Amgueddfa Blog: Cyffredinol

Dyma rhai o'r tywyswyr Big Pit - Barry Stevenson, Richard Phillips a Len Howells - i rannu atgofion o weithio yn y pyllau glo.

Mae'r ffilmiau yn cynnwyd lluniau o'r Casgliad Cornwell. Fe'u cynhyrchwyd yn wreiddiol i'r arddangosfa 'Bernd a Hilla Becher: Delweddau Diwydiant', ynghyd â'r ffilm yma am yr offer weindio:

On 15 March we launch our new LGBTQ+ tours at National Museum Cardiff. The tours have been developed in partnership with Pride Cymru working with self-confessed Museum queerator Dan Vo and an amazing team of volunteers.

You may already have read Norena Shopland's blog about the Ladies of Llangollen, and Young Heritage Leader Jake’s post, Queer Snakes! There are so many more LGBTQ+ stories in our collection – stories that have been hidden in dusty museum closets for too long. Friends, it’s time for us to let them out!

To whet your appetite, here’s a quick glimpse at one of the works you might spot on the tour…

The Mower, by Sir William Hamo Thornycoft

The Mower is a bronze statuette on display in our Victorian Art gallery. It is about half a metre high and shows a topless young farmworker in a hat and navvy boots resting with his arm on his hip, holding a scythe. This sassy pose, known as contrapposto, was inspired by Donatello’s David - a work with its own queer story to tell.

The Mower was made by William Hamo Thornycroft, one of the most famous sculptors in Britain in the nineteenth century, and was given to the Museum in 1928 by Sir William Goscombe John. An earlier, life-size version is at the Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool and is said to be the first significant free-standing sculpture showing a manual labourer made in Britain.

Thornycroft became fascinated with manual labourers and the working classes after being introduced to socialist ideas by his wife, Agatha Cox. He wrote ‘Every workman’s face I meet in the street interests me, and I feel sympathy with the hard-handed toilers & not with the lazy do nothing selfish ‘upper-ten.’ In The Mower, he presents the body of a young working-class man as though it's a classical hero or god – a brave move for the time.

Queering the Mower

With the rising interest in queer theory, many art historians have drawn attention to the queer in this sculpture. In an article by Michael Hatt the work is described as homoerotic, which he describes as that ambiguous space between the homosocial and homosexual.

One of the main factors is the artist’s relationship with Edmund Gosse, a writer and critic who helped establish Thornycroft’s reputation in the art world. Gosse was married with children, but his letters to Thornycroft give us a touching insight into their relationship.

He describes times they spent together basking in the sun in meadows and swimming naked in rivers; and they are filled with love poems and giddy declarations of affection. ‘Nature, the clouds, the grass, everything takes on new freshness and brightness now I have you to share the world with,’ he wrote. Gosse was so obsessed with Thornycroft that writer Lytton Strachey famously joked he wasn’t homosexual, but Hamo-sexual.

Gosse and Thornycroft were spending time together when the first inspiration for The Mower hit. They were sailing with a group of friends up the Thames when they spotted a real-life mower on the riverbank, resting. Thornycroft made a quick sketch, and the idea for the sculpture was born. A wax model sketch from 1882 is at the Tate.

The real-life mower they saw was wearing a shirt, but for his sculpture Thornycroft stripped him down. He explained to his wife that he wanted to ‘keep his hat on and carry his shirt’ and that a brace over his shoulder will help ‘take off the nude look’.

Brace or no brace, it’s difficult to hide the fact that this is a celebration of the male body designed for erotic appeal. Thornycroft used an Italian model, Orazio Cervi. Cervi was famous in Victorian Britain for his ‘perfectly proportioned physique’ (art historical speak for a hot bod!)

Later in the century, photographs of The Mower and other artworks were collected and exchanged in secret along with photographs of real life nudes, by a network of men mostly in London – a kind of queer subculture, although it wouldn’t have been understood in those terms back then.

This was dangerous ground. The second half of the nineteenth century saw what has been described as a ‘homosexual panic’, with rising anxieties around gender identity, sexuality and same-sex desire. Fanny and Stella, the artist Simeon Solomon and Oscar Wilde were among many who were hounded and publicly prosecuted for ‘indecent’ behaviour.

These tensions showed up in the art world too. Many of the artists associated with the Aesthetic and Decadent movements in particular were under scrutiny for producing works that were described as ‘effeminate’, ‘degenerate’ or ‘decadent’. But works like The Mower suggest that art might have provided a safer space for playing out private desires in a public arena at this time.

 

Book your place on our free volunteer-led LGBTQ+ tours here, and keep an eye on our website and social media for future dates!  

 

Penglog Dippy’r deinosor

Shwmae bawb, Dippy sy' 'ma!

 

Dwi wir wedi mwynhau fy amser yma yn Amgueddfa Genedlaethol Caerdydd. Mae pawb mor gyfeillgar a dwi wedi mwynhau cwmni da mewn digwyddiadau cyffrous iawn. Mae gen i ormod o lawer o straeon ar gyfer un blog, felly dyma fy 5 hoff beth.

