Cultural Collections

Current Exhibitions

Radicals, slayers and villains

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

Radicals, slayers and villains will be a major attraction at the University's biennial Cultural Treasures Festival in July 2014. It is on display in the Noel Shaw Gallery, Baillieu Library until 3 August 2014. The exhibition will then travel to Art Gallery of Ballarat, Hamilton Art Gallery and Latrobe Regional Gallery.

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.


Ad astra: popular astronomy from the 16th to 21st centuries

Ground floor, Baillieu Library, 1 April - 18 May 2014

Astronomy is among one of the oldest sciences. It is also perhaps one of the most diverse, spanning disciplines of mathematics, physics, chemistry, geology, and philosophy. It is, at the deepest level, a science that is at the very core of our existence. The science in astronomy has historically been the domain of a privileged few. Those with access to education and technology have largely been responsible for most of the major discoveries of our epoch. Luminaries like Ptolemy, Copernicus, Kepler, Galileo, and Newton, alongside others, have made astronomy what it is today. Much of what they found has gone relatively unknown by a public who have neither the time nor training to fully appreciate the scientific discoveries of the cosmos.  However, throughout history scientists, philosophers, teachers, and writers have sought to transmit these high ideas to the non-scientist public so that they may explore and enjoy the wonders of the universe. Many of their works have inspired generations of people and have instilled in them, if not a deep understanding, then a deep appreciation of the cosmos. This display highlights the University of Melbourne’s small but important collection of popular astronomy works and celebrates the curiosity that these texts inspire.


Strength of Mind: 125 years of Women in Medicine

Medical History Museum, 2 September 2013 - 5 April 2014

Women were admitted to Melbourne Medical School in 1887, 25 years after the course had commenced but 21 years before women were entitled to vote in Victoria. These first seven female medical students were tenacious, resilient, and visionary; challenging the social values of their day and making major contributions to public health in Victoria. Led by Constance Stone the first woman to register as a doctor in Victoria in 1890 (she had undertaken her medical education in Canada) they went on to establish the Queen Victoria Hospital in 1896. The first hospital established in Australia for the care of women that was managed and staffed by women and one of three internationally. These attributes have been the qualities of many women in medicine over the last 125 years as they have contributed to all aspects of medical practice and research. Women now comprise over 50% of medical graduates. This exhibition celebrates their achievements from 1887 to now.


Sidelights and cross-references: 75 years of the Grainger Museum

Grainger Museum, near Gate 13, Royal Parade, University of Melbourne, 27 March 2013 - 29 June 2014

When the Museum opened on 13 December 1938, it contained an intensely personal and largely unedited collection reflective of Grainger's interests across time, place, disciplines, cultures and musical styles. Several years later, Grainger encapsulated his collecting tastes and principles in an observation that 'Most museums, most cultural endeavours, suffer from being subjected to TOO MUCH TASTE... TOO MUCH SELECTION, TOO MUCH SPECIALISATION! What we want ... is ALL-SIDEDNESS, side-lights, cross-references.' The Grainger collection has continued to grow in ways consistent with its founder's legacy and, 75 years on, it is this 'all-sidedness' that is celebrated here in an eclectic selection of objects, each of which has a story to tell.


Current Exhibitions at the Ian Potter Museum of Art

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