Amgueddfa Cymru

Hafan

We have created word clouds based on the most commonly used terms in the responses to two questions on display in the exhibition. Figure 1 shows the feedback to the question "Which object would you recommend to a friend?" and Figure 2 shows the terms used to the query "How do you feel surrounded by so many fragile objects?".

We hope to periodically produce these word clouds; they may show that the most frequently used terms change over time or that they remain the same. Interesting conclusions could be drawn from either. If they change it could be that people will appreciate certain works due to the time of year, the likelihood that they attended an event or changing fashions. If they remain unchanged the conclusion could be drawn that some works resonate strongly with the majority of visitors.

The questions are posed using two methods on the landing of the west wing galleries; as a comments section on the iPad's and a bulletin board with paper and pencils provided to write a response (Figure 3).

These questions were posed to combat the standard "What do you think of the exhibition?". Rather we wanted to create questions which would encourage key concepts of the exhibition: to stimulate curiosity and encourage debate. This (we hope!) will happen through visitors reading the questions and considering their own responses and by seeing the responses of others which are left on display in the space.

Excitingly we have found visitors have taken to this style of questioning; the responses to the question about recommending an object to a friend (on the "bulletin board") have been through text and images with some visitors expanding upon why they like certain works (Figure 4) . In the comments field on the iPad's which asks about personal experience in the exhibition we have been interested to seeing the varying reactions. Such as a visitor on the 5th May who responded: "Scared worried but its lovely" or from the 16th May "I really liked the pull between wanting to touch and not being able to touch. When i stepped into the first installation i was overwhelmed with a child like want to feel and discover for myself.".

Let us know If you have any comments on the exhibition, questions or if there's a subject you'd like to see a future blog post about. By Penelope Hines & Jennifer Dudley

Dros y Pasg, cynhaliwyd gweithgaredd o’r enw ‘Trwy’r Twll Clo' yn Sain Ffagan. Y syniad oedd i aelodau o’r Adran Addysg fod yn yr adeiladau hanesyddol yn dehongli a dangos gwrthrychau i’n hymwelwyr, er mwyn denu sylw at hanes yr adeilad neu agwedd wedi ei gysylltu â fo. Yn ystod yr wythnos bydd 3 blog gan 3 aelod o staff a gynhaliodd y digwyddiad yma.

Roedd hi’n ben set arna i fi braidd yn penderfynu pa adeilad i ddefnyddio. Felly dyma fi’n penderfynu tro ‘mha, i lynu at rywbeth dwi’n nabod reit dda yn barod, sef Siop Gwalia. Dwi’n cynnal sesiynau addysg ffurfiol (hefo grwpiau plant ysgol) yma’n barod felly mae gen i syniad reit dda o’i hanes a beth allai wneud yna, ac mae gen i wisg yn barod i fynd!

Mi oni wedi herwa’r archif er mwyn cael lluniau o’r siop yn ei leoliad gwreiddiol, ac roedd gen i goffi ffres a ffa coffi er mwyn dangos y peiriant malu ffa. Defnyddiol hefyd i ddod a ‘chydig o aroglau yn ôl i’r siop a fysa’n llawn aroglau pan oedd ar agor yn gwerthu’r holl gaws, ffrwythau sych, cig, te, coffi a bob math o bethau.

Un o’r lluniau a greodd yr ymateb fwya’ oedd ‘ Gorwyl House’ ar ben y bryn uwch Cwm Ogwr, tŷ adeiladodd Wiliam Llywelyn pan wnaeth ddigon o ffortiwn i symud allan o fod uwchben y siop. Mae’r gwrthgyferbyniad rhwng y tai eraill a lleoliad y ‘mansion’ fel gelwid y tŷ yn lleol, yn neges glir o statws uchel y teulu Llywelyn ar anterth Siop Gwalia yng Nghwm Ogwr.

Roedd yn brofiad braf bod yn y siop a chael cyfle i allu adrodd ei hanes, sy’n adlewyrchol o hanes y cymoedd yn gyffredinol. Ond hefyd siarad gyda’r ymwelwyr am ba mor wahanol oedd y profiad o fynd i siop tua 100 mlynedd yn ôl, pa mor gymdeithasol yn enwedig.

Roedd y staff yn cael eu hyfforddi am flynyddoedd ac roedd yn swydd uchel iawn ei barch, ac roedd y siopau gwir yn ganolbwynt i’r gymdeithas. Braf iawn oedd hefyd cyfarfod rhai o gyn-gwsmeriaid y siop yn hel atgofion yno, daeth mwy nag un i mewn yn cofio’r siop yn ei leoliad gwreiddiol. Disgrifiodd un ddynes y bwlch oedd yng Nghwm Ogwr yn ei le dros y ffordd i’r orsaf drên, ac wrth drafod ac edrych nôl mae colli profiad siopa fel hyn wedi gadael bylchau mawr ar draws Gymru

Bydd y blog nesaf yn dilyn cyn bo hir yn trafod y gweithgaredd wedi ei leoli yn un o’r adeiladau hanesyddol eraill.

Mae ein neuadd ganoloesol yn codi’n gyflym. Mae'r gwaith yn canolbwyntio ar orffen ffenestri yr adeilad lleiaf o ddau. Adeilad B yw'r enw dros dro am hwn, ac yn y gorffennol fe allai wedi bod yn siambr wely’r tywysog (gan fod enghreifftiau eraill o neuadd a siambr gyfagos yn bodoli) neu yn gegin, a fyddai hefyd yn debygol o fod yn agos i'r neuadd (oherwydd pwy fuasai am wledda ar fwyd oer?).

