The Tomb of the Unknown Craftsman

Working at home this week, and ploughing my way through some dull paperwork.
To stimulate my little grey cells I have been including treats and outings. I also washed the car, which gave me some exercise and entertained Not Cat who was intrigued by the streams and rivulets of water. He followed them; anticipated their paths; patted them with his paw; peered down the drain after them.
I wanted something a little more exciting to look at, so I headed off to the British Museum to see The Tomb of the Unknown Craftsman.

There weren’t any cars in the exhibition, washed or otherwise, but this motorbike marked the entrance.

Getting a photo of it without lots of people was not easy. The BM was very busy. Crowds thronged the Great Court. One of my favourite galleries, Living and Dying, was uncomfortably full, and some of the children were less than well behaved.

Anyway, back to the motorbike. It’s the one Perry used on his pilgrimage in Germany, taking his childhood teddy bear, Alan Measles (“my best friend was called Alan, and I had the measles”) on the back in the pope mobile.
I think it looks better from the side.

If you don’t know Perry, his teddy bear, or his alter ego, Clare, (or should that be Claire?) you may want to start here
I expected to enjoy the exhibition, but I was surprised how thought provoking I found it. It made me laugh too. I didn’t succumb to any of the stuff in the exhibition shop, though I was tempted by the catalogue. Instead, I contented myself with taking close up pictures of the advertising posters featuring the yellow vase which, if I remember correctly, is about museums as cathedrals.

I enjoyed the links between objects made by unknown craftsmen down the centuries and contemporary culture; identity; journeys; relics endowed with mystery.
Later this, week I’m off to the Victoria and Albert to see the small exhibition Annie Lennox’s House. I’m expecting it to be completely contemporary, but who knows?

18 thoughts on “The Tomb of the Unknown Craftsman

    • Too kind!
      I’m not a big fan of motorbikes, but this one appeals!
      I came across a site here on WordPress about what we keep and what we throw away, also very interesting. I meant to go back but I can’t remember what it is called, and it’s not listed in my history anymore.
      If you, or anyone else, know its name, I’d be most grateful.

  1. I had to write an essay on Grayson Perry about three months back for a short course I was doing. I had no idea who he was until then, except I had seen him on QT one Thursday night and wondered what an in-your-face trannie was doing on the panel. I thought he was mad.

    Then I was made to study ‘Barbaric Splendour.’ I changed my mind somewhat and was surprised to find I was very moved by it once I began to understand it and its symbolism.

    Then I watched him on his motorcycle in Germany with Alan Measles and decided he was self-indulgent after all, even though I do like his ceramics.

    I bet his wife (and all his friends) reads the Guardian. Avidly.

  2. The Guardian is a very nasty paper. I’d tell you why but it would be the end of our relationship. Hint: they smeared Melanie Phillips after Utoya.

    Commenting on their online site is like walking on eggshells. They allow that asterisked word and far far worse because they think it cool. But the slightest hint of political incorrectness and it’s off the site with you.

    • Badger, I really want you to share your warm and fluffy side when you visit my page. Leave all the anger behind, at the Guardian if you want. You are much more fun when you are sharing your enthusiasms for music and film. And, of course, Not Cat! 🙂

      • I have not forgotten about lists, but my brain won’t click in: I actually had to work for 3 days in a row and I’m exhausted! >:-D

        Here’s what I have so far:

        Margaret Atwood
        The Handmaid’s Tale.
        Oryx and Crake and the followup, After the Flood.

        Wallace Stegner

        Ivan Doig
        Dancing at the Rascal Fair

        Robert Graves
        I, Claudius

        Lindsey Davis
        her whole Roman series with our feerless “informer” Marcus Didius Falco.
        The Course of Honor

        Thomas Tallis

        Oldies: The Philadelphia Story; Bringing Up Baby; The 6 Thin Man movies.
        kid and fun: Muppet Christmas Carol; Rocky and Bullwinkle Show
        Apocalyptic: The Day After Tomorrow; Terminator 1 and 2; Boy and His Dog;

        bye for now, oh soft and floofy StripeyBadger!

        • Can I join in too?
          Loved The Handmaid’s Tale, though it was terrifyingly plausible; don’t know anything until I, Claudius and I would add Claudius the God; I liked the first Lindsey Davis books I read, but I have become bored with them; to Tallis, add Byrd and Campion, Never Weather Beaten Sail is one of my favourite pieces, and I have known it since I was about eight or nine; the Philadelphia Story gets the thumbs up from me, but I don’t know the others.
          Here’s to keeping Badger fluffy!

      • Ooops, hit the wrong key and my many-lined comment went with the wind!

        I agree that the Handmaid’s Tale is entirely plausible; it scared the pants off me and I use that book as a barometer for what is happening in the US with the religious fanatics.

        You might try the LDavis book, The Course of Honor. It is set in the same time as Falco, but instead is a recounting of the relationship between Vespasian and a former slave woman. Lovely telling.

        I will go look up those you suggested.

        By the by, I read “Possession” (ASByatt) when it first came out and loved it, so am happy to be reminded to find more of her books.

        Badger, be gentle to Isobel–she is a lovely LADY and an interesting person, besides! Pet, pet, floofy Badger.

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