To find this small Museum, you have to take a turn next to Churchill Square, and walk a little further to see where this street would lead. This side street helped us escape the crowds of people that came to Brighton over the sunny weekend. There you will find this window filled with small items. It’s easy to grab your attention with the items displayed there, and, of course, we ended up spending some time going through everything presented at Anna’s Museum.
But this is not a proper museum, you shouldn’t expect to see one, in the traditional sense of the word. This feels like a cabinet of curiosities that is open to the public but hidden from plain sight. Something that you could see in a movie but never in real life. Like a modern Kunstkabinett, as the Germans say. But it’s for real, and we have the pictures as proof of it.
In Brighton, Anna’s Museum is the work of a young natural history collector who has been collecting items and things since she was 4 years old. A few years later, she got into taxidermy and eventually became Brighton’s youngest taxidermist.
By her teens, her collection was already impressive, and her parents helped her present her collection of natural history artifacts on a shop window. This is where you can walk up nowadays and look at hand-labeled glass jars and wooden boxes filled with rocks, eggs, bones, fossils, and more. There is even a squirrel wearing a waistcoat and holding an egg. We are not sure about the story there, but it looks classy. We read online that this piece is called Squirrel Nutkins!
Personally, it feels great to see somebody like Anna getting all this support from her family. When I was growing up, I used to collect rocks, and her story seems too familiar to me. I never got anywhere close to the quality and quantity of objects that she has here, from skulls to feathers and rocks and anywhere else in between. This is why I decided to write this short article about it.
If you are interested in visiting Anna’s Museum in Brighton, follow the map below. Don’t forget that the window is the museum, you don’t need to knock the door or do anything else. And pay attention to the windows since you’d be forgiven for ignoring it and thinking the Museum is some hip window display.
Also, we found this 2012 interview with Anna and her family, and you need to read it as well if you like this small cabinet of curiosities as much as we did.