Which, actually, I rather liked. So much was left to the imagination. Take these uncaptioned pictures as examples:
With no verbal clue whatsoever provided by the museum curators, the visitor's mind is left to happily boggle. As my brother observed, after a quick glance, they make David Cameron and the Bullingdon Club look positively tame.
As well as a lack of captions, the museum also startles you somewhat by kicking off with a couple of rooms devoted to death - or at least how death was marked - in earlier decades of the twentieth century.
It turns out that even when you were gone, man or boy, you could not escape class:
Mind you, whatever vehicle they transported your body in, the personnel in charge of proceedings remained the same throughout:
A finer looking pair of gentleman you couldn't wish for really.
This appears to be the hearse fetishist's answer to a Pirelli calendar:
But let's talk about happy things.
Moving briskly along, the museum offers artefacts from earlier days related to childbirth:
|More shudder - mind you the rubber hoses used in Marienbad (see earlier post, wittily entitled, "Bad Trip"), looked more appalling than this, (well slightly more)|
|How to deal with that extremely rare problem - the baby that won't wake up?|
|What a gormless looking creature - I remember trying rather hopelessly to generate enthusiasm for a doll not unlike this one|
|I reckon there's a picture book to be written about that trio up the back|
|These two are hilarious, I think|
|This has great big spades for hands and I think is one of the scariest toys I've ever seen - but would be good in a horror movie|
|There's a touch of the Blanche du Bois about that doll, don't you think|
|Tokenism is always with us|
|A lovely thing|
|There is something poignant about abandoned toys|
Clothing came next, all pretty standard, but I did like these ladies in their hats:
The educational section was largely taken up with a beautiful if rather utilitarian - if that's the right word; what I mean is it is conceived entirely from the perspective of those exploiting the country and its natural resources - map of the Congo:
After that we were whisked off to another part of the building, which included this alarming but mysterious exhibit:
Diplomas used to be so much more beautiful. It just shows how important it is to use illustrators more, (by the way have you heard of this one, who is awfully good, [while we're on the subject, should you be thinking of reviving the art of beautiful diploma making, or, indeed, producing any kind of printed matter with pictures?])
|Actually this one is a bit odd|
|Speaking of odd, I have no idea what is going on here or in the next picture|
|To win this lovely thing or the next one, I think I might even have tried my hand at bird fancying|
|Another blast from the past - I presume the Grote Pot is no longer there, but I ought to check on it. It doesn't look enormously enticing, to be honest - at least not to me.|
|A natty gent and prototype hipster|
|I love a good menu. Do you think they chose between the items or ate everything on there?|
Oddly, there was suddenly a recreated barber's shop, which included this rather beautiful object:
This seemed to be the backdrop to my childhood, or designs very like it:
This section brought home to me how much design evokes an epoch:
There were some lovely hoola hoopers, who I will upload to my Instagram
There were a couple of old radios next, their dials full of Eastern promise. I found similar ones so enticing in my younger days:
And then, right at the end, there was a personal blast from the past - the box for a toy I had until that moment completely and totally forgotten about but one that gave me huge pleasure, so much so that it was a delight just to be reminded of it again:
I loved it.