Cultural Collections

Current Exhibitions

Aftershocks: Experiences of Japan's Great Earthquake

Noel Shaw Gallery, Baillieu Library, 1 September 2014 to 1 March 2015

The forthcoming exhibition Aftershocks: Experiences of Japan's Great Earthquake explores the impact of Japan's deadliest natural disaster on everyday lives through objects from the University of Melbourne's East Asian Rare Materials Collection. The Great Kantō Earthquake of 1 September 1923 flattened the city of Tokyo, killed approximately 120,000 people and rendered a further 2.5 million homeless, all in one day. Highlights of this bilingual exhibition include children's drawings in response to the disaster and historical commemorative postcards. The exhibition will be accompanied by a public lecture series.


"Some are born great...": Celebrating Shakespeare's 450th Birthday

Ground floor, Baillieu Library from Friday 1 August 2014

To celebrate the 450th anniversary of William Shakespeare's birth the University of Melbourne Library will be displaying a selection of early modern drama in the Baillieu Library. Highlights will include a 1632 Shakespeare 2nd edition folio from the University Library's Special Collections as well as a 1607 edition of Ben Jonson's Volpone or The foxe from the State Library of Victoria. Dr David McInnis, lecturer in English and Theatre Studies at the University of Melbourne, has curated this wonderful celebration of the bard.


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.


Current Exhibitions at the Ian Potter Museum of Art

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