And what a collection it is. Any thoughts I had that it would be macabre or depressing were soon dispelled. Yes, there are some grisly objects and pictures, but somehow viewed like this en masse, death loses its sting and seems natural and normal - and after all it is the only thing that is going to happen to every one of us . In past centuries memento mori, particularly the symbolic use of skulls, were an aid to contemplation of one's own mortality - something we are no longer encouraged to do. There is the tragedy of death - Otto Dix's moving scenes from the German trenches and the often gruesome portrayal of the consequences of war by Goya, contrasting with the playful portrayal of death in the Frolicking Skeletons of the Japanese Floating World artist - skeletons playing leapfrog and dancing. And of course there are the artefacts of Mexico, where the Day of the Dead is a celebration. There are items from all ages, different geographies and different media.
I don't know whether anything I saw at this show will find its way into my book - but I have been knuckling down and churning out the words since.