Spellbound: History of Magic at the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford
OK, who is with me: this is an exhibit that covers the history of magic through the ages! The plan is that we'll make a day trip of going out to Oxford, seeing this exhibition, bumming around the city and then heading back to London.
From the Ashmolean web site:
"Explore the history of magic over eight centuries in this immersive and thought-provoking exhibition. The intriguing objects on display show how our ancestors used magical thinking to cope with the unpredictable world around them. They range from the fantastical and macabre (a unicorn’s horn, a human heart encased in lead), the beautiful and mysterious (exquisitely engraved rings to bind a lover and medieval books of ritual magic), to the deeply moving confessions of women accused of witchcraft.
The exhibition asks us to examine our own beliefs and rituals, and aims to show how, even in this sceptical age, we still use magical thinking and why we might need a bit of magic in our lives.
To illuminate the links between past and present, specially commissioned works by contemporary artists provide dramatic responses to the themes of the show, conjuring demons, flames and the scuttling of malignant spirits."
Apart from the Museum, Oxford has a lot else to see. It has a lot of very pretty buildings, beautiful canals and the very good Oxford publishers book store.
The site strongly advises that we get pre-booked tickets, but I will phone and ask if all of that is actually necessary. For now don't buy any in advance. We'll be going about a month into the exhibition and I'm not sure if there will be sold out at all.
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