THERE IS A DEAD RAT IN THE CELLAR… THOMAS KENNEDY, THE CURATORIAL INTERN ROUNDS UP EVENTS FROM NOVEMBER.
…Don’t worry though patrons and donors to the Habitat Restoration Project, this rat had been dead a while! Sarah even stated her desire it to make part of our Museum Collection. Hopefully not is all I will say. This is my first blog so let me introduce myself. My name is Thomas Kennedy and I am the Curatorial Intern during 2012/13 season in Grytviken. I was able to secure this internship after applying for the position through the Museum and Gallery Studies Masters course I studied at University of St. Andrews. My job is to change around displays, deliver tours, look after the Collection and create exhibitions relating to South Georgia. And I have been busy with all four in the short amount of time I have been here!
We have been very busy with cruise ships this month. Large ships such as Fram, National Geographic Explorer and Silver Explorer have been through this November, all with a diverse range of people interested in the wildlife and history of the Grytviken whaling station. We have also had Akademik Ioffe and Akedemik Vavlov visiting the island. They were marking the internment of Frank Wild a year ago in the Grytviken cemetery. Visitors including author of a book on Wild, Angie Butler, and a great-niece of Wild visited to pay their respects to the great man. Angie was even kind enough to donate original memorial cards to the Museum. On Vavilov we were also happy to welcome back Katie Murray, the previous intern, for the day. It was very interesting to meet Katie finally after hearing so much about her and get her opinions on what I am doing this year.
Besides the cruise ships we have had a number of yachts visiting, including Pelagic Australis. I was lucky enough to be able to take a day trip with them for the day to the Nordenskjöld Glacier – I even got to get a birds-eye-view of the glacier from up the mast! We have also had HMS Clyde recently returning to South Georgia. HMS Clyde is a favourite of mine as they gave me a lift down from the Falklands so it was great seeing the crew again. During their time here we had a service led by Reverend Simon Home held in the Grytviken church, with readings by Keiron, the Government Officer at King Edward Point and Paul, the Executive Office on board the Clyde. We even had a game of footie on the old football field. Unfortunately South Georgia was beaten dismally, but we enjoyed tea and cakes back at the Museum afterwards! I also got the opportunity to show Captain Mark Anderson my display of HMS Clyde, which was incidentally my first display for the South Georgia Museum.
I am currently in the clutches of changing around the Fullerton Room, our exploration room. This move is required due to the need to create a raised platform for the tent used in the South Georgia Surveys (1951-57) and incorporate the ‘Internment of Frank Wild’ display into the main museum. It is a very challenging feat, but one I am facing head on. In our next blog post you will hopefully see the results! I have already re-ordered the Prince Room (our natural history room), with the help of our Museum Assistants, into a pattern that is more coherent for visitors. I am also starting to plan a change to the display in the Jarvis or Military and Administration room. You may have already seen that we have Bob the mannequin ready to go downstairs already in the previous blog post. I am also in the process of creating a temporary display on the removal of reindeer from South Georgia – to coincide with the project beginning next year. Between doing display changes and planning exhibitions I have been acquisitioning a great number of new items donated to the Collection and uploading them to our online database, eHive [2023 update – Museum collection is now here). As a team we also started the task of the deep clean of the Museum. This involves going into every case and cleaning every object thoroughly – we managed two rooms in 9 hours. So as you can see, it’s all systems go here!
Additionally Gemma and Darren, our Museum Assistants have been busy in our shop unpacking new stock for the shop and optimising the displays for the throngs of visitors who visit the Museum. They are lucky enough to be going on a long-weekend trip around the area this weekend. I’m very jealous. Anyway I better get back to work! Cheerio for now!