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domingo, 26 de julho de 2015

Ladrão devolve ao museu israelita objectos após 20 anos de maldição

Jerusalém - Um ladrão de antiguidades cheio de remorso e certo de que tem sofrido alguma maldição em razão do seu furto devolveu duas bolas romanas de 2.000 anos a um museu israelita, noticiou nesta segunda-feira a Autoridade de Antiguidades de Israel.




Funcionários do Museu das Culturas Islâmicas e do Médio Oriente de Beer-Sheva (sul de Israel) encontraram um saco com as duas bolas roubadas do sítio arqueológico da cidade antiga de Gamla, nos montes de Golã, e um pequeno bilhete deixado pelo ladrão anónimo.

"Aí estão duas bolas disparadas por catapultas a partir de Gamla, uma área residencial localizada no sopé da colina", diz o bilhete divulgado pela Autoridade.

"Eu as roubei em Julho de 1995 e, desde então, só me trouxeram problemas. Peço-lhes, nunca roubem antiguidades!", aconselha o autor sem detalhar a sua lista de desgraças.

De acordo com a Autoridade, cerca de 2.000 bolas semelhantes foram encontradas em Gamla. Os romanos as usaram contra os judeus que tentavam tomar a cidade localizada no topo de uma colina.

Esta não é a primeira vez que antiguidades roubadas são devolvidas em Israel, segundo a Autoridade de Antiguidades que cita o exemplo de um residente de Tel Aviv que escondeu no seu quarto um caixão antigo antes de devolvê-lo ao descobrir a sua "natureza mórbida".

fonte: @edisonmariotti #edisonmariotti
http://www.portalangop.co.ao/angola/pt_pt/noticias/internacional/2015/6/29/Ladrao-devolve-museu-israelita-objectos-apos-anos-maldicao,e580b087-6045-42d1-899d-06e36a84ba49.html
    

3.3-million-year-old stone tools from Lomekwi 3, West Turkana, Kenya -- A descoberta que pode obrigar a mudar todos os livros de história

Human evolutionary scholars have long supposed that the earliest stone tools were made by the genus Homo and that this technological development was directly linked to climate change and the spread of savannah grasslands. 


New fieldwork in West Turkana, Kenya, has identified evidence of much earlier hominin technological behaviour. We report the discovery of Lomekwi 3, a 3.3-million-year-old archaeological site where in situ stone artefacts occur in spatiotemporal association with Pliocene hominin fossils in a wooded palaeoenvironment. 

The Lomekwi 3 knappers, with a developing understanding of stone’s fracture properties, combined core reduction with battering activities. Given the implications of the Lomekwi 3 assemblage for models aiming to converge environmental change, hominin evolution and technological origins, we propose for it the name ‘Lomekwian’, which predates the Oldowan by 700,000 years and marks a new beginning to the known archaeological record.

fonte: @edisonmariotti #edisonmariotti
http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v521/n7552/full/nature14464.html

--br

A descoberta que pode obrigar a mudar todos os livros de história

Uma equipa de 22 arqueólogos descobriu ferramentas de pedra fabricadas há 3,3 milhões de anos, mais velhas do que a espécie humana. O homem é mais velho 700 mil anos?

Uma equipa de 22 arqueólogos descobriu artefactos de pedra no Quénia fabricados há 3,3 milhões de anos, questionando, assim, a história da evolução humana. As ferramentas em questão precedem a altura em que a espécie terá começado a evoluir para Homo sapiens – que terá surgido há cerca de 200 mil anos -, sendo que as mais antigas até agora identificadas são 700 mil anos mais novas e foram descobertas na Etiópia. O anúncio consta num artigo publicado na conceituada revista científica Nature.

O achado foi feito por acidente no campo arqueológico de Lomekwi, no Quénia, quando os arqueólogos liderados por dois membros da Stony Brook University se enganaram no caminho previsto. Ao todo, foram descobertos 150 artefactos num local sem a presença de quaisquer fósseis.


Desconhece-se, então, qual a espécie humana responsável por esta criação, até porque o antepassado comum mais próximo do Homem (Homo) como o conhecemos hoje, terá surgido há 2,5 milhões de anos na costa oriental de África. Ainda assim, o Globo escreve que o antepassado humano Kenyanthropus platyops estaria presente na região e que restos do Australopithicus afarensis foram encontrados no leste de África no mesmo período.

Os investigadores acreditam que os artefactos foram fabricados por uma ainda por determinar espécie de hominídeo com um bom controlo motor, diz o Daily Mail. O certo é que os achados fazem crescer a crença de que formas pré-humanas exibiram comportamento “humano”, além de desafiarem a ideia de que os nossos antepassados mais diretos foram os primeiros a fazerem de duas pedras um utensílio.

Se a descoberta confirmar que o homem é afinal quase 700 mil anos mais velho do que o que se pensava, isso obrigará a mudar todos os manuais de história. Ou os de ciência, porque pode também pôr em causa o último elo da teoria da evolução das espécies e mostrar que os pré-hominídeos já usavam ferramentas.

Seja como for, pode ser obrigatório dar novas datas à era da pedra lascada.



The Pasig City Museum is a historic house museum in Pasig, Metro Manila in the Philippines.

The museum is housed in the old Concepcion Mansion, owned by the former mayor of Pasig, Don Fortunato Cabrera Concepcion who served from 1918 to 1921. This magnificent structure was built as a gift to his wife, Victoria Concepcion. A native of Pasig, Architect Felizardo M. Dimanlig, designed this Spanish-Baroque mansion and completed it in 1937. Today, the museum showcases the timeline of the history of Pasig, as well as collections of objects corresponding to periods of historical development of Pasig. It is located in the poblacion area, at one end of Plaza Rizal, in Barangay San Jose.

Pasig City Museum 05.jpg



Photo of the Mansion during the 1950's


Architecture

The three-storey mansion's design was inspired by the Art Deco style of architecture. It has a terra-cotta roof which makes the mansion one of the three remaining structures in Pasig that uses the material. Its interior was designed in an ornate revivalist style fashionable during the pre-war era. Fifteenth-century wooden flooring, which originally came from the old Pasig Cathedral were used in the mansion and remained intact until now. There were marble flooring and stairs as well. It has an azotea, where one can see the Pasig Cathedral, facing the mansion.

Family History

Before the mansion was completed, the former mayor's wife died. The couple had three children, namely Cristino, who had two children; Cristina, who died at an early age, and Jose who married "Naning" but had no child. Cristino's children were Cristino II and Vina Concepcion who married Luis Gonzales.

When siblings Cristino II and Vina died, the childless couple Dr. Jose Concepcion and "Naning" were the last heirs of the mansion. The mansion was then bought in the 1980s by the municipal government of Pasig under the administration of Mayor Emiliano Caruncho. It was transformed into the Pasig Library and Museum.

Other Significant Events

Commonwealth Era

During the early Commonwealth period, President Manuel L. Quezon visited the Concepcion mansion to drink pure carabao's milk and had some non-political conversations with Don Concepcion. Later that evening, the former mayor and his men became President Quezon's followers.

World War II

The place where the American flag was hoisted

During the World War II, the mansion was used by the Japanese as their headquarters and detention center. On February 19, 1945 the American flag was raised at the veranda below the tower of the mansion to signify the liberation of Pasig from the Japanese forces.

Renovations

The Concepcion Mansion was renovated and inaugurated as the Pasig City Museum in 2001 and has been a venue for exhibits, presentations, musical performances, art workshops and book launchings. In 2008, another renovation was done on the interiors to transform it into a full-blown museum. Some of the antique furniture still remains. The garden was transformed to a hall where presentations and workshops are held.


fonte: @edisonmariotti #edisonmariotti https://www.facebook.com/pages/Pasig-City-Museum/126579084036104



The Zoological Museum is part of the Natural History Museum of Denmark, University of Copenhagen.

