Launching this summer on 3rd July SCOOP: The Wonderful World of Ice Cream is The British Museum of Food’s inaugural exhibition which will explore the past, present and future of ice cream at Gasholders London, Kings Cross.
SCOOP will give guests the chance to walk through a futuristic luminescent cave with glow-in-the-dark ice cream, experience a sub-zero ice chamber to contemplate the awesome power of ice and taste a vanilla ice cream cloud.
The celebratory show is centred on a curated selection of the world’s largest never-before-seen collection of ice cream paraphernalia, collected by Robin and Caroline Weir, where visitors will discover how our relationship with ice cream has evolved through the ages.
Collectively, the experience will walk visitors through three centuries of European and British ice cream history, including ornate sorbet moulds used to produce extravagant displays as early as 1714 in Rome; an homage to the rise and fall of glass ‘penny licks’ used by street vendors in the 1850s; and artwork ranging from the first pictorial evidence of an ice cream cone to cells from animation houses Disney and Looney Tunes and an original Andy Warhol print.
Visitors will be encouraged to travel back in time with a performative interpretation of Victorian ‘Queen of Ices’ Agnes B Marshall’s Cookery School originally on Mortimer Street, where visitors will meet Ida Cooke, a fictional character who introduces herself as Agnes’s star pupil. Ida will share some of Agnes’s recipes and encourage guests to try tasty morsels of various iced concoctions.
The Dark Side of Ice Cream, for adults/over 18s only, tells the Scottish story of the 1980s Glasgow Ice Cream Wars where rival criminal organisations were operating from ice cream vans.
They can also experience rare and unusual ice cream flavours, dating back to 1750 when daffodil-flavoured ice was invented, as part of an aroma trail. (Some of these will also be on sale at the exhibition’s café: Conehenge). The latest innovations in ice cream pioneering will showcase fizzy ice cream and enter a futuristic luminescent cave to experience glow-in-the-dark for ice cream.
Visitors can explore and experience the science, psychology and chemistry of ice cream in many interactive elements throughout the gallery, including the physiology behind Brain Freeze.
The launch coincides with the 300th anniversary of Mary Eales’ Receipts (1718), the first printed volume to feature ice cream in an English publication. Eales claims to have sold confectionary at the court of Queen Anne. It is also the 399th anniversary of the first ice house built in Britain (to make ice cream) in Greenwich Park by order of James 1.
BMOF’s founders, Bompas & Parr, keep to the studio’s inimitable whimsical style and character in experiential design while incorporating elements of a traditional museum and historical display. The design of the museum is inspired by the colourful optimism of the Festival of Britain, colliding with a chromed-deco ice cream parlour from the future, realised in a riot of muted pastels. Monolithic ice cream furniture for Conehenge, the museum cafe, is supplied by Petite Friture and all paint will be supplied courtesy of Farrow & Ball.
Visitors to SCOOP will enter and exit through Conehenge, the gallery’s café. Corresponding its iconic namesake, Conehenge is a monumental British landmark situated within a similarly significant cultural institution, The British Museum of Food. Conehenge will serve a menu of ice-cream flavours inspired by age-old classics such as Candied Fruit (1694), Conehenge All-Day-Ice-Cream-Breakfast (1691), Cucumber (1845), and culminating in Bompas & Parr’s ‘Bliss Point’: an ostentatious trinity of fat, sugar and salt to leave eager lickers fuelled with a sensational hedonic rush. Each cone is topped-off with a sparkling garnish from SCOOP’s very own sprinkle-fountain – a world first invention by Bompas & Parr.
The British Musum of Food Shop will offer a range of limited edition SCOOP branded merchandise and an assortment of ice cream-based postcards from across the 20th century reproduced from Robin and Caroline Weir’s personal collection.
SCOOP: The Wonderful World of Ice Cream will include a programme of talks and events juxtaposed against demonstrations and workshops that will further bring the concept to life, details to be announced shortly.
Tickets can be bought in advance for £12 per person by going to www.bmof.org