World Smile Day: Ten faces found in museum objects

To celebrate World Smile Day, I decided to take a quick walk around the new Science and Technology galleries at the National Museum of Scotland looking for some smiles in our objects. Have you ever seen a face in an object? It starts perhaps by noticing a couple of eyes, perhaps a nose and if you are lucky a big wide mouth.

Telephone wall mounting, with a hand-generator, made by Sterling of London, 1905 –
Telephone wall mounting, with a hand-generator, made by Sterling of London, 1905 – 1910. Image copyright National Museums Scotland. 
I first came across a small book called Faces about 12 years ago, loved its simplicity and bought it immediately. It’s a photographic book by Francois and Jean Robert, with practically no text inside. In many ways, it doesn’t require any words, as the photographs of faces they have found in many everyday objects speak for themselves. Once captured by the idea that every object hides noses, eyes and mouths – it’s hard to stop looking for them, and hard to stop seeing them. Not every object was smiling for me today, but I have selected ten technical museum objects that have some good expressions on them, if you look hard enough. Read the full blog over here!

Doors Open Day: The ultimate destination for a curious mind

Compassion emerges from imagining the world alive.

These are the words of Alexandra Horowitz, in a book called On Looking: Eleven Walks with Eleven Experts. Horowitz explores the way in which we can become more present in the daily quotidian, by stepping a familiar route alongside the footsteps of eleven different people, some experts like geologists, but also her toddler and her dog. With these fresh eyes alongside her, it is possible for previously unseen elements to emerge. As they share what excites them – from the cracks on a pavement, to the font selected for a sign.


Earlier this year I was also lucky enough to follow in some different footsteps, although whilst on a tour of some unfamiliar grounds – the National Museums Scotland Collection Centre. I came away with my mind afresh with new perspectives and new things to try to see when looking around me. It’s Doors Open Day at the Collection Centre this weekend, our tours were fully booked and so we have now welcomed many more feet to explore the collection further. Read more about what I discovered here!