Mae'r ffenestri yn Romanésg eu harddull, sy’n nodweddiadol o'r cyfnod. Yn gul ar du allan yr adeilad ond yn lledaenu’n sylweddol ar y tu fewn, mae’r cynllun yn manteisio i’r eithaf ar y golau naturiol. Mae dau reswm pam eu bod mor gul: mae ffenestri bach yn haws yw hamddiffyn na ffenestri mawr, ac felly roeddent yn elfen gyffredin mewn adeiladau amddiffynnol fel cestyll; ac yn ail, gan bod gwydr ffenest yn gymharol brin yn y cyfnod roedd ffenestri bach yn lleihau’r drafft oer a allai ddod i mewn. Carreg wastad sydd ar ben bob ffenest, ond gallai hefyd fod yn fwa cerrig – roedd y naill ddull yn gyffredin yn y cyfnod. Mi fydd caeadau pren dros y ffenestri i’w cau pan fydd plant ysgol yn aros dros nôs.

Yn ogystal â'r gwaith cerrig, mae'r gwaith o lifio pren i ffrâm y to wedi cychwyn yn ddiweddar hefyd. Camp grefftus tu hwnt yw ffurfio darn pren sgwâr o gainc coeden dderw. Dim ond mewn llinell syth y gall y 'band-saw' dorri, felly mae'r gainc yn gorfod cael ei lleoli yn union cyn cychwyn y gwaith llifio. Mae angen ei addasu i lan ag i lawr, yn ogystal ag i'r chwith ag i'r dde, oherwydd gall un toriad gwael effeithio ar y toriadau dilynol i’r fath raddau nes bod y darn pren yn annefnyddiadwy.

 

Back in February, I blogged about Brinley Rhys Edmunds – a teenager from Barry who was killed in action during the First World War. If you recall, he signed-up when he was under the legal recruitment age, re-enlisted soon after his 18th birthday, but lost his life in battle on 5 September 1918.

In recent weeks – thanks to a well-known genealogy website – I have been corresponding with two of Brinley’s descendants in the United States – one in Seattle, the other in Pennsylvania. As a curator, it’s always a thrill to reunite families with objects once owned by their ancestors. Better still if they in turn provide additional information for our records.

I was so pleased to receive from Brinley’s American relatives a scanned copy of this beautiful photograph of the Edmunds family in about 1905. The photograph shows six year old Brinley (seated) with his elder brother, William, in matching sailor suits, together with their parents, Evan and Christine. I’ve been researching Brinley and his family on-and-off for a number of years. It’s amazing to finally put faces to their names.

Here at St Fagans, we have several objects in the collection associated with Brinley’s wartime experiences, some of which will be on display in our redeveloped galleries in 2017. In addition to the pincushionnext of kin plaque and postcard I mentioned last time, we also have his campaign medals in the collection. The British War Medal and Victory Medal were awarded to him posthumously and sent in an envelope marked ‘On His Majesty’s Service’ to his father in about 1919-20.

He is wearing the medals in the portrait shown here which is currently being prepared for photography by Ruth James, Social History Conservator. The portrait was commissioned by Brinley’s parents after his death and was bequeathed to the Museum in 1989 by Eunice Edmunds, his younger sister. We will be using this image, along with the newly-discovered family photograph in America, in the new displays. Contemporary military voices and experiences will also be included in the gallery interpretation. I’ll be focussing on our exciting co-curation programme with the Armed Forces Community Covenant Grant Scheme in the next instalment of this blog.

 

 

 

The days before Friday 20th March, had staff in the Department of Natural Sciences watching the weather forecast with great attention.  Friday 20th March 2015 was a really special day as we had the opportunity in Cardiff, weather permitting, to see a partial eclipse of the Sun. This does not happen very often, the next one won’t be until 12th August 2026. 

On the Thursday we had a great start to the celebration by hosting an evening of talks on eclipses at the Museum. These were given by Dr Chris North, Dr Rhodri Evans, Dr Mark Hannam, astronomers and physicists from Cardiff University; and we all felt much better informed as to what we knew about the sun, why an eclipse was occurring, and what eclipses tell us about gravity. Equally important was a talk by Jenni Millard, an undergraduate student but experienced astronomer, on how to view the sun safely. Having listened intently the audience were issued with free solar eclipse viewing glasses.

Friday morning and we were in luck, a perfect sunny morning and all that worry about the weather had paid off!  By 8.00 a few people had already arrived outside the Museum, by 8.20 there were many more. At 8.22 we saw the first contact of the eclipse. For a short while the sun was almost obscured by the trees in the Gorsedd Gardens, but not for long. With colleagues from Cardiff University and the Institute of Physics we provided a range of methods to view the eclipse safely. These included a solar telescope that provided the greatest detail of the sun’s surface, pinhole viewers, ranging from boxes and tubes to simple card and paper, solar viewing boxes, colanders and eclipse glasses. Most visitors had noted the warnings about safe eye protection, only a few needed reminding that two pairs of sunglasses wouldn’t do the job!

Over the 126 minutes of the eclipse from first contact of the moon until we saw the entire sun once again, over 1000 people viewed the eclipse on the Museum steps with the viewing glasses provided. In total we estimate that over this period nearly 2000 people joined the event. At one point the queue disappeared round the corner of the Museum into Park Place almost to the University! However this was a great event with a fantastic atmosphere of participation and patient queuing.

For more astronomy linked events please see Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales What’s On pages, next one is on 18th April, and for education resources check out the Museum’s partnership Down2Earth Project web site

For more information on our Eclipse 2015 activities see our Storify Story.