 

1) Dysgu Cymraeg

Pan gyrhaeddais i Gaerdydd, doedd gen i ddim llawer o Gymraeg, ond diolch i staff hyfryd yr Amgueddfa, wnes i ddysgu yn gyflym! Dwi wedi cael digonedd o gyfleoedd i ymarfer fy Nghymraeg gydag ymwelwyr, a dwi wedi bod yn trydar yn ddwyieithog o fy nghyfri Twitter @DippyOnTour.

 

2) Digwyddiadau Dippy

Pan glywais i y bydden i'n rhannu'r neuadd fawr gyda digwyddiadau fel disgos distaw a yoga, roeddwn i'n poeni y bydden i yn y ffordd. Ond, dwi wedi mwynhau bod yng nghanol yr hwyl ac hyd yn oed wedi bod yn rhan o briodas Gymreig am y tro cyntaf!

 

Y pâr priod hapus

Y pâr priod hapus

© Sadie Osborne Photography, sadie-osborne.squarespace.com

 

                                                                                                           

3) Mwynhau byd natur

Ar fy nhaith o gwmpas y DU, rwy'n benderfynol o annog pawb i archwilio'r byd natur o'u cwmpas. Dyw hynny ddim yn anodd yng Nghaerdydd – mae mwy o fannau gwyrdd y pen yma nag unrhyw ddinas fawr arall yn y DU. Dwi wedi joio mas draw yn darganfod parciau newydd bob dydd! Cer i fy ngwefan i weld sut i fwynhau natur yn dy ardal leol di.

 

4) Fy ffrind newydd

Doeddwn i ddim yn gwybod bod deinosoriaid eraill yng Nghymru, ond buan iawn y ces i gwrdd â Dracoraptor – deinosor gafodd ei ddarganfod dafliad carreg o Gaerdydd. I ddechrau, roeddwn i'n genfigennus o enw diddorol Dracoraptor, ei ystyr yw 'draig-leidr'! Ond fe ddaethon ni'n ffrindiau mewn dim amser.

Model o Dracoraptor

Model o Dracoraptor

© Amgueddfa Cymru - National Museum Wales

5) TI!

Y peth gorau am Gaerdydd heb os yw'r holl bobl anhygoel dwi wedi cwrdd â nhw. Fydda i yma tan 26 Ionawr felly cofiwch ddod draw a rhannwch eich hunluniau gan ddefnyddio #DippyArDaith a #DippyOnTour.

Torfeydd o amgylch Dippy’r deinosor

"Lewis! Peidiwch â chyffwrdd ag unrhyw beth a byddwch yn dawel!" Dyma oedd geiriau fy athro hanes, Mr Davies, wrth i fws Ysgol Gyfun Cynffig gyrraedd Amgueddfa Genedlaethol Caerdydd yn hydref 1966.

Pum-deg-tri mlynedd yn ddiweddarach, ac ers cael fy mhenodi’n Llywydd Amgueddfa Cymru yn gynharach eleni, rwyf wedi cadw cyngor Mr Davies mewn cof wrth i mi gyfarfod a siarad â’r timau gwych o staff a gwirfoddolwyr o gwmpas ein wyth lleoliad. Rwyf hefyd wedi clywed gan Ymddiriedolwyr, Noddwyr, cefnogwyr, gweinidogion a gweision sifil a rhai o’n miliynau o ymwelwyr.

Wrth siarad â phawb dros y chwe mis diwethaf, rwyf wedi profi eu hangerdd ac ymroddiad eithriadol dros waith Amgueddfa Cymru. Ac mae pawb, wrth gwrs, mor falch o gyflawniadau arbennig Amgueddfa Cymru, yn enwedig wrth i Sain Ffagan ennill y gwobr fawreddog Amgueddfa’r Flwyddyn fel y gwnaeth Big Pit yn 2005.

Mae bron i 1.9 miliwn o bobl wedi ymweld â’n saith amgueddfa dros y flwyddyn ddiwethaf. Heb os, eiddo pobl Cymru yw ein hamgueddfeydd cenedlaethol, a diolch i Lywodraeth Cymru, mae mynediad am ddim i bob un ohonynt.

Yn ogystal, mae cefnogaeth ein Noddwyr a sefydliadau a chefnogwyr amrywiol wedi ein galluogi ni i greu cyfuniad cyfoethog o ddigwyddiadau ac arddangosfeydd, ac i brynu amrywiaeth eang o bethau hynod newydd i’r casgliadau cenedlaethol.

Rydym wedi ymrwymo i egwyddorion democratiaeth ddiwylliannol a chynhwysiad cymdeithasol. Ein nod yw ymgysylltu â chymaint o gymunedau amrywiol â phosibl, o bob cwr o Gymru, yn arbennig y rhai sydd o dan anfantais. Rydym wedi ymrwymo i wneud gwahaniaeth cadarnhaol i les pobl, a sicrhau dyfodol i’r cenedlaethau sydd i ddod yng Nghymru.

