Learning around us: The Enlightenment Gallery in the British Museum

Share on facebook
Share on google
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin

Being a Londoner, I have the pleasure of living near some of England’s most exciting cultural institutions. Still, despite all this choice, I find myself often returning to the British Museum. Whenever I visit, I always start my trip at the Enlightenment gallery to get into the right mindset to enjoy the extensive social and intellectual history that the museum has to offer. It’s my pleasure to show some of it off you today.

Before we begin, I’d like to explain the Enlightenment briefly to give context as to why it is useful to us as learners. Great leaps and bounds knowledge and thinking about how the world works characterised this period in history around the 18th century in Europe. The discovery of the scientific method was the key to the prising of logic and reason. Thinking from this period shapes how we understand the world and also how we are taught to learn. We look for cause and effect and try to avoid confusing correlation with causation; these were underappreciated ideas before their time.

The ceiling of the great court, it is filled with glass geometric triangles

The wooden entrance to the gallery highly juxtaposes the white marble of the grand court from which you enter the building. You know that there is something special about this place, and you would be right. The Enlightenment gallery also represents the birthplace of museums as we know them. Before museums, as we know them now, cabinets of curiosity existed for aristocrats to show off objects that they thought were interesting without a theme. Enlightenment scholars loved to classify and explain the world, so they started organising their collections and when you open these collections up to the public, voila! You have a museum.

A cabinet about religion in the Enlightnment gallery

In our learning journey, we should be aware of who came before us and how they saw the world. Their views will influence us.

The collection itself is marvellous, ranging from King George IIIrd’s library to classical statues and natural rocks. It shows how well-rounded Enlightenment thinkers were. They didn’t limit themselves to their specialism but branched out into all aspects of science, philosophy, literature and mathematics. It encourages us to keep an open mind when thinking about how the world works and also how we should understand it.

If you’re interested in helping to keep institutions like the British Museum alive and relevant to the 21st century then why not have a look at our courses in tourism, the skills gained are perfect for a career in heritage management!

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on whatsapp

LEAVE A REPLY

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on whatsapp

BLOG CATEGORIES

MOST POPULAR

Introducing ADL courses by Carrier Pigeon!

After our UFOlogy course’s great success last year, we’re bringing our incredible community of students a new way to learn from home. Our team of specially trained albino pigeons will come and deliver course material straight to you! After enrolment is complete, we’ll send you an audio file that our birds are trained to hear

Read More »

Four ways that you use AI every day!

Artificial Intelligence may have seemed like something out of a high-tech sci-fi film a couple of years ago, but now it is here and making waves. The technology is so useful that we use it in a lot of our everyday life without realising, so here are four exciting uses of AI in your day-to-day

Read More »

Roses in Pakistan: A Gallery

Elizabeth, one of our students studying Rose Growing has sent us a fabulous selection of scenic photos of Roses in Pakistan that we’d like to share with you. “These photos are of Christmas at a friend’s farm in Pakistan. So even in Pakistan, you have happy roses. I worked for six years in Karachi/Pakistan. But

Read More »

RHS EXAMS and Syllabus Changes for 2021

PDF: RHS COURSE CHANGES NOTICE for 2021 Exams for February 2021 can now be booked; please note the RHS now raises its fees every year in September, so there is a new rate for 2021 exam fees. As the COVID situation continues to affect everyone, the RHS have decided that it would be sensible to

Read More »

3 TED Talks to Help You on Your Learning Journey

Here at ADL, we pride ourselves on supporting life-long learning in all of its forms. Technology, Entertainment, and Design (TED) educational talks are a brilliant supplement to whatever you are currently learning because they can help us take apart some of the issues that we all face as learners and more generally in life. So,

Read More »

SIGNUP FOR OUR NEWSLETTER

Scroll to Top