Another museum goes

Back to mathematics soon, honest!

Today was the last day of MoDA, the Museum of Domestic Design and Architecture, at least as a public museum in its current location on the Cat Hill campus of the University of Middlesex near Cockfosters. So I took a long lunch hour, and went. (I think I am owed this after the overwork last term.)

Rather than go through the centre of town, I took the East London line to Highbury & Islington, then the Victoria line to Finsbury Park and made the easy change to the Piccadilly line. I was in Cockfosters 55 minutes after leaving my office.

It was a beautiful day. At Arnos Grove a train in the yards was shielded by a film of fresh green leaves and white blossoms. I hadn’t been to this part of Cockfosters before; for me it is just a stage on the London Loop. I saw no pubs but was struck by the large number of decent cafés.

The Cat Hill campus, a green spot with a pond, is closing and being sold for development as flats. The museum will not disappear, but will move to another campus of the University; there it will not be open to the public, though visits can be booked. So I will probably never go; this was my first and last visit.

The last exhibition had closed, and there was only the permanent collection of domestic interiors from the first half of the 20th century. But it was really worthwhile. Wallpaper samples (from Sanderson down), drawers and drawers of them where I could have spent much more time; catalogues of furniture, gas fires, linola flooring squares, and lampshades; even an old paint colour chart.

If you like lists, here are a couple.

  • Long wave radio stations: Lahti, Kalundborg, Luxembourg, Oslo, Light, Motale, Berlin, Reykjavik, Munich, Paris, Hamburg.
  • Kitchen tins: Tapioca, Sago, Barley, Rice, Beans, Peas, Tea, Coffee.

The museum shop was selling its stock at half-price. I got an exhibition catalogue entitled “Japantastic”. It struck me that this fits well with what Neill is doing at the moment (you have sponsored him, haven’t you?), an English view of Japanese culture.

I was back at my desk after two hours and three quarters; but it wasn’t just bunking off, I read half a paper on the train.


About Peter Cameron

I count all the things that need to be counted.
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2 Responses to Another museum goes

  1. Wallpaper samples on a sunny afternoon – perfect.

    Last chance to see a disappearing museum – not so great.

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