The history of the Zoological Museum, University of Copenhagen 


Fig. 1. The title copper plate in Ole Worm’s book about his museum, 1655. In the background center on the top shelf is an oak root (mounted upside down) grown around the lower jaw of a horse. This rarity was donated to Worm in 1649 by King Frederik III and is the only absolutely certain zoological survivor from Ole Worm’s museum. The same applies geologically to the circular Cretaceous Paramudra fossil on the floor to the left, now in the Geological Museum, University of Copenhagen.


Few museums have had an origin as complicated as that of the Copenhagen Zoological Museum, which mostly owes its fame to its old age and the richness of particularly Arctic and marine animals brought back from a great number of expeditions.

There is no previous account in English of the history of the Museum. The most detailed review in Danish of the growth throughout three centuries has been given by Spärck (1945). Two other general accounts are by Stephensen (1921) and in my history of Danish zoology (Wolff 1979). Acquisition of, in particular, insects is found in Henriksen’s history of Danish entomology (Henriksen 1921-37) and of marine collections in my book on marine expeditions (Wolff 1967).

The purpose of this account is to present an outline of the many forerunners of today’s Zoological Museum, the origin and growth of the scientific collections and the improvement of the public exhibitions. Apart from appropriate references, a general description of the Museum’s contributions to zoological research in Denmark and its participation in university teaching were considered to be outside the scope of the present paper.



17th CENTURY COLLECTIONS: THE ANATOMICAL PERIOD

In Denmark the first attempts to study the anatomy of animals began when, following the Reformation, a Faculty of Medicine was established in 1537 at the then about 60 years old Copenhagen University. Dissection of various animals gradually became widely used by physicians for comparison, since human dissection was often difficult or impossible due to religious opposition and layman’s prejudice.

The 17th century represents a Danish Golden Age of anatomical studies of the organs and their function and of natural history collecting. In addition to his handbook, Anatomicae institutiones, Casper Bartholin the Elder (1585-1629) wrote a students’ guideline for the study of the natural history of mammals and birds.

His brother-in-law, Ole Worm (1588-1654), was a true polyhistor (Schepelern 1971). He had studied medicine, botany, etc. at foreign universities for 12 years. Visits to a variety of collections of curios had greatly inspired him to build up his own museum of minerals and soils, dried plants, seeds and fruits, stuffed animals, dried fish and crustaceans, shells and corals together with "artificiosa": archeological specimens, ethnographical artefacts and art objects. Especially the zoological section shows that its founder was aiming at acquiring tangible examples of curiosities mentioned in current publications and was particularly rich in Nordic and Arctic animals, e.g., the skull of a narwhale, a stuffed polar bear and a live great auk.

From 1630 the Museum was housed in the professor residence of the botanical garden between the University and Krystalgade, at or close to the location of the Zoological Museum 240 years later (Schepelern 1971). The collections are unusually well documented through Worm’s extensive correspondence with European colleagues, preliminary catalogues and first and foremost the magnificent book Museum Wormianum (Worm 1655, Schepelern 1971), with 425 pages in folio and profusely illustrated (Fig. 1). It is a practical, descriptive catalogue, giving evidence of Worm’s sound and down-to-earth attitude towards fables such as the true identity of the unicorn, the reproduction of the lemming, etc.

Worm’s museum had many both local and foreign visitors, including the Danish King Frederik III. The king had also donated several objects and was later inspired to build up his own collection, The Royal Danish Kunstkammer or Museum Regium, which later had a great impact on the development of the Danish museum system (Fig. 2).


Fig. 2. Print of the Royal Library and Kunstkammer Building opposite the castle and now the National Record Office. The Kunstkammer was found on the first floor from 1680 to 1821.

When Worm died in 1654 the majority of his collections was acquired by the king for his museum. They were first located in Christiansborg, the Royal Castle, and from the 1670’s in a new, still existing building opposite the castle. Only the first of several illustrated catalogues (Jacobaeus 1696) indicates a major increase in natural history specimens, apart from a large bird collection from Christiansø in the Baltic in the late 18th century. The main emphasis was gradually laid on paintings and other objects of art and of cultural history (Gundestrup 1991). The Royal Kunstkammer existed until 1821 when its contents were distributed to various still existing museums. Apart from many objects found in the present museum (a stick with shipworm attack from 1693, an elephant fetus and double-tusk, ornamented shells, etc.), the most valuable is one of two existing, recent skulls of the extinct dodo, which came to Copenhagen in 1713 together with other objects from the Ducal Kunstkammer at Gottorp Castle in Schleswig.



Fig. 3. The University courtyard in the early 1600’s. Left the new main building, right the old one and the former Kommunitets Building. In the center the library ("Liberihuset"), later to become Domus Anatomica, housing the oldest University collection from 1657 to 1728.

The third collection with animals in Copenhagen became located in the former university library ("Liberihuset") on the first floor above Theatrum Anatomicum (Fig. 3). From 1645 the anatomical theater had been the flourishing center of the work of the famous and highly productive anatomists Thomas Bartholin (1616-1680, a son of Caspar) and Niels Steensen (Nicolaus Steno, 1638-1686) (Meisen 1932). When Worm’s collections were transferred to the Kunstkammer and thus no longer available as a study collection, Thomas Bartholin was active in creating Universitetets første Natural Kammer (first Chamber of Natural Objects) which according to Bartholin’s Cista Medica Hafniensis (1662) and a contemporary catalogue comprised many animals, partly as skeletons, partly stuffed or dried. But most of the collections soon became dilapidated andDomus Anatomica perished in the great fire in 1728. The only remains of this first university museum is a fragment of a (later restored) memorial tablet to Professor Thomas Fincke, Thomas Bartholin’s grandfather; the tablet is now built into the wall of the Department of Population Biology next to the present Zoological Museum building.


THE ECONOMIC PERIOD

The anatomical epoch was in the 18th century replaced by a period of growing interest in developing the homeland’s natural resources and aids, and providing order in the overwhelming number of newly recognized plants and animals.

Establishment of collections of all sorts of natural objects became a fashion in upper class circles. Copenhagen University, however, strongly opposed the new ideas, partly due to general conservatism, partly because more professors meant reduced wages for each. Thus, as a countermove Count Adam G. Moltke established in 1759 a self-supporting college, Natural- og Husholdnings-Cabinettet (The Naturalia and Housekeeping Cabinet) at Charlottenborg, the residence of the Royal Academy of Art. In addition to teaching, the Cabinet’s main task was to build up collections. This was done through purchase, donation of part of Moltke’s large private collection of specimens sent from Danish tropical colonies, and, most importantly, by acquisition of Peter Forsskål’s collections from the Danish "Arabian Journey" 1761-1767. This ill-fated expedition, with Carsten Niebuhr as the only survivor and publisher of the geographical, botanical and zoological results, greatly extended the knowledge of the region (Wolff 1968, 1990, 1994). Still surviving are Forsskål’s famous "fish herbarium" (Fig. 4), numerous specimens of molluscs and corals, some insects, and two of the oldest preserved zoological types in alcohol: the bat Rhinopoma microphyllum and the pelagic amphipod Phromina sedentaria.



Fig. 4. Forsskål’s famous "Fish Herbarium" with 99 split-and-dried Red Sea fish, 58 of which are types. A catalogue with photographs (also X-rays) was published later (Klausewitz & Nielsen 1965).

