Last Thursday I ventured east with my American Studies class to Bath, to visit its American museum.
We started pretty early, even though the coach was a bit late, which meant having to walk to the university in the frosty cold. I think the scenery made waking up so early bearable.
Soon we were off on the road and headed to Bath. The ride was fairly eventful (to be anyway), and I was more than delighted when we passed a variety of different farm animals. We passed everything from pigs, sheep, goats, horses and cows! I’d like to point out now that a few of these cows were sitting down – and we all know that means (if you don’t, then look it up).
After about an hour and a half of driving, we finally arrived at the American museum, where we were split into smaller groups for a guided tour of the museum. It was so fascinating and so interesting hearing all the detail behind some of the exhibitions. When the tour was finished, it was time for lunch.
Once we were done with lunch, we were let loose to explore the museum and surrounding grounds by ourselves.
We started in the Folk Art Gallery that was filled with some interesting portraits and some equally interesting ornaments.
Then we started from the entrance of the museum and wandered through a cool passageway with rustic brickwork and illuminated pictures.
I think the lower level, which housed the Native Americans was one of my favourites.
We stopped for a second in the part dedicated to African Americans and slavery. I was particularly impressed with this quilt. We were told that every few months, a priest would visit the plantations and marry, baptise and bless the slaves. Upon his arrival, he would be gifted with a quilt, hand stitched by the “indoor slaves”, and would sleep with it during his stay; then when he left, he’d return it to the lady of the house, who would then give it to the slaves. We were also told that this quilt was probably not used by the slaves as it was in such pristine condition.
I fell in love with this portrait of Mrs Carwright, the mother of one of the founders of the museum. I loved her intricately drawn pearls, and the way the red of her nails and lips, as well as the green from her emeralds stood out from the picture.
And these dresses were also pretty killer too! I wouldn’t mind wearing one of this.
We then passed through another room, Conkey’s Tavern, which was beautifully adorned with fake food that looked REALLY life-like.
The hallways, corridors and landings were equally decorated and in the magical Christmas spirit.
We went through quite a few parlours, and it was interesting to see how the upper classes in America would have relaxed back in the seventeenth century.
The museum was littered with lots of stunning art work.
My ULTIMATE favourite room in the whole museum had to be the New Orleans Bedroom. Furnished with the most gorgeous bed I think I’ve EVER seen, and decorated with such sexy wallpaper, I think I was in heaven. You could definitely feel the mix of vibes, being in the dirty south alongside the gentility of French sophistication. This is how I’m going to style my future bedroom.
When had looked around the museum, Carys and I made a stop in the gift shop, and I have to say I am so proud of myself for not buying anything… but it was REALLY hard. After our whistle-stop in the shop, we went to look around the Christmas market.
I was most fascinated by all the maps of the world and it was hard not to laugh at some of the interpretations of what the earth looked like.
Obviously I had to get a picture of the zodiac. I’m obsessed with astrology.
It wasn’t long before had had our fill of the museum and went to the café to rest up until it was time to leave.
After what felt like a lifetime, it was time to return to the university, but not before a bit of drama! As I mentioned earlier, we passed some sitting cows on our way to the museum. If you know your animal trivia, then you’ll know that when cows sit down, it means that it’s going to rain. On our way back, it started raining and the driver started having some trouble with the windscreen wipers, meaning we had to pull over TWICE, and that it took even longer to get back. Luckily we jumped onto a new coach and made it back in no time.
Even though it was such a tiring day, it was so much fun and I can definitely see myself returning. If you’re ever in Bath, then please go and explore!