Cultural Collections

Current Exhibitions

The genesis of prints

Third floor, Baillieu Library, 10 June - 17 August 2014

Some of the earliest prints created in Europe were from the region we know as present day Germany. Such works printed before 1500 occupy a special place in printing history as they tell us about developments in technology, social history and artistic expression. Many early prints were typically woodcuts of devotional images or those made for playing cards. Due to their ephemeral nature very few of these works of art have survived. This small display showcases rare examples from this early period of print making.

 

Reflections: Tales from within the crystal

Ground floor, School of Chemistry (building 153), University of Melbourne, 26 July - 30 September 2014

Crystals have long captivated mankind, from ancient healing remedies and myth and legend, to modern fashion trends and industrial applications. Scientific interest in crystals was piqued over 400 years ago by Johann Kepler who detailed the beautiful symmetry of ice crystals. By the 20th century, scientists discovered that X-rays could be used to determine the arrangement of the atoms which comprise the crystal, creating the field of Crystallography. This exhibition celebrates the International Year of Crystallography bringing together crystal specimens, models and instruments used throughout history to solve the mysteries that lie within the crystal.

 

Artist's utopia: Mortimer Menpes in Japan

Grainger Museum, near Gate 13, Royal Parade, University of Melbourne, 22 July 2014 - March 2015

This exhibition of prints, paintings and decorative arts tells the story of South Australian-born artist Mortimer Menpes (1855–1938) and his love affair with Japanese culture. Menpes was one of the first western artists to visit Japan and produce artworks of the people and their customs. He saw traditional Japan as a world where art-existed through all levels of society and artists and craftspeople were greatly respected. A very popular and successful artist in Edwardian London, Menpes befriended and promoted the young Australian virtuoso pianist and composer, Percy Grainger. Mortimer Menpes' love of Japanese culture left a lasting impression on Percy and his mother, Rose.

 

Epilepsy: Perception, Imagination and Change

Medical History Museum, 16 April - 20 September 2014

Attitudes to epilepsy provide an excellent perspective on the collision between magic and science, the earliest records attempting to distinguish between disease and demonic possession. This interpretation of the origin of seizures has influenced significantly the management of the illness over the ages, and continues to inform popular conceptions. This exhibition brings together past and present attitudes to epilepsy examining impact on individuals, families and communities. 2014 is the fiftieth Anniversary of the Epilepsy Foundation of Victoria.

 

Radicals, slayers and villains

Noel Shaw Gallery, Baillieu Library 31 March - 3 August 2014

Radicals, slayers and villains shows controversial figures from history that have challenged the status-quo and helped shape our world. The striking imagery of these works is captured by seminal artists including Dürer, Goya and Rembrandt. The artists in the exhibition have been instrumental in the development of Western art and the universal theme of the individual and his or her role in society is illustrated through these extraordinarily powerful works. The exhibition has wide appeal through its representation of themes, such as the place and role of the individual in society, the depiction of the human figure, the impact of violence, and death. The often violent imagery depicted in the 'slayers' component of the exhibition presented great appeal to artists working from the Renaissance onwards, and inherent in these images is their capacity to shock and inspire awe in contemporary audiences with their lethal armoury of brutal and savage capabilities. The depiction of the human figure is equally arresting in the group of works categorised as 'villains', which shows supernatural skeletons bringing death, hybrid fiends, demons, criminals and evil animals all conspiring to throw our existence into turmoil.

 

Current Exhibitions at the Ian Potter Museum of Art

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