In Oxford, England, there is a unique museum blending art, performance, telling, viewing, and pretty much everything else story-related in imaginative ways. This is the Story Museum. Here’s a bit from my post reporting my visit there a couple of years ago:
Yesterday, Philip Pullman who is, unsurprisingly, one of their patrons took me to the museum where we got a fascinating tour with co-director Kim Pickin. The physical space is a remarkable warren of rooms of all sizes with a fascinating history and, if they do even a smidgen of what they dream to do, it will be extraordinary. They’ve got some massive Alice cut-outs peering out of the windows, a dinosaur, some scary vaults (part of the space used to be the post office and there are rumors that gold bullion was stored there at one point), some very old printing presses, and lots of energy .
I’ve followed them on twitter ever since and have often wished I could go visit their unique exhibits. The one that just opened, 26 Characters, looks absolutely wonderful. They invited a number of familiar children’s book creators such as Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett to “transform themselves into the characters they most loved as children.” The resulting exhibit of photographs by Cambridge Jones is “a gallery of rogues and rascals, wizards, witches and wild things, which unfolds through the Story Museum’s atmospheric and unfinished buildings.”
– see portraits hung in interactive themed spaces
– Listen to story extracts recorded by award-winning actors Olivia Colman and Christopher Eccleston
– Hear new stories specially created by Jamila Gavin, Geraldine McCaughrean, Kevin Crossley-Holland and Alex Kanefsky
– Listen to authors talking about their choice of hero and why they love stories (you can also hear them online here)
– Browse through everybody’s books and discover more in our comfortable library
– Dress up and have your photo taken for our digital gallery
– Make friends with our talking throne
For a taste, here’s Neil Gaiman as a Badger. Sure wish I could go!