Last weekend I headed over to the Sherlock Holmes exhibition at the Museum of London, attracted in large part by its rather clever tag-line: “The man who never lived and will never die”.
It’s an enjoyable exhibition although (perhaps fittingly, given the museum it is at), despite not being that much of a Sherlock Holmes buff*, I came away having learnt more new things about London than about Holmes or Arthur Conan Doyle.
There are some great snippets of information about Sherlock Holmes and his stories, such as the interview with Conan Doyle where he describes Watson as “rather stupid”, but it was really the maps and pictures of contemporary London that most entertained me.
Slightly oddly, the exhibition tickets stress that no photography is allowed, and I saw staff enforcing that ban during my visit. Yet the exhibition has a trio of locations that are just begging for people to take photos (the beautifully done entrance to the exhibition, a mock-up door of 221B Baker Street and a hat, pipe and magnifying glass sticking out from the wall tempting you to put your head and an arm between them for a photo). Plus of course photos equal free promotion on social media.
Odd, especially as the National Gallery has recently decided that modern flashes do not damage its works, but if items in the Holmes exhibition are nonetheless susceptible to damage from modern flashes, why including the door and the hat/pipe/magnifying glass temptations?
Anyway, even if you have to rely on memory rather than photos afterwards, it’s a fun visit to make.
The Sherlock Holmes exhibition is on until April 12th and booking details are on the Museum of London website.
If you’re interested in Sherlock Holmes, you might also be interested in:
- Whatever happened to the rivals of Sherlock Holmes?
- Sherlock Holmes’s successor: Brigadier Gerard
- The Mystery of a Hansom Cab: mostly forgotten, for a reason
- A fantastic letter about Sherlock Holmes
* I know that two different Holmes stories were published with the same beginning, but I can’t remember which.