK coal mine water treatment (see image above).Find out moreHelp us translate Jeremy Bentham’s manuscriptsJeremy Bentham was a huge writer, producing over 100,000 manuscripts throughout his life. We are still transcribing them today! At the latest count, volunteers have transcribed more than 20,000 pages of Bentham's writings. Find out how you can get involved
UCL East
New East London-based female artist Emma Hart appointed for UCL East
2nd Jul 2020
[[{"fid":"14171","view_mode":"large","fields":{"format":"large","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":"UCL East","field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":"","field_caption_heading[und][0][title]":"","field_caption_heading[und][0][url]":"","field_caption[und][0][value]":"","field_float_left_right[und]":"none","field_file_image_decorative[und]":"0"},"type":"media","field_deltas":{"1":{"format":"large","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":"UCL East","field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":"","field_caption_heading[und][0][title]":"","field_caption_heading[und][0][url]":"","field_caption[und][0][value]":"","field_float_left_right[und]":"none","field_file_image_decorative[und]":"0"}},"attributes":{"height":"545","width":"768","class":"media-element file-large"}}]]We are delighted to announce that UCL lecturer Emma Hart has been appointed to create new work for UCL East on Queen Elizabeth Park.This is the first commission within a wider programme of public art as part of the UCL East development. Emma was selected through a competitive interview process, due to her interest in how art can forge meaningful relationships with its viewers.Emma lives and works in London; she received her MA in Fine Art from UCL’s Slade School of Fine Arts in 2004 and completed her PhD in Fine Art at Kingston University in 2013. She won the 2016 Max Mara Art Prize for Women in collaboration with the Whitechapel Gallery. In 2015, she was awarded a Paul Hamlyn Foundation award for visual art. Her fresh approach to working with communities and the academic community at UCL East will unfold over the next two years as she develops ideas for the building. Emma will also work with the project architects Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands to integrate her work into the building.Find out more about UCL East 
Games & Play
10th Jun 2020
Forget the old adage 'work hard, play hard'. This month at UCL Culture we are all about developing our inner child. No, this doesn't mean taking Lego bricks to work... Instead we are rekindling those qualities of light-hearted play that formed the core of our development growing up, and can still help us now. Through the opinions of our experts and an exploration of 'grown-up' play, we want to rediscover the joy a playful mindset can bring to our lives and the creativity it naturally unlocks. We’ll also examine the impact play has on our mental health and wellbeing. How it aids learning and its power to widen our understanding of the world around us. Play is an important part of what makes us human.#UCLPlay Get involvedLet’s Play: Games as Connection    Why do we play games? Inspired by our collections, Let’s Play is an online exhibition curated by MA Museum Studies students from the UCL Institute of Archaeology. It tells the story of how games connect people across time, place, struggles and communities.Visit the websiteHelp solve the mystery of the Egyptian game of SenetThe Ancient Egyptians loved playing board games. Senet is one of the oldest in the world dating around 3,100 BC. Although there are many theories on how to play, exact instructions for the game have never been discovered. Read our article on Senet on the Museum Crush websiteWilliam Hogarth and the Idle Prentice at PlayDelve into the UCL Art Museum and find out what William Hogarth had to say on gambling, the game of hustle-cap and morality.Read our blogHave a go at stop animation on your phonePlaying and creativity go hand-in-hand. Our Engagement team have been busy working with UCL students to show you how to create simple but amazing stop animation on your mobile.Find out more[[{"fid":"14147","view_mode":"medium","fields":{"format":"medium","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":"Stop animation image","field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":"","field_caption_heading[und][0][title]":"","field_caption_heading[und][0][url]":"","field_caption[und][0][value]":"","field_float_left_right[und]":"none","field_file_image_decorative[und]":"0"},"type":"media","field_deltas":{"1":{"format":"medium","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":"Stop animation image","field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":"","field_caption_heading[und][0][title]":"","field_caption_heading[und][0][url]":"","field_caption[und][0][value]":"","field_float_left_right[und]":"none","field_file_image_decorative[und]":"0"}},"attributes":{"height":"566","width":"998","class":"media-element file-medium"}}]]Play a jiigsawFriends of the Petrie Museum have created online jigsaws from some of our most stunning artefacts from the collection including our famous collection of Shabtis.Find out moreWatch UCL Professor Sophie Scott’s TED talk on why we laughDid you know that you're 30 times more likely to laugh if you're with somebody else than if you're alone? Our cognitive neuroscientist Sophie Scott shares this and other surprising facts.Watch the TED talk Watch this space... Over the coming weeks we will be sharing our ideas on the theme of play and experimenting with our own collections. Follow us on InstagramFollow us on Twitter 
