Mosaics and mosaic making information from The joy of shards Mosaics Resource

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Bethnal Green Museum of Childhood

The Museum of Childhood's current building was opened in 1872, and has two notable mosaic features. On the outside is a series of panels high up on the side walls of the building, while on the inside there is the marble floor, made by women prisoners from Woking Goal. At this time, Edmund DuCane was the first chairman of the Board of Prison Commissioners and had introduced a prison regime based on hard labour. Women prisoners were also put to work on the mosaic floor of the crypt of St Paul's Cathedral, although that really is in a different league.

The floor at Bethnal Green consists of around 6,000 square blocks of just two different designs, with a border round the edge. According to the Public Monument and Sculpture Association database, this pattern was based on the floor at the Sheepshanks Gallery at the Victoria and Albert Museum. In at least one place the pattern seems to have gone wrong - if you look carefully at the main photo you'll see where the mistake (shown in detail) has happened.

The floor was renovated in 2003.

mosaic floor


the mosaic wall panels

museum floor

Find this mistake in the picture above!

pattern mistake

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