We visit a lot of city museums and always acknowledge that each city has different funds, needs, investment attitudes to cultural attractions, etc. Here, it is clear that Bristol is funding more "funky" cultural activities in more central areas. It is a shame that older museums and art galleries such as this are missing out on investment and as such it is dated, underdeveloped and very tired. The families that were there, however, seemed to enjoy the experience and it definitely has more family appeal than strong artistic or social significance.
The word eclectic was probably invented for this museum. You can see everything from stuffed animals to a Banksy or fine china to a biplane. There are some lovely little pieces and everyone will probably find something they are intrigued by, but the range is too great and the detail too little. There is little logic to the displays; genre, era or context have no bearing. Taking the modern art gallery as one example: there are lots of interesting pieces but no information for the visitor, no detail on provenence or how the piece fits into its genre.
Attempting to be all things to all men has resulted in a gallery that ultimately left us feeling unsatisfied.
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