Ok so I may be a few years too late for the big 250th but in defence I was 10 at the time…
The British museum is one of the most iconic and visited museums in the world. No trip to London would be complete without wondering around the galleries for a few hours at least!
Originally founded by the physician and naturalist Sir Hans Sloane (1660-1753) who, not wanting his extensive collection to be broken up after his death, gave it to the nation. Around 71,000 objects from across the world created a new kind of a museum, one that was not private; not owned by king or the church, freely open to the public with no specific aim. It created a “universal museum” that was more than simply a collection of curiosities. It was free and open to “all studious and curious persons”. It widened the eyes of the British people to what lay beyond Britain, Europe, even the empire.
Since its opening the museum has remained open (well with the exception of a couple of World Wars) and has seen its attendance rise from 5,000 to 6 million daily visitors. So ‘Happy Birthday’ to the British Museum, you do such wonderful work, put on the most amazing exhibits and continue to feed mine and many, many others geekiness.
Credits for the beautiful sketch – www.simoneridyard.co.uk – so follow her on Instagram it gives me such art envy.
For a full history of the British Museum – www.britishmuseum.org/about_us/the_museums_story/general_history.aspx
note – the British museum also have a great blog and Youtube page (That I am very jealous of) please check it out !