For me, the really exciting aspect of this project is discovering the objects in the museum’s collection and marvelling at just how talented our predecessors were. It’s far too easy to view ‘the past’ as a mystical place – a place that doesn’t really exist apart from as a concept in our heads. It’s often a place that bears little similarity to where we live today.
The objects held in museum collections help us connect to these places and, more importantly, to the individual people who lived there. It was these people with their own ideas of style, fashion, practicality and beauty, who created the objects which survive in museum collections today.
Museum staff often talk about the ‘magic moment’ – that moment when a visitor really connects with an object, when it makes sense to them and the past comes alive. This RAMM Leventis project is enabling people to discover this connection with the past – whether it’s a beautiful design on a pot, the colour of an ancient glass vessel, or the mark of the potter in the clay. Ancient objects have so much to tell us – if we’re willing to begin the conversation.