In 1772 the Cabinet was transferred to the university. Here the energetic new professor Morten Thrane Brünnich (1723-1803) in 1770 had started to create a study collection which, with the rich supplement from the Cabinet, was named Universitetets Nye (New) Natural Theater and located in the Kommunitets Building (Fig. 5, today the meeting rooms of the University Senate). In few years he managed to build up the first real zoological and mineralogical collection of the University, which even impressed Linnaeus, who in a letter wrote: "If only we had more Brünnichs, then the natural history might soon be completed!" Its contents are known from his own detailed description (Brünnich 1782), and the collections were extensively used in his teaching.


Fig. 5. The still existing Kommunitets Building in the mid-1700’s. On first floor right the University’s New Natural Theater was located 1770-1807, with lectures in zoology and mineralogy. First floor center and left housed the Study Collection and zoology teaching 1918-60. In the background right the new University Main Building, built after the great fire in 1728 and destroyed during the English bombardment in 1807.

When Brünnich in 1789 was forced to take on a government position in Norway, natural history once again became a university stepchild. As with the Cabinet 30 years earlier, a group of private persons headed by the zoologist and veterinarian Peter Christian Abildgaard (1740-1801) (Stamm in Meisen 1932) established in 1789 the peculiar but important Natural History Society (Naturhistorie-Selskabet). Its objective was nothing less than to function as a private university. In spite of a high membership fee, the number of members was impressive; lectures with final examination were held; a scientific periodical was initiated; and a library and museum were established, first in Prinsens Palæ (part of the present National Museum building), later in a Renaissance house in Østergade. Two active society members were the wealthy amateur collectors of insects, Ove R. Sehested and Niels Tønder Lund, both with high government positions. They managed to arrange shipments of exotic insects through many sources and thus built up a collection of world-wide importance which was the main basis for the epoch-making studies by Johann Christian Fabricius (Henriksen in Meisen 1932, Wolff 1993).

However, in 1795 the University resumed teaching of zoology, and money to support the Natural History Society started to become scarce. A royal commission with Abildgaard as secretary was set up to prepare the establishment of a state museum, and grants enabled the society to acquire in 1804 Lorenz Spengler’s famous shell collection and a large mineral collection. Shortly afterwards the commission accepted to take over the society’s collection in return for continued salary to the professor. With this new state museum, Naturhistorie-Selskabet had thus had its day and was dissolved after 16 years of remarkable efforts.



THE ROYAL NATURAL HISTORY MUSEUM


Fig. 6. The Holstein Mansion in Stormgade where the Royal Natural History Museum was located 1821-68. Apart from a less ornate gate, there are only few later alterations exteriorly and interiorly.

Det Kongelige Naturhistoriske Museum remained in Østergade and Johannes H. Reinhardt (1776-1845) was appointed chief inspector. The first large acquisition was, in 1810, Sehested and Tønder Lund’s huge insect collection -- in spite of war and financial hardships bought at a very high price. Due to Reinhardt’s very active enterprise, space became a growing problem, and in 1821 the museum moved to the rented Count Holstein’s mansion in Stormgade (Fig. 6). At the same time the natural history specimens from the abolished Kunstkammer and the mineral collection and Spengler’s shell collection from the king’s Rosenborg Castle were transferred, and 700 specimens of excellently mounted birds in biological grouplets were purchased. Many animals were sent by Captain C. Holbøll from Greenland, and from Brazil came a particularly large collection of insects, birds and mammals, provided by the Danish consul-general in Rio, O. Dal Borgo. In 1841 the only -- still existing -- preparation of internal organs of the flightless great auk, which became extinct three years later, arrived from Iceland. Since the Museum also possesses an egg and skins of adults in summer and winter plumage (the latter unique), the Museum adopted in the mid-1900’s this bird as its logo.

For a long time only a mineralogist (Christian Pingel) and Reinhardt were in charge. Reinhardt was also responsible for giving lectures, at first only for museum guests, later also for university students. Since only the bird section was open to the public, the popular name was "The Bird Museum". Due to growing public criticism, the staff was in 1842, together with a previously appointed malacologist, supplemented with the ichthyologist and carcinologist Henrik Krøyer (1799-1870) and the entomologist Jørgen Christian Schiødte (1815-1884; Henriksen in Meisen 1932, Wolff 1993).

In the late 1840’s the Royal Museum received three significant contributions. Most important was the collection of bones of partly extinct mammals and birds found in caves in Brazil (Reinhardt 1888, Degerbøl 1945, Hatting 1980). These were excavated by the zoologist Peter Wilhelm Lund (Jensen in Meisen 1932), who had settled in Lagoa Santa for health reasons. They were partly described by him, and after arrival in the Museum were later studied by Herluf Winge.

Other large collections were brought back after the circumnavigation of the first Galathea Expedition 1845-47 (Wolff 1967). This was initiated by King Christian VIII, who had a keen interest in natural history, but it had also political-commercial objectives. Particularly rich collections were made on the Nicobar Islands, a Danish settlement in the Malacca Strait. However, with the king’s death soon after the return of the expedition and the subsequent Schleswig War, plans for publication of a general expedition report were cancelled.

The third large augmentation was due to Schiødte’s diligent collecting of insects in southern Europe.

During the 1850’s the Royal Museum had grown into an important scientific institution, and the public visited "the Bird Museum" in increasing numbers. But conditions in the former mansion were cramped and impractical and a fusion with the University Museum in a modern building was becoming urgent.

MOLTKE’S UNIVERSITY MUSEUM

As mentioned above, university teaching in zoology and mineralogy was resumed in 1795 with the appointment of Gregers Wad (1755-1832), but subsequent increase of Brünnich’s Natural Theater collections seems to have been only minerals, which were Wad’s main interest. However, as a result of the English bombardment of Copenhagen in 1807, which set fire to most of the University, the collections had to be packed away to await better times.

These arrived three years later with Count Joachim G. Moltke (1746-1818), the Prime Minister. He was the son of A. G. Moltke, the founder of the Naturalia Cabinet, and had inherited the bulk of his father’s private collection. As university patron he wished, supported by Wad, to encourage natural science at the University. His move was a deed of gift dated 28 January 1810, according to which he bought the Natural Theater, for a very large sum, combined it with his father’s Naturalia Cabinet and donated both collections to the University! In addition he made an annual sum available for administration, acquisitions and lectures. However, the collections had to remain packed away, and Reinhardt, who became professor in 1813, therefore used the Royal Museum for his teaching. Not until the University Main Building had been rebuilt in 1837 could the collections be moved back to the Kommunitets Building. The zoological section was now permanently separated from that of mineralogy and from now on officially named Det grevelige Moltke’ske Universitetet tilhørende Zoologiske Museum (The Count Moltke Zoological Museum belonging to the University), usually called the University Zoological Museum.

Considerable amounts were again spent on purchasing specimens from naturalists, and Reinhardt was active in providing animals, e.g., from Greenland, not only for his "own" Royal Museum but also for the University Museum, which apparently survived the 30 years long, magic sleep remarkably well.

An important addition was the purchase of The Zootomical-Physiological Museum. Around 1825 Daniel F. Eschricht (1798-1863), whale specialist and professor of physiology and anatomy, had started building up a huge library and a private zoological collection. Eventually, its most important and voluminous part consisted of what may even today definitely be one of the world’s richest collections of whale skeletons. Already in 1841, while still far from complete, his museum was sold to the University and the whales were under very crowded conditions placed in the basement under the Assembly Hall of the Main Building, where they remained on show also after the two main museums in 1868 moved to the new building next door.

In 1845 Japetus Steenstrup (1813-1897; Spärck in Meisen 1932, Spärck 1948) succeeded Reinhardt as professor and head of the museum, which the same year obtained a substantially increased income through a charter for J. G. Moltke’s university grants.

