"Collect the set" - Cambridge University Museum trading cards

Martin Belam  by Martin Belam, 23 October 2009

As part of a trip to Cambridge earlier this year, I visited the Fitzwilliam Museum. It is always a good place for a quick stop since, amongst other stuff, it has a great collection of Egyptian funerary artifacts. The previous time I visited it, it formed part of a ghost walk around Cambridge, on account of the fact that:

"The lions that decorate the outside of the Fitzwilliam Museum are said, at the stroke of midnight, to come to life, walk down from their perches, and drink from the guttering in the street, before returning to the museum."
The stone lions at Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge

This time around, the lions were being over-shadowed by a 'Sculpture Promenade', which will be on show until January 2010.

Lion and the sculptures

I was particularly fond of Diane Maclean's coloured reflective metal sculpture "Open Book", which produced the optical illusion of making you look much taller and thinner than you are in real life.

Honestly, this is actually how thin I really think I am...

The reason I was reminded of the trip was that the other day for my birthday I got given some Doctor Who Alien Armies trading card. I visited Cambridge during the May Bank Holiday, when the Cambridge University Museums were holding a Museum's Fair day. At entrance desks you could pick up packs of trading cards, featuring items from collections held across the town. I thought it was a really smart yet relatively inexpensive way of cross-promoting the museums.

Cambridge University Museum trading cards

1 Comment

I just came across your comments about the Cambridge collectors Cards - really glad you liked them! The project's finished now, but over the course of last year we handed out nearly 50 000 packs. They've been incredibly popular with kids who've been collecting and swapping them (one school banned them - success indeed), and comments from visitors have shown that they've really helped to overcome 'boring' and 'stuffy' preconceptions about the University's museums.

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