1205: The Florence Museum of Natural History

IMG_3705_01_LR_10

Since my return from Italy I have displayed a few images taken at two sections of the Florence Museum of Natural History. I have now assembled a selection of images from the Botanical Museum, La Specola (The Zoology Section), as well as images from my show at the Geology and Paleontology Section. All can be found above in the Menu bar and will reside there indefinitely.

_______________

Untitled-1a_bird_LR_12

These first five, all from La Specola, attempt to show some of the museum’s diversity. Popularly known for its collection of wax anatomical models (which are mind-blowing, without a doubt!), the zoological collections that fill out the bulk of the museum are equally stunning.

_______________

IMG_3779_01_LR_10

_______________

IMG_3743_01_LR_10

_______________

IMG_3731_01_LR_12

_______________

IMG_1188_01_LR_10

These five images are from the Botanical Museum, parts of which date back to the 1500s. It is the largest in Italy and one of the finest in the world. It is home to several herbaria, as well as many other related collections including one of botanical wax models of flowers and plants. I can only assume that, during the heyday of “wax” artists, museums were big employers.

_______________

IMG_1199_01_LR_12

_______________

IMG_3395_01_LR_10

_______________

IMG_3453_01_LR_10

_______________

IMG_3569_01_LR_10

_______________

IMG_1150

And along with those two sections, of course, is a selection from the Geology and Paleontology Section, all of which appeared in my September show. The show was divided into two rooms, The downstairs room (Sala Strozzi, named after a member of the Strozzi Family, one of the great rivals to the Medicis) is shown above. The effective lighting and clever panel design allowed the photographs to float in a room walled by old cabinets full of fossils.

_______________

IMG_3064_01_LR_10

Part Two of the exhibit, set in an upstairs room never before opened to the public, showed my New York fossil images set against wonderful old glass cases full of invertebrate fossils.

_______________

All in all, it was a most memorable experience.

_______________

IMG_3141_01_LR_10

I have given talks in a number of various locations but never in one as great as this!

_______________

IMG_3179_01_LR_10

And here are the two people responsible for all these most memorable experiences – my dear friends Dr. Elisabetta Cioppi and Dr. Stefano Dominici. Their deep understanding of the connections between art and science and their points of confluence are what enabled this exhibit to occur. And their desire to share these ideas with the greater public made the show a complete success. Their hospitality was boundless – as boundless as our affection for them.

_______________

Thanks for visiting.

More images at www.artmurphy.com

Subscribe at my homepage artandfossils.wordpress.com

0912: Off to Florence

8968After more that two years of conversation and planning, Cindy and I leave tomorrow for my opening at the Florence Museum of Natural History (Friday, Sept. 20). There’s really little I can say about it right now. I’m deeply honored that they would display my work and allow me to speak while there about Art & Science. I also look forward to seeing once again my good friends, Dr. Elisabetta Cioppi and Dr. Stefano Dominici.

_______________

9915_LR_______________

9086_______________

I have just about enough time to pack. We will be away for a month and it is doubtful that I’ll be able to post while gone. I am sure I’ll have much to share upon my return. So I would like to devote this post to the show coming up. The images shown today partially comprise the Florence show. And the accompanying text was written for the show by Drs. Cioppi and Dominici.

_______________

8899_LR

INSPIRED FOSSILS

by Art Murphy

 21 September – 13 October 2013

 To the eyes of a paleontologist a fossil may suggest many things: from an ancient environment, the evolution of living forms, deep time and so forth, right up to the research associated with the most advanced scientific technology. But for the non-expert, the same amazement and desire for information can come from photographs of fossils taken by an artist. The exhibition “Inspired Fossils”, in this manner, achieves the union of art and science. If we add that the images exhibited are related to invertebrate fossils – much less well known than the famous dinosaurs – we have all the best ingredients for an unusual and fascinating exhibition.

_______________

6404_LR_______________

9055_______________

Art Murphy is not a scientist, but an artist, a pioneer in a new type of photography. He knows how to capture the aesthetic quality of fossils, and we, with our eyes free from preconceptions, willingly allow ourselves to be enraptured in a kind of rebirth of fossils. Unusual forms and colours, shadows and textures come alive in his shots. From a meeting of the fantastic fossils of our collections are born the images exhibited, together with others which Art has selected from his evocative American series of New York’s Hudson Valley, where his passion for fossils was born.

_______________

4248_LR_______________

9036_LR

On this occasion, the Museum is pleased to open specially collections normally closed to the public. Apart from the Sala Strozzi on the ground floor, where the historic collection of the Marquis Carlo Strozzi is housed, on certain days it will also be possible to visit the rich holdings on the second floor of the building, those which Art has called the “Sistine Chapel of Paleontology”. These rooms, full of treasures “never seen”, will become the ideal receptacle for the exhibition, one where the history of science and art are mixed together in an unusual journey.

_______________

7004_LR_______________

8980_______________

Through art we have rediscovered how the mind travels new paths, allowing us to be fascinated by the miracle of nature and of life on our planet.

The show is organized with the support of the Italian Society of Paleontology (SPI) and of the National Association of Scientific Museums (ANMS).

       Elisabetta Cioppi and Stefano Dominici, exhibition curators

_______________

9137_LR_______________

1304_LR_______________

Thanks for visiting.

More images at www.artmurphy.com

Subscribe at my homepage artandfossils.wordpress.com