Today was another field trip day, this time it was to, you guessed it; the Welcome Collection! Prior to this field trip as a class we’d gone to the Science Museum and had seen part of Mr. Welcome’s collection, but this museum trumped the “Welcome” aspect of the last one. The specific exhibits we saw today were the States of Mind and Tibet’s Secret Temple: Body, Mind and Meditation in Tantric Buddhism.
Here is a cool statue on the ceiling of the Welcome Collection building, enjoy (plus an awesome snapchat filter)!
I loved these two exhibits! The States of Mind one was very artsy as well as full of science. There were artists interpretations of glial cells, paintings of Synesthesia as per an artist that may have had it, articles about a sleepwalking murdered who killed his own father. There were many more parts to this gallery but I only saw about 3/4ths of it before we had to move on to the next section.
After the States of Mind exhibit we briefly looked at Mr. Welcome’s small (500 piece) collection there and our guide highlighted a few pieces. There were three chairs next to one another, a “Dragon Chair”, a birthing chair, and a dentist’s chair. The “Dragon chair” was once deemed at a torture chair until a person enlightened the museum to the true nature of the chair. It was a chair used to show the power of the “gods” who possessed people, to prove their strength to protect the fragile body of the human they possessed more or less. It was basically a chair with razor blades for the seat, back, and arms of the chair.
The next objects that the guide pointed out were votives from the Etruscans. These votives were of different body parts, from hair, to feet and everything in between. The votives were made when a person had an ailment and it was made as a public offering to go in a temple in the hopes that it would be cured. I found this interesting because as I said before people made votives of hair, feet, legs, intestines, and reproductive organs.
The next big section that we went to was Tibet’s Secret Temple. This was my favorite part of the collection. The secret temple itself is located near the capital city of Tibet behind the Potala Palace. What amazed me the most was the art work the gallery was showing. I’m a fan of symmetry (who isn’t?) and mandalas are absolutely stunning in my book. The temple itself is designed to look like a mandala in that it is symmetrical, and the ascending layers are perfectly aligned to form the next layer if you will of a mandala if you were to look at it from above. The link on the temple takes you to google where you can find many images from the gallery itself, so please do enjoy!
I cannot emphasize enough how much I enjoyed this exhibit and were it to come to the states I would take anyone who would come with me to see it!