Curator and the Enlightenment Gallery; Tara Dhaliwal

I found the Enlightenment Gallery in the British Museum full of rather interesting artefacts but I found it lacked a certain appeal that prevented me from being fully engaged with the pieces displayed in front of me. I found this was exacerbated after listening to Peta Motture’s lecture because of her lengthy explanation on all the thought that goes into curating a museum. I found various key points displayed in the Enlightenment Gallery, points that Peta had spoken about. For example, I noticed the seating areas within the Gallery and I remembered Ms. Motture saying “We really do think of everything,” but I felt like the benches in the Gallery were a bit oddly placed as one could only glance at a few pieces from where they were positioned. I also found some of the glass cabinets a bit lacking because of the placement of the items in the bottom shelves where one has to really bend to be able to see them (maybe this was just because I’m tall?).

Either way, I found that this did not cater to a full range of audiences the way Peta had mentioned and I even saw some old people talking about the pieces and how they couldn’t bend down to see them closely. I found the layout of the Gallery quite interesting however and spent a long time finding the congruence on either side of Section 4. I found it really interesting how Peta mentioned the absolute detail that goes into producing a gallery or an exhibit in a museum; it reminded me of the quote- “God is in the details.” I think the Gallery in the British Museum is an excellent one and it is probably silly of me to find faults with it, but I feel like after listening to Peta’s lecture and gaining a “behind the scenes” perspective, I find it hard to not analyse the Gallery.


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