The still existing Danish Natural History Society was founded in 1833 with the main purpose of creating a museum to compensate for the strongly criticized limitation of public admission to the Royal Museum; soon afterwards the Society also began to give scientific lectures for the upper class citizens. Some collections were donated by Eschricht, and some were acquired through purchase and exchange. However, the museum attendance was low, much less than that of the lectures, and the economy was strenuous, so the collections were sold at an auction in 1847; some were bought by the two main museums, and some were scattered. Indirectly the museum had, however, lasting importance. Firstly, the acquisition of Krøyer’s collection of fishes and crustaceans led to the establishment of a special Danish section which served as a model for the other museums. Secondly, the auction income secured the establishment of the Society’s periodical, Videnskabelige Meddelelser (Scientific Communications) 1849-1988 (Spärck 1933), with Zoological Museum staff members as editors.



Fig. 7. King Christian VIII’s shell cabinet occupied a whole hall in the museum in Krystalgade. It was kept in the original vitrines from Amalienborg Castle, with a bust of the king.

When King Christian VIII died in 1848 most of his large "particulaire" collection at Amalienborg Castle came to the University Museum (Fig. 7), especially the magnificent shell cabinet with many of J. H. Chemnitz’s types, including that of the very rare gastropodConus gloriamaris (Spärck 1950) and many valuable books. Included were also the collections made in Greenland by Otto Fabricius, the author of Fauna Groenlandica (1780), and, via Fabricius, some remains of O. F. Müller collections (Jensen and Spärck in Meisen 1932, Wolff 1967, 1993).

Steenstrup was very active in increasing the University Museum collections. For instance, he had a special ability to persuade officials in Greenland, the Faroes and Danish colonies, and particularly captains in the mercantile marine, to send specimens, the latter forming the main basis of the Museum series Spolia Atlantica (1861-86). He was also in charge of the foundation of the museum’s extremely rich reference collection of animal remains from archaeological sites, etc.

THE FUSION OF THE MUSEUMS

The crowded conditions for the revived University Museum in the Kommunitets Building soon called for a new home. On Steenstrup’s iniative, a commission was appointed in 1848 to consider the relation between the two existing museums, but not until 1858 was it decided by the University that they should be combined. A second commission considered the status of the inspectors of the Royal Museum. Two of these, Krøyer and Schiødte, were, in their concept of scientific method, Steenstrup’s complete antagonists (Wolff 1993) and feared to come under his dominance and power. With supporters in the Parliament, they managed to postpone the passage of the Museum Law until 1862 when it was finally decided that the new museum should be governed by three managers of the same standing: one responsible for vertebrates (Steenstrup), one for invertebrates except arthropods (Krøyer), and one for arthropods (Schiødte). This law was in force during the following 115 years!

A sum of 186,000 rigsdalers, 1 mark and 10 skillings was approved for the new building, and in 1864 construction started in Krystalgade behind the University Main Building, with Professor Christian Hansen as architect. Moving in and fusion of the two museum collections and of Schiødte’s huge private collection of Danish insects began barely three years before the official opening by the king on 2 November 1870. This put a full stop to the long and intricate previous history of the Zoological Museum.

THE FIRST 50 YEARS OF THE KRYSTALGADE PERIOD


Fig. 8. Krystalgade around 1900 with the new Zoological Museum. In the background the University Library and the Round Tower; on the left the north end of the Kommunitets Building.

The new, then ultra-modern building in Krystalgade (Fig. 8) seems to be the first one constructed to serve as a Zoological Museum from the onset. It was worldwide regarded as a remarkable innovation and served as a model for other museums, e.g., Hamburg, Leiden and Paris, although many locals considered it excessively large. The grandiose main hall with its glass roof was surrounded by galleries and exhibition rooms (Fig. 9). Fish and invertebrates were shown on the ground floor, and P. W. Lund’s fossils, the Danish earth finds of bones, and mammals, birds and reptiles were found on the first floor; on the mezzanine were insects, working rooms, library, archives, etc. All cabinets, designed by the architect, had mahagony-framed glass doors. In the basement, rooms surrounding the central hall acted as workshops (Fig. 10), storage sites for alcohol collections, etc. During World War II a special shelter was fitted up here for the type collections.

Fig. 9. The central hall in the museum in Krystalgade. The drawing is from 1868, two years before the opening, and thus shows an imagined version of the exhibits.

In the beginning there was no distinction between the public and the scientific collections. Almost everything in stock was exhibited, often several specimens of the same species, and the excess "storage collections" of imperfect specimens and second-hand duplicates were kept in drawers under the show cabinets or in the attic or basement. Labels were kept to a minimum, and the printed guide was just a systematic summary. But apparently this concentration in rows of the richness and diversity of the animal kingdom appealed to the public -- in numbers of 50-85,000 annually they flocked in during the two open hours twice a week.

Fig. 10. The gloomy basement in the Krystalgade museum contained strongly smelling rooms for decoction and taxidermy. Photograph from about 1900.

Fortunately it was a well built and remarkably dry building, mostly because Steenstrup had insisted on using modern steam central heating which operated through ornate, stove-like radiators with claw feet!

The staff of this spacious museum comprised only five scientists and four taxidermists/preparators, the former five supplemented with two more in the 1880’s and gradually increasing from 1904. Besides Schiødte, the most distinguished names were the echinoderm and fish specialist Christian Frederik Lütken (1827-1901), who succeeded Steenstrup as professor; the mammologist Herluf Winge (1857-1923); and the carcinologist Hans Jacob Hansen (1855-1936) (Stephensen 1937, Wolff 1993). The main task was integration and registration of former and new collections, divided into sections for Denmark, the Faroes-Iceland-Greenland, and the rest of the world. Eschricht’s anatomical vertebrate preparations were excluded, being in storage until transfer to the new Institute of Comparative Anatomy in the 1940’s.

The first important new addition was the donation of Bernt W. Westerman’s magnificent insect collection, the finest private one of the day; it was procured through gifts and exchange with all important collectors of the time. A significant supplement to the P. W. Lund fossils was Valdemar Lausen’s gift of almost complete skeletons of extinct giant sloths and glyptodons, etc. from Argentina; they were exhibited in a huge showcase in the central hall.

From 1884 migratory birds killed at the Danish lighthouses and lightships were sent to the Museum; a 1954 survey mentions 56,000 birds and parts of another 41,000!

The founding in 1868 of the Entomological Society meant a further development of the already close cooperation between professional and amateur entomologists which had been promoted by Schiødte already decades before; numerous fine insect collections were willed to the Museum. Valuable were also the terrestrial isopods (woodlice) which came from the brush manufacturer Gustav Budde-Lund, a world capacity in this group (Wolff 1993).

Methodical collecting in Danish waters began in the 1860’s and greatly increased with the introduction of fishery research in the 1880’s. Arctic marine animals were obtained in the Kara Sea in 1882-83 by the mostly icebound vessel Dijmphna(Wolff 1967) and in much greater numbers by the first Danish deep-sea expedition on the cruiser Ingolf to the North Atlantic in 1895 and 1896 (Wolff 1967, 1997), with a report of 5500 quarto pages and 330 plates, edited by the Museum. Other major expeditions, concentrating on the Greenland shelf, were the Carlsberg Foundation Expedition 1898-1900 and the Danmark Expedition 1906-1908 to East and Northeast Greenland, respectively (Wolff 1967).

Enormous marine collections were provided by the famous one-man expeditions of the Museum’s echinoderm specialist Theodor Mortensen (1868-1952). They included inter alia the Pacific 1914-16, the Kei Islands 1921-22 and Java-South Africa 1929-30 (Wolff 1967). In addition to his own A Monograph of Echinoidea in 16 volumes, they resulted in about 80Collected Papers by others.