Welcome to UCL Culture’s World of Tiny Things
4th May 2020
Contained within the quiet of our museums it is the small, the tiny and microscopic pieces that call to us the loudest. From a grain of ancient Egyptian wheat to an exquisite painted miniature, a strand of a mammoth’s hair to the smallest bone in the human body. Our museums contain a mostly hidden world of weird and wonderful small objects. Join us this May as we celebrate the small. Take part in our series of micro-meditations and create your very own ‘Digital Micrarium’.  #UCLMicroWorlds Creative challenge: Create your own Digital MicrariumThe Micrarium in the Grant Museum is a beautiful back-lit cave of 2,300 microscope slides giving a glimpse of the vast diversity of animal life, nearly all of which is minute.Your creative challenge is to design and curate your own ‘Digital Micrarium’ inspired by what you can find around you.  Down in the depths of a cluttered drawer or hidden in a box under the bed; in a shaded part of the garden, or in a pocket of a seldom used coat, small things are waiting for you to notice them again…Choosing anything from a bead of a broken necklace to a close-up of a leaf – we ask you to find and curate your own tiny objects. Arrange them on a large piece of white paper and take a photograph or draw them from above.What story do the items you’ve chosen tell?  What do they say about you, your environment or your mood? Share your Digital Micrariums with us on social media with #UCLMicroWorlds and we will repost our favourites.Creative challenge: Micro-meditationsEvery Monday across our social media channels we will be giving you a new micro-meditation challenge. It’s the perfect opportunity to slow down, study something up close and discovery its beauty. Explore our CollectionsYou can explore many of our tiny collections online. Here are some of the highlights:The Micrarium It’s often said that 95% of known animal species are smaller than your thumb. But have you noticed how most museums fill their displays with big animals?  We have created a beautiful back-lit cave displaying the tiniest specimens in the collection. All in just 2.52 square metres.Find out more about the Micrarium[[{"fid":"14091","view_mode":"medium","fields":{"format":"medium","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":"Microscope slides prepared by Doris Mackinnon","field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":"Microscope slides prepared by Doris Mackinnon","field_caption_heading[und][0][title]":"","field_caption_heading[und][0][url]":"","field_caption[und][0][value]":"Microscope slides prepared by Doris Mackinnon, showing Monocystis, a parasite of the sperm sacs of earthworms.","field_float_left_right[und]":"none","field_file_image_decorative[und]":"0"},"type":"media","field_deltas":{"1":{"format":"medium","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":"Microscope slides prepared by Doris Mackinnon","field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":"Microscope slides prepared by Doris Mackinnon","field_caption_heading[und][0][title]":"","field_caption_heading[und][0][url]":"","field_caption[und][0][value]":"Microscope slides prepared by Doris Mackinnon, showing Monocystis, a parasite of the sperm sacs of earthworms.","field_float_left_right[und]":"none","field_file_image_decorative[und]":"0"}},"attributes":{"height":"464","width":"768","class":"media-element file-medium"}}]]Collection of ProtozoaDoris Mackinnon (1883-1956) was a Scottish protozoologist and parasitologist. During World War I she did vital work studying and diagnosing amoebic dysentery and other intestinal parasites that affected the soldiers. Find out more3,000-year-old Egyptian wheat genome This study was carried out by an international research team who mapped the genetic code from a sample of wheat harvested over 3,000 years ago in Egypt.Find out moreMeteorite beads These beads are made from iron-rich meteorites that fell to earth 5,000 years ago. Someone in Egypt took the time to collect this brittle material, heat and hammer it until it was a millimetre thick and then carefully roll it into beads. They are the oldest known worked iron items in the world.Find out moreRamsay discharge tubesThese discharge tubes in the UCL Science Collection were used by Sir William Ramsay in his discovery of five new elements now known as the noble gases.Find out more
Colour photo of shabti figures arranged in rows
Explore UCL Culture's museums from home
6th Apr 2020
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