Mae ein hymrwymiad i ymdrin â’r argyfwng hinsawdd, yn seiliedig ar ein mewnwelediad gwyddonol arbennig, yn hanfodol i ni i gyd. Wrth ymgymryd â’r gwaith hwn, mae rhaglen ymchwil gadarn ac ystyriol yn llywio ein gwaith.

Mae ein gorwelion yn ymestyn tu hwnt i Gymru. Rydym yn benderfynol o wneud cyfraniad deinamig i Gymru ar draws y byd, gan chwarae ein rhan wrth greu gwlad ffyniannus i bawb.

Fel rhywun sydd wedi manteisio ar y syniad fod addysg yn hawl nid yn fraint, ac fel mab i rieni a adawodd yr ysgol yn 14 oed, teimlaf fod ymrwymiad Amgueddfa Cymru i addysg yn syfrdanol. Mae dros 200,000 o blant ysgol a myfyrwyr wedi ymweld â’n hamgueddfeydd yn 2018/19. Ni yw darparwr addysg tu allan i’r ystafell ddosbarth mwyaf Cymru – mae hyn yn eithriadol.

Heb os nac oni bai, byddai Mr Davies yn llawn edmygedd o Amgueddfa Cymru heddiw, a’n bwriad o gael gwared ar gymaint o rwystrau â phosibl, er mwyn i fwy fyth o bobl ymgolli mewn yr orielau a gofodau ysbrydoledig sy’n tanio’r dychymyg. Creadigrwydd a fydd yn cyffwrdd â’n calonnau a’n meddyliau ni i gyd.

Rydym nawr yn dechrau ar gynllun 10 mlynedd i symud ein Hamgueddfeydd ymlaen ymhellach fyth, i groesawu mwy fyth o ymwelwyr, cynnwys mwy fyth o bobl a bod yn fentrus yn ein huchelgais i ysbrydoli pobl a newid bywydau. Mae ein hawydd i ddathlu’r gorau o Gymru mewn amryw ddisgyblaethau yn ein hysbrydoli ni i gyd. Edrychaf ymlaen i weld beth ddaw dros y ddegawd nesaf.

Nadolig Llawen a Blwyddyn Newydd Hapus Iach a Heddychlon i chi gyd.

Roger Lewis

Llywydd Amgueddfa Cymru

One of the things I love about working at National Museum Cardiff (apart from the wonderful collections and exhibitions of course!) is taking a wander in the Museum gift shop. At the moment I am spoilt for choice as there is an extra shop for the Dippy exhibition filled with dino delights!

I’ve had a look at the goodies on offer at the moment, so sit back, relax and enjoy my top seven gift ideas.

 

1) Meet the Artists 3D Paper Folding Figures (£8.50)

 

These are so cute and fun, what an interesting stocking filler!

It’s the gift that keeps on giving as you have the fun of crafting your own mini artist and then can enjoy your handiwork.

 

 

 

 

 

2) Dippy: the tale of a museum icon (£6.99)

 

 

A really interesting little book, perfect for any dinosaur fan!

https://museum.wales/shop/item/3397/Dippy-the-tale-of-a-museum-icon/

 

 

 

 

3) Materia Rica Flower Necklace and Earrings (£28 and £20)

 

 

This earring and necklace set caught my eye because I’ve never seen anything like it.

I love the floral theme and the colours really stand out.

 

 

 

 

4) Fruits of Nature Original Remedies Bath Essence (£14.99)

 

A bath is the perfect way to relax after a busy day and to keep warm in this cold weather.

Whether you’d like to treat yourself or a friend, you can’t go wrong with a bit of bubble bath!

 

 

 

 

 

5) T-Rex Travel Mug (£8.99)

 

 

Do your bit for the environment and give the gift of this eco-friendly dinosaur-themed travel mug.

https://museum.wales/shop/item/3372/T-Rex-Travel-Mug/

 

 

 

 

 

 

6) Make Your Own Pteranodon (£12.99)

 

 

Another crafty option for someone creative, you get to assemble this fun automaton and can paint it any colour you like!

https://museum.wales/shop/item/3371/Make-Your-Own-Pteranodon-Wooden-Automata-Series-/

 

 

 

 

7) Special Edition ‘Martin Parr in Wales’ Set (£300)

Bear with me, but if you have a little money to spare this is a fantastic gift for someone who loves photography! This is a unique opportunity to own a signed, limited edition print by one of the most influential photographers around - snap this up before they sell out! 

https://museum.wales/shop/item/3391/Martin-Parr-in-Wales---Special-edition/

And if you love the idea but don’t have as much spare, you can pick up the book ‘Martin Parr in Wales’ for just £19.99: https://museum.wales/shop/item/3367/Martin-Parr-in-Wales/

 

 

So that’s my top seven from National Museum Cardiff, though there are many more gift ideas to be found in our shops across Amguedddfa Cymru. Please do check out our online shop too: https://museum.wales/shop/

Nadolig Llawen! | Merry Christmas!