THE EXPANDING MUSEUM: FROM KRYSTALGADE TO UNIVERSITETSPARKEN

By the early 1920’s the scientific staff had grown to 13. In the exhibitions, labelling was gradually improved and the multitude of displayed animals reduced. A welcome addition was the magnificent fan corals, sea lilies, etc., brought by Th. Mortensen from his tropical expeditions. In the central hall biological groups were mounted, the first in 1930 being musk oxen with an Arctic wolf, and the largest being African savanna animals; these were part of huge collections of mammals, birds and insects from the wealthy pharmacist and big game hunter Dr. Bøje Benzon’s three expeditions to East Africa in the 1930’s and late 1940’s, the latter with museum staff participation. Other major land expeditions collected in the Niger area in the 1920’s and in Afghanistan around 1950.

Otherwise the main collecting outside Denmark was marine. The Godthaab Expedition surveyed West Greenland waters in 1928, the Scoresbysund Committee’s 2nd Expedition in 1932 investigated fjords in SE Greenland, and the great Three Years’ Expedition 1931-34 explored 800 km of inhospitable East Greenland coast from Scoresbysund to Danmarkshavn, involving ships, airplanes and a total of ca. 200 participants (in the summer of 1933 alone 109) and 16 men wintering each year (Wolff 1967).

By far the largest collections in the world of pelagic oceanic organisms were procured by the Carlsberg Foundation’sDana Expeditions. With the main purpose of locating the breeding area of the European eel, they were first concentrated in the Mediterranean (the Thor Expedition 1908-10) and the West Atlantic 1920-22 (Wolff 1967). This was followed in 1928-30 by meticulous collecting by the Dana down to about 3000 m for two years round the world (Schmidt 1932), resulting in 5500 hauls which were later sorted into more than half a million separate samples. Much of this enormous material was published in almost 100 monographs in the Dana Report, and much is still waiting for future treatment (Wolff in press a).

Even greater in scope was the Galathea Expedition 1950-52, with government and private funding and administered by the Zoological Museum. It concentrated on the deep-sea bottom fauna down to the previously unexplored greatest depths of the ocean trenches. The ship carried a naval crew of about 90, and a total of 31 foreign scientists, 20 Danish scientists and 8 students participated for shorter or longer periods during the two years’ circumnavigation (Bruun et al. 1956, Wolff 1967).

Less impressive, but also rich in collections were the investigation of the Iranian Gulf 1937-38 in view of working up modern fishing and the Atlantide Expedition 1945-46 along the coast of West Africa on a Danish millionaire’s large yacht (Wolff 1967).

The richness of marine invertebrates is exemplified by the collection of Crustacea numbering at least 8,200 identified species or 18% of all known species, and the type collection containing 2,218 types or 4.9% of all species (Wolff in press b).

With such vast material pouring in from expeditions and travels and through purchase, exchange and gifts, space in the originally large building became hopelessly scarce, and much had to be stored in neighbouring basements and even in the loft of Trinitatis Church with access through the Round Tower, an uneconomic and time-wasting situation. More and more exhibition rooms were changed to working rooms, and the ornithologists were even sent in exile to a building several hundred metres away!


Fig. 11. Plan of the ground floor of the present Zoological Museum: 1. Admission platform. -- 2. Entrance hall with changing exhibits. -- 3. Lifts and staircase to the exhibitions. -- 4. Working rooms for scientific and technical staff. -- 5. Corridors with working places for students or temporary tasks. -- 6. Department libraries, photo rooms, lavatories, etc. -- 7. Locks to general storerooms. -- 8. Collections. -- 9. Supply Department and storerooms (in upper storeys working rooms, canteen, meeting room, and general library). -- 10. Workshops, studio and preparator rooms. -- 11. Meeting hall, now transformed to preparator rooms and reception and telephone room. -- 12. Department of Population Biology. -- 13. Institute for Cell Biology and Anatomy.

Together with the architect Vilhelm Lauritzen, Ragnar Spärck had already in 1934 worked out a scheme for a new building at the planned campus, Universitetsparken on Fælleden (the Common). Since 1937 when this influential man became professor and head of the museum board, he worked hard to promote the plans. They were delayed by the war, but in the mid-1950’s the University rated a new building for zoology as a top priority, and a government grant was approved by vote in 1960. It was decided to follow Spärck’s original ideas of a complete separation between the scientific and public sections and placing the collections in the center surrounded by working rooms, general and department libraries, storerooms, etc. (Fig. 11). However, the prolonged and strenuous detailed projecting did not appeal to Spärck, who cleverly left this to Helge Volsøe, Henning Lemche and the architect Preben Hansen.


Fig. 12. The building from 1963 in Universitetsparken (foreground). The exhibitions are in the upper 2½ storeys.

Studiesamlingen (the Study Collection, the students’ laboratories, etc.) had remained in the Kommunitets Building and moved in 1961 to a wing next to the new museum. During the summer of 1963 the scattered museum collections were transferred and brought together in the big square concrete house in Universitetsparken (Fig. 12). This work was completed in August, but an official opening was postponed until the exhibitions were ready. After a gentle reconditioning, the old Krystalgade building was taken over by the University administration.

With the large, modern building on Universitetsparken, endeavours during 2-3 centuries to build up a national zoological museum had -- at least for the time being -- come to an end (Fig. 13).



Fig. 13. The development of the Zoological Museum, University of Copenhagen (after Tuxen 1984). Click on the figure if you want to load a high resolution pdf-file with all the details of the "tree". This require Adobe Acrobat Reader. 


THE LATEST 35 YEARS AT UNIVERSITETSPARKEN

The price of the new building was 17 mill. DKK in 1963. It covers, with its 6½ storeys and a two-storey workshop building, altogether 20,670 m², of which 6,500 m² are storage-room area and 4,850 m² exhibition area (Volsøe 1964). The past period has called for few changes in this well functioning building: a lecture hall next to the entrance hall has been transformed into workshop offices; most of the basement parking area is now reserved for the whale collection; and a number of large working rooms have been divided up into smaller ones.

Shortly before moving to Universitetsparken, Helge Volsøe (1908-68) was appointed director, a new position. The scientific staff had then grown to 25, topped at 27 (in the 1970’s) and is now down to 22; the technical/administrative staff was about 40, grew to 64 and is 42 today.

Mainly on the basis of its own material, the Museum has been strongly involved in the publication of Zoology of the Faroes (1928-71, 52 parts), Zoology of East Greenland (1937-58, 19 parts) and Zoology of Iceland (from 1937, more than 80 parts). Spolia Zoologica Musei Hauniensis with 29 monographs was published 1941-69 and an illustrated yearbook, Dyr i (Animals in) Natur og Museum, in the 1940’s. The former has from 1970 been replaced by Steenstrupia, the latter from 1984 by a popular magazine with the same title as the yearbook and appearing twice a year. Moreover, the Museum has published reports of expeditions: Iranian Gulf, Atlantide, Galathea, and The Natural History of Rennell Island, British Solomon Islands. Most of the Galathea Report papers written by Danish contributors are the work of the Museum’s group of deep-sea biologists, several of whom were members of the expedition and have later participated as guests on foreign cruises. The Atlantide and the Galathea Reports are still being issued.

Later major additions to the collections have primarily been procured by the Noona Dan Expedition 1961-62, collecting mainly birds and insects in the Philippine, Bismarck and Solomon Islands and so far resulting in 150 Noona Dan Papersand many more in part founded on Noona Dan material. In 1987-90 the BIOFAR Program investigated the benthic lower shelf and upper slope fauna around the Faroes, followed by the similar, still ongoing BIOICE Program around Iceland. Scientists and students from the Zoological Museum have played an important role in working up these rich collections. Marine, global meiofauna sampling has in recent years yielded the world’s largest collections of tardigrades and loriciferans. In the 1990’s huge samples of insects have been obtained in East Africa, mainly through canopy-fogging.

