The familiar tulip becomes un-familiar, as its role in history chronicles a greater play. When the world stage gets confusing we need a simple tale to talk us through it. Thus does our floral court jester guide us through our past and helps us to understand how to navigate our future.
This is also a romantic story set in 17th‑century Europe, a fable about social inequality and extravagance. As well it is an allegory ofaesthetics and science – about beauty and obsession. It is a trademark of our decorative arts, of fertility, of fecund optimism, of spring and rebirth. It is an Islamic motif representing love and passion as well as sacrifice and the blood of martyrs, adopted by the Europeans as an emblem of sophistication, civilization and learning.
*On the 30 and 31 July there will be a special opening event for the interactive family exhibition: The Clockwork Garden. An admission charge of £5.00 per adult will be applied at the front gate which includes admission to the event and the Museum. Please note that there will no entry through the rear pedestrian gate between 9.00 and 5.30 on these days.