Museum object of the year

In Awards on December 11, 2010 at 10:04 am

The third instalment of my 2010 awards is a new category for this year. It celebrates an iconic object I’ve seen for the first time with my own eyes in the last twelve months. It is, of course, completely dependent of where I’ve been and what I’ve seen. And what I find impressive.

Runners up

The Alfred Jewel (Ashmolean Museum, Oxford)
I’d never really wondered about why it was so significant, but it’s actually a hugely beautiful piece. And it’s one of the most significant archaeological finds in the UK, ever.

Gutenberg Bible (Lambeth Palace Library, London)
There’s something strangely humbling about being in front of one of the first books ever printed. It looks just like any other book, but it’s certainly got a special something about it. It was printed in 1455. As our American cousins might observe, that’s so old!

Titanic bell (O2, London)
This object, on its own in a spotlit display case, was a great way to start an exhibition. Raised 2.5 miles off the Atlantic seabed, it’s an amazing icon of the fated ship. It’s just a shame that the rest of the exhibition was such a let down.

And the winner is…

Michelangelo’s David (Accademia Gallery, Florence)
Well there aren’t many more iconic pieces of sculpture in the world than this. Of course in Florence we saw countless other masterpieces, but this one really does stick out (no pun intended). I’ve marvelled at the cast of this in the V&A for years, but it’s even more special when it’s in the beautiful setting of the Accademia, where it belongs.
(NB: if you’re ever there, don’t forget to turn around and look at the collection of amazing half-finished Michelangelo sculptures , also known as the Gallery of the Slaves.)

Getting to see such amazing objects as these is one of the reasons I love working in the museums and heritage sector.
What have you seen this year that impressed you? Drop me a line with your favourites.

  1. […] app of the Year Museum object of the Year London terminus of the […]

  2. […] of topics. Regular followers of these awards will be familiar with the standard categories such as Museum Object of the Year and Sandwich of the Year. And there’ll be some new categories this year too. Turner Prize, […]

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