After 7 years of preparation, "The Animal World of Denmark", the first part of the new exhibitions on the 5th floor, was inaugurated by King Frederik IX on 2 November 1970, one hundred years to the day after the opening of the Krystalgade museum. The previous arrangement according to systematic principles was maintained only in an "appendix" section, focusing on vertebrates, but was otherwise replaced by ecological viewpoints: examples of the fauna in typical Danish biotopes (forest, field, moor, freshwater, coast and town), animal dependence on habitat, and illustration of various biological phenomena (Jørgensen 1973).

The importance of these modern exhibitions to the public awareness of the natural environment was greatly increased by the immediate establishment of a School Service which was soon copied by other museums and zoos in Denmark and abroad. Its principal goal is to make the children observe and think, aided by written exhibit assignments, to be answered individually or in small groups.

The first year’s number of more than 400,000 visitors later decreased to around 140,000 annually. The next part, "From Pole to Pole" was opened in 1974 on the 6th floor, and the kidney-shaped Ocean Hall was completed later. Mainly in dioramas it features animal communities under changing climatic conditions. This exhibition was followed in 1983 by the opening, again with Royal attendance, of the impressive "Animal Life of the Ocean" with skeletons of a Greenland and a sperm whale and life-sized models of a giant squid, fishes and invertebrates.

The 25th anniversary of the exhibitions was marked with a book (Meyer et al. 1995) which recorded the year-to-year activities, the major special exhibits in the area reserved for these, the 80 mini-exhibits of mainly topical events, animals in art, etc. in the entrance hall or elsewhere, the marionet theater performances, and later additions (e.g., walrosses and Sumatra rhino) or renovation (savannas) in the "From Pole to Pole" exhibition.


CONCLUSIONS

By virtue of its collections and type material the Copenhagen Zoological Museum ranks as one of the ten most important in the world. This gives a special responsibility to further its principal research fields: systematics, zoogeography and phylogeny. In addition to a continuation, with modern methods, of the long tradition in these spheres (Kristensen 1994), the staff is at present engaged in transferring the vast amount of collection and expedition data to electronic databases.

The remaining major task in the Exhibition Department is the creation of the last of the permanent exhibits, "A World of Animals", in the still available 600 m² area above "From Pole to Pole", intending to give the visitor an impression of the enormous diversity of the animal kingdom.



With these goals in mind the Zoological Museum is ready to enter a new millenium.



fonte: @edisonmariotti #edisonmariotti
http://zoologi.snm.ku.dk/english/about_the_zoological_museum/History/Museets_historie/

Rudi Isbandi Pelukis yang senang jalan kaki ke mana saja sampai capek ini pada tahun 1991 mendirikan Museum RUDI ISBANDI, museum seni rupa pribadi pertama di Surabaya

Lahir di Yogyakarta, 2 Januari 1937, Pria yang gemar memakai topi tersebut belajar melukis kepada Affandi dan Hendra Gunawan di Sanggar Pelukis Rakyat pada tahun 1950-an. Sejak tahun 1957, ia aktif ikut pameran bersama didalam dan luar negeri.

Untitled-1 - Copy


Rudi Isbandi


Pameran tunggalnya sendiri baru ia adakan pada tahun 1970. Setelah itu hampir 2 tahun sekali ia mengadakan pameran tunggal. Dalam berkarya ia mempunyai konsep untuk terus melakukan penjelajahan kreatif secara konsisten dalam dimensi intuitif baik dua dimensi, tiga dimensi maupun instalasi. Ia cenderung menghindar dari kekenesan wujud bentuk visual yang justru dapat menyederhanakan bentuk itu sendiri dalam penampilannya yang bersahaja, dan terlihat spontan. Belakangan ia lebih banyak mengerjakan mixed media, seperti dalam pameran tunggalnya pada tahun 2002 dan 2004.

Karya mixed media yang dibuat Rudi Isbandi sarat dengan nuansa spiritualitas. Menggunakan berbagai media, Rudi melampiaskan curahan batinnya dalam karya-karya yang unik, misalnya Gir sepeda rongsokan oleh Rudi dibentuk menjadi parade bintang di langit. Ada salib, simbol kekristenan. Ada nuansa Buddhis. “Tinggal Anda saja yang menafsirkan. Yang jelas, apa pun persepsi penonton semuanya saya anggap benar,” kata Rudi yang dulu banyak menulis kritik seni rupa di media massa itu.

* Pelukis yang senang jalan kaki ke mana saja sampai capek ini pada tahun 1991 mendirikan Museum RUDI ISBANDI, museum seni rupa pribadi pertama di Surabaya

yang didirikan di sebuah jalan kecil, tepatnya di Jalan Karang Wismo 1/10, Kelurahan Erlangga, Kecamatan Gubeng, Kota Surabaya. Museum yang juga di gunakan sebagai tempat tinggal bersama keluarganya ini, Terdiri dari dua gugusan bangunan yakni bangunan depan dan bangunan belakang. Bangunan depan yang luasnya 10 x 20 meter terdiri dari dua lantai. Seluruh lantai atas dimanfaatkan sebagai ruangan museum. Sedangkan di lantai bawah terdapat dapur, ruang makan, ruang tamu, serta garasi yang telah berubah fungsi jadi ruang dokumentasi. Di lantai ini juga terdapat satu kamar tidur.

Bangunan belakang yang lokasinya di berada dibelakang bangunan depan, berupa rumah panggung seukuran 3 x 10 meter, dimanfaatkannya sebagai tempat penyimpanan karya-karyanya sejak tahun 1950-an. Sementara di kolong rumah panggung tersebut dibuat satu kamar tidur plus kamar mandi.

* Tercatat Museum RUDI ISBANDI memiliki lebih dari 150 karya seni rupa yang menjadi basis koleksi. karya-karyanya tersebut kerap ia bawa serta dalam rangkaian kunjungan ke berbagai tempat, kelompok dan institusi di seluruh Jawa Timur. menurutnya bukan jamannya museum menunggu dikunjungi masyarakat. 

Museum, ujarnya, perlu mengambil inisiatif dan proaktif untuk bergerak mendatangi masyarakat guna mengenalkan keragaman koleksi dan kekayaan peradaban yang dimiliki. Karya-karyanya tersebut turut pula dipamerkan dalam peluncuran program Museum Goes to Society 2010. Program yang bertujuan mendekatkan museum kepada masyarakat. ''Ini bagian dari misi saya untuk mendukung upaya pemerintah mewujudkan tahun berkunjung ke museum,'' ujar Rudi yang juga merupakan pensiunan dosen Unesa ini.

Menikah dengan Sunarti dan di karunia dua orang anak.

fonte: @edisonmariotti #edisonmariotti http://www.tamanismailmarzuki.co.id/tokoh/isbandi.html

The Archaeological Section of the Museum is primarily concerned with the acquisition, preservation and display of antiquities of the historic period of South India. -- The Chennai Museum has a good collection of paintings and sculptures, both traditional and modern.

The antiquities consist of sculptures, architectural pieces, metal and stone inscriptions which have a bearing on the past history and social life of the people of this part of India. A significant collection of objects representing the industrial arts such as wood carving, ivory work, metalware, inlay and embossed works for which South India has been famous from very early times, is also dealt with by the Section.


The objects mentioned above have been slowly accumulated and preserved in the Museum since its inception. They were organized into the present form about 1938 AD due to the efforts of Dr.F.H.Gravely. Though prior to the formation of the Section, sporadic research on certain groups of antiquities have revealed the importance of the objects and thus made the Museum well known yet only after the formation of the Section more detailed studies of the antiquities of the Museum were undertaken, and the results of the studies published in a series of Museum Bulletins. Gradually, the scope of research work of the Section, initiated by Dr.Gravely, was expanded so as to include other allied subjects such as temple architecture. The activities of the Section, thus, increased and as a consequence, it grew rapidly in size. 

















Collections

The collections of the Section may be grouped as follows, each group being important and interesting in its own way: (1) Bronze figures, (2) specimens of sculpture and architectural pieces, (3) inscriptions and (4) industrial art objects. The study of the objects of the first three groups is essential for a proper evaluation of the levels of culture reached by the people of the different periods and localities to which they belong. The inscriptions are, however, the main source for the history of the country as also for its social life. The study of the specimens of the industrial arts reveals how dexterous the South Indian craftsmen were in their application of various art motifs to objects used in daily life or on ceremonial occasions.


Bronze figures

By far the best known objects of the Section are the metal figures. There are over 1500 of them in the Museum, of which about 85 are Buddhist, about two dozen Jain and the rest Hindu. This Museum is perhaps the only institution in the whole world, where such a large collection of metal figures is assembled under a single roof. One must remember here that there are countless figures of this kind in the innumerable temples of South India. This bewildering quantity will itself suffice to show the extent to which the art of casting images or figures in metal had been practiced in this part of India in the past-unprecedented in the history of any other country in the world. As several of them are so wonderfully wrought and are in accordance with the accepted canons of aesthetics, they are amongst the world's best treasures of art.

The collection of bronze figures contains specimens of different periods ranging from the early centuries of the Christian era to the recent times. The four fragmentary Buddha figures excavated at Amaravati in the Guntur district, are the earliest and date from about the third century AD. The style and features of these figures presuppose a considerable familiarity with the art on the part of the people who made them. The other Buddhist metal images come from Nagapattinam, and they vary in date. Of these, the seated Buddha and the small figure of Simhanada in the gracefulmaharajah lila pose are important.

Next comes the Jain bronzes. The large Tirthankara metal image received from near Madurai is noteworthy as the features suggest that it might belong to the early Pandyan period. This figure is unmistakable evidence for the existence of Jainism in the Pandyan Kingdom about the tenth century AD. The other images are comparatively small, in size, all come from the Telugu country and they are of the usual type.

The most important part of the collection of Bronze figures is that representing the Hindu gods, goddesses and devotees. The images collected upto 1932 AD have already been published in the form of a catalogue in which they are treated under two broad categories namely, Vaishnavite and Saivite. Accordingly the images of each group are shown in separate showcases in the bronze gallery which was opened in the year 1963 AD. This is the only Museum wherein the South Indian bronzes in large number are kept in a separate building. The images received upto 1963 AD have been published in the form of a Bulletin of the Government Museum, Madras. Of these images a few date from the Pallava period, a slightely larger number from the Chola period and the rest belong to the Vijayanagar and later periods. Mention may be made of the Pallava bronzes, which include the figures of little Somaskanda (skanda missing), Vishapaharana, Kannappanayanar and Vishnu. The best Chola specimens include the figures of Nataraja from Tiruvalangadu and Velankanni, Kankoduttavanitam etc., the Rama group fromVadakkuppanaiyur, Vishnu as Srinivasa, Tirumangai Alvar , Inscribed Kali, the world famous Ardhanarisvara fromTiruvenkadu and Parvati. In fact some of them, for instance, the Tiruvalangadu Nataraja and Rama group, are so well executed as to be real gems of art, which we can be proud of. The figure representing the Vishnu with two hands in which the attributes are embedded from Komal, and Balasubrahmanyaand dancing Balakrishna belonging to the later periods are of interest as they are essentially in the traditional style though just beginning to get conventionalised. The figures ofVenugopala, Rukmini and Satyabhama from Chimakurti which represent the art of the Telugu country have remarkable grace about them. A figure of Nataraja in the leg reversed pose received as a treasure-trove from Poruppumettupatti in the Madurai district is of interest historically, iconographically and also artistically. There are images representing theayudhapurushas Sudarsana and Kaumodaki which are very rare representations in metal. Sage Vamana is included in the collections, which comes to nearly 1500 bronzes. A colourful Bulletin recording the Jain images (Sculptures, Bronzes and epigraphs) received in the museum upto 2000 AD has been published in 2001 AD.



Hi-tech showcase in the Bronze gallery

Four new hi-tech showcases, frameless with float glass, Dichroic lighting, Yale locks, German Dorma door hinges, Taiwanese exhaust fans and silica gel compartment to absorb Image of Bronze gallery moisture, etc., have been made this year. They house the Jain and Buddhist bronzes on the 1st Floor of the Bronze Gallery. 









Bronze Gallery - Ground Floor and Mezzanine floor - a Panoramic view - Year 2003








Reorganised Bronze Gallery


In connection with 151st year celebrations of the Government Museum, Chennai, the existing Bronze Gallery has been reorganised. In the Government Museum, Chennai most of the objects are displayed in traditional type wooden showcases. The traditional showcases have problems of dust accumulation on the object, insufficient lighting and problems in cleaning the objects and wood deterioration as they are now made of teak board rather than real teak due to high cost of teak. Due to the time constraint, Commissioner broached the idea of quick assembly type showcases with the Bronze Gallery Reorganisation Committee consisting of Curators, engineers of the Public Works Department and co-opted outside experts Dr. K. V. Raman, a veteran professor of Archaeology and K.T. Narasimhan, the Superintending Archaeologist, Archaeological Survey of India, Chennai. The Web Site of Octanorm Ltd was browsed. At a trade fair some Curators saw these showcases. They were satisfied with it. Brochures of several manufacturers were acquired. These are being developed for displaying them in the ground floor of the Bronze Gallery building. The octanorm type showcases use aluminium profiles. 

The profiles are vapour coated at micron level, so that they also appear as bronze. They have the advantage of flexibility like changing of showcase size, quick dismantling and reassembly with negligible loss of salvage value. Display is made at two levels optimising the use of the vertical space resulting in low cost of display per exhibit. This octanorm type showcases are incorporated with toughened glasses on all sides, neat look and the bases are provided with glasses instead of plywood to focus the light from below. They have been provided with bronze tinted glass mirrors at the back to reflect light. This gives a traditional temple like atmosphere. They are light weight, but stronger and the entire display can be moved frequently. 

Light from the bottom as well as split-level display gives great looks attracting visitor interest. Three independent supports below the load bearing toughened glass on which exhibits are housed. This is a three way redundancy safety measures like NASA of USA does in spacecraft. This is to ensure the safe display of the valuable bronzes.

Improvements in Lighting

All the show cases in the Bronze Gallery building have Dichroic Halogen lamps and in addition to this to give a floating effect to the showcases additional low voltage lamps have been provided at the bottom of the show cases, to give aesthetic effect as if the whole display is floating in a pool of light. 

Dynamic Display

In the reorganised Bronze Gallery, a star display will be the cosmic effect on the Nataraja bronze. A diorama showcase with cosmic background made by vinyl pasted on acrylic material and cosmic effect given by fibreglass light tips with audio commentary is the attractions. 70-watt halogen lamp generator will operate the Fibre optic lights and a changing light pattern of seven colours will enhance the display effect.

In addition to the Nataraja exhibit, a scroller display is being installed. The scroller display will have themes like bronze making, South Indian Bronzes, Chemical Analysis of Bronzes like that. Each theme will have ten transparent photo printed, back illuminated vinyl sheets which will move up and down in a systematic manner. Two revolving displays will bear some important bronzes on them and the entire structure will rotate all the 360° very slowly.
This will make the bronze display dynamic to create visitor interest.

Audio Visual Room

In addition to the presentation of actual exhibits, an audiovisual presentation about the objects in the gallery enhances inter-activity with the exhibits for the visitors. An audio-visual room is being organised in the first floor of the Bronze Gallery building. This room will have an LCD Multimedia projector with all accessories. Videos of the lost wax process of traditional bronze making, the modern Investment Casting Process, the museum in the 1960s and its present state will be presented to the visitors. IT will be of 8 to 10 minutes duration. 










Sculptures

The next best known collection of the Section is that of the stone sculptures. They fall into two broad groups, namely, the early Buddhist, Jaina and Hindu sculptures and the sculptures of the medieval and later periods. The date of the early Buddhist sculptures ranges from about 200 BC to 250 AD, and that of the Jaina and Hindu from about 600 AD to the recent times.


Early Buddhist Sculptures

The collection of the early Buddhist Sculptures includes the large group of sculptures received from the ruined stupa atAmaravati in the Krishna valley in the Andhra country wherein an excavation was conducted in 1801 AD and later Colonel Colin Mackenzie of the Trigonometrical Survey of India first heard of the mound in the area and visited the site and found it was very interesting as it had specimens of early christian era art. Then he drew sketches of the site and left. Later in 1830 AD some of the sculptured slabs were brought to Masulipatnam to beautify a square named after Robertson, the District Collector. During the course of his visit to this place in 1835 AD, Sir Frederick Adam, Governor of Madras, saw the slabs and ordered that these be sent to Madras for preservation in the Museum of the Madras Literary Society. Dr.Balfour, soon after taking charge of the Madras Central Museum, began his efforts in getting the aforesaid slabs and the first batch arrived here in 1856 AD and in 1859 AD, most of them were sent to Her Majesty's Secretary of State for India and lodged in the India Museum. Before sending them to London these slabs were documented by one William Taylor and were photographed by Mr. L.Trippe. These slabs which were sent to London were exhibited in the Museum there and later shifted to the British Museum. Other batches of sculptures were secured during Dr.Bidie's time and they were set up in their present location in the Museum.On the question of the arrangement and display of these Amaravati marbles in the Madras Museum in 1884-85 AD, Dr.Bidie had to cross swords with no less a person than Burgess of the Archaeological Department of the Government of India, but while the distinguished archaeologist demonstrated more of dogmatism and heat, Dr.Bidie showed himself that he was the master of the situation and what he did was only practicable way of dealing with the sculptures. 

Apart from these sculptures, a few fragments of sculptures fromJaggayyapeta a few other sculptured friezes from a dilapidated stupa from Goli are also exhibited here. Total number of these sculptures is about 315. Of these the sculptures received fromAmaravati and Goli have been studied and published.Amaravati sculptures are of interest as they are in at least four distinctive styles showing the development of the art in South India. 


These styles are more or less akin to the contemporary styles of sculptures of North India, such as the Maurya, Sungaand Kushana, which establish the unity of cultures of India from very early times. The most interesting feature of the sculptures from Amaravati is the wealth of details they furnish in regard to the various aspects of social life of those periods. The Golisculptures belonging to a period later than that to which the sculptures of the last phase of the Amaravati stupa belong, show the later developments of Andhra art. The Jaggayyapetasculptures belong to about 200 BC. The archaic features and very low relief work are charecteristic of the art of the period. The figure representing Chakravarti Mandhata and another showing a holy shrine or punyasala are important among them.


Mediaeval Sculptures

There are over 700 specimens of stone sculptures belonging to the period from about 600 AD to recent times in the section. Of these, about 50 are Jain, about 25 memorial or hero stones, about a dozen Buddhist figures, about 10 snake stones and the rest are of Hindu deities. 

It is as much true of stone sculptures as of metallic figures that to whatever faith they may belong, the features of the art of the period are marked in the sculptures of the period, except for minor local variations. Hindu sculptures are shown in two galleries. In the New Extension Gallery typical examples of South Indian Sculptures from Tamilnadu and from other areas are shown in chronological order. In the general section the remaining specimens are shown. The noteworthy specimens from Tamilnadu belong to the Pallava and Chola periods (600-1300 AD). 


Among the Pallava sculptures, the figure of hornedDvarapalaka and Yoga Dakshinamurti shown in the New Extension and the figure representing Virabhadra, six of the seven mother goddesses shown in the other gallery are noteworthy. Of the Chola sculptures, the mutilated figure ofShanmukha and the Parvati figure shown in the New Extension gallery and the group of Vishnu and his consorts and theGajalakshmi figure shown in the other gallery are noteworthy. 

Representing the art of the Pandyan territory of the period are a few specimens of which the figures of Agni and Vayu from Tirunelveli are the best. The sculptures of the subsequent periods are lacking in expression although the figure ofBhikshatana belonging to the Vijayanagara period shown in the New Extension gallery retains some of the beauty characteristic of the figures of the earlier periods.

The sculptures from the Telugu and Kannada speaking areas include specimens of the art patronised by the royal dynasties of these areas such as the Chalukyas, Nolambas, Hoysalas, etc. Here also the sculptures belonging to periods earlier than the Vijayanagar period are noted for their beauty and expression. Of these early sculptures, the Ganesa and Dvarapalaka figures of the Eastern Chalukyan period, the Vinadhara Dakshinamurtifigure of the Nolamba period and the Saptamatrika group of figures of the Hoysala-Kakatiya period, all shown in the New Extension gallery, are works of high artistic merit.

The Jain sculptures of the Section are shown in a room beyond the Buddhist sculpture gallery. They are mostly representations of Jain Tirthankaras in the usual stiff posture. But the figure of a Tirthankara from Tuticorin, the figure of Mahavira from the South Arcot District are in the Pallava style and the figures representing Mahavira and Parsvanatha fromDanavulapadu in the Cuddapah district, in Andhra Pradesh belonging to the Rashtrakuta period, show features characteristic of the art of the period to which they belong.

That Buddhism continued in the Tamil districts long after it ceased to exist in other parts of South India, is proved not only by the Buddhist metal images from Nagapattinam but also by a few stone figures of the Buddha belonging to this part. However, the smallness of the collection is indication of the fact that Buddhism was not followed by many. Of these Buddhist stone images, the more than life-size figures of standing Buddha from Kanchipuram are interesting.

Though there are only a few specimens representing each of the groups of sculptures such as hero-stones, memorial stones, sati stones and snake stones, they are valuable not only because they throw light on the life of the village people of ancient South India but also because of the inscriptions on them. The snake stones, as a group, are specially interesting as they reveal the fact that the people still continue the worship of snakes, an ancient practice, in a modified form. 

















Architectural pieces

About 50 pieces consisting of corbels, kudus, gargoyles, gateways, etc. belonging to ruined temples of South India are shown in the New Extension and the general Hindu sculpture gallery. Of these the corbels and the kudus are arranged in series in the Hindu sculpture gallery showing their development during different periods in the Tamil country. Among the pieces of the temples of the Telugu-Kannada area, the piece that shows a miniature vimana with combination of features of the architecture of the Tamilian and Deccani styles, exhibited in the Hindu sculpture gallery, and the doorway in the typical Hoysala style shown in the New Extension Gallery are noteworthy.


Inscriptions

There are over 600 copper plate inscriptions and about 100 stone inscriptions in the Section. Their contents are of high historic and social interest. Further, as they belong to different periods and localities, their scripts differ and a study of these grants helps to follow easily, the development of the scripts now obtaining in South India.

The copper-plate inscriptions acquired upto 1917 AD, numbering over 200 have been published in the form of a catalogue. Subsequently about 400 inscriptions have been added. These inscriptions are mostly records of grants of villages or plots of cultivable lands to private individuals or public institutions, by the members of the different royal dynasties that ruled over South India. The grants range in date from the 3rd century AD to recent times. A large number of them belong to the Chalukyas, the Cholas and the Vijayanagar kings. Of special interest are the Maydavolu and theHirahadