07 January 2022

Blasts from the past

We are in Melbourne and normally that may not be too highly recommended given this OMICRON outbreak, but head-for-head Canberra has similar numbers now, so maybe it’s OK. It’s certainly good for vaccinations because I got my booster the afternoon I arrived and waited just a few minutes and it was walking distance and it was the Exhibition building so that was an event in itself. It’s big and of the period and the location of the first sitting of the Commonwealth Parliament so historical. Next to it is Museum of Melbourne and I spied a blockbuster exhibition from London that had just for another week or so to run so: Treasures of the Natural World form the Natural History Museum. Now I expected a string of fossils, worthy but perhaps not exciting, but this was fabulous. It wonderfully crossed specimens with history and personalities and science and, given the period, when the red of the British empire covered all the maps and mostly wealthy amateurs discovered amazing things following the Enlightenment, it was a blast. Evolution, Geology, dinosaurs, even Piltdown. Original specimens collected by big names, Darwin, Wallace, Sloane (not Soane although his house museum in London is a gem too), Waterhouse (with Adelaide connections), Anning. Now London probably has shelves of specimens from all these people, but to see a small selection and explore the relationships is a blast. Here are some pics. But it closes very soon. Next stop, London with much more on display.

The Museum of Melbourne hosted the blockbuster exhibition, Treasures of the Natural World, from the Natural History Museum, London.

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