Friday, June 7, 2013

Museum of Natural History

131 James Street Guildford, Western Australia.

This place is awesome. The blurb on their pamphlet says:

"You will walk in and say WOW!"
and I did!
Remember museums before they got all touchy-feely, art gallery sterile, and a bit boring
(that's how I feel about modern museums anyway. I think they've lost something in their attempt to be user friendly. What do you reckon?)
You might like white walls and bright lighting, but I prefer the museums of my childhood: dark, spooky, and a bit on the daggy side. I like feeling like I should whisper and mind my p's and q's while I'm looking at fossils and relics and dinosaurs. I like that feeling of reverence I felt in museums whem I was a kid on school excursions (not sure if reverence is the right word here, but I hope you get the gist). I reckon museums are far too clean and tidy these days, and that is why I fell in love with this place.
(that, and the fact that it's housed in an old Slavonic Hall, built in 1926, but currently rocking more of a 70's interior: original bar in corner, alpine mural backdrop still on stage, perspex chandeliers (love them!), velvet curtains etc. etc.)
Here are some pics, they're not that crash-hot (actually, they totally suck!) but don't let them put you off - please. It's a really cool place. I know you'd like it, and remember, it won't be long until the July school holidays...    

A fleeting glimpse of Annabel,
and another.
they're antlers hanging from the chandeliers.


Kangaroo Paws (now you know - if you didn't already!)
I found this exhibit a tad unnerving.

Now I know some of you might find all this taxidermy stuff upsetting (every time there's a cow hide in an interior on Design Sponge, The Design Files, etc. there's always a few comments from outraged readers), but Michael Buzza, Master Taxidermist(!) and the chap behind the museum, only works on animals that have died of natural causes, so don't fret too much, okay.
(and when you've had your fill of the museum, there's always Guildford's antique strip - Curio Warehouse is my fave)
Thanks for reading x




  1. Wow Kylie, that looks like a lot of taxidermy, horns, paws & curio!? The flamingo is my fave :)

  2. If you like freaky museum (lord knows I do - oh yeah, that's right, I work in one!), and you ever find yourself in Philadelphia, then check out the Mutter medical museum.
    It supplied my all time, ever, favourite gift shop purchase - the conjoined gingerbread twin cookie cutter. My stepson wanted me to make them as a new baby gift for our next door neighbour but we decided that might be in poor taste!

  3. I really want to get into museums more. This place looks like itd be very intetesting. Maybe I will go to one..a little closer to home. xx

  4. Thats a great place. Thanks for sharing. I even smell the special perfume of such a museum. A little moody and different... The flamingo and the antilope (?) are my favorites. I realy like this kind of stuff for decoration aswell. Not political correct, but...
    My two would love the place because of the dinos!
    Greetings, Ria

  5. Oh Kylie, I so agree with you about modern museums. The atmosphere just isn't the same and there's not that element of wonder and surprise about what you'll see next! And yes ... you always wanted to whisper. Nowadays kids just rush around shouting and being "interactive", totally spoiling the visit as far as I'm concerned. Thought that was just old age!!!!!
    Liz @ Shortbread & Ginger

  6. this is the kind of place i LOVE!

  7. That's funny Liz, I was thinking the same thing "modern museums seem to encourage children to run around and be loud and hysterical" and I wonder how much they learn. They are so busy with big red signs (only simple language) of "push this" "hit this". I think the Launceston museum has done a great job with it's new refurbishment. The really interactive site is the science exhibit. Ideally I think they should have sited this on an entirely different property. It makes it a bit confusing to children about appropriate play in adjoining areas. It would work well if parents were fully engaged and supervising, but like modern museums, they have modern parenting. Museums are also good for practising reading, all those information cards and stories. Kids don't have to read everything in the one visit but some every visit is part of their learning experience as much as all the looking and exploring.

  8. ahh taxidermy my old friend!. this is my kind of place....yep those pics do suck!! kiddin, love the one of Annabel walking with the dinos....oh and I`d marry Mr Buzza just to have his surname!! xx

  9. I hadn't thought about the museum question until you mentioned it, but I think you are probably right, and I do think reverence is the right word.

    I have a fascination for taxidermy. I owned my own brown bear's head for 20 years and loved it, plus I still have a 1920's fox fur. I sort of feel that if they are dead anyway, this is the best way to respect them, to continue to admire them. As soon as I saw the words Alpine mural backdrop I was alert. It's good! xx

  10. That looks like a really interesting place! I have a cowhide rug (and eat steak as often as I can afford it), so I have no ethical qualms about taxidermy. The ostrich is my favorite.

  11. Interesting....quirky and just up my street....I also despair of the modern sterile museum. Yay for hands-on!!

    As for taxidermy, we have a stuffed cat - it was a movie prop - and it lies in our sitting room, near the window, looking very life-like..fools most visitors.

  12. i LOVE this! it seems it's the place where all the non-PC stuff has gone, stuffed extinct things etc. it looks a little clean to me though, i prefer my museums dusty and my libraries quiet (11 years in nz and i still shush people on auto and then have to apologise!) x

  13. What an awesome place, my son would want his living room to look like this. A friend's daughter is studying Drama at W.A. I must tell them about it - thanks!

  14. Looks amazing,somewhat creepy but amazing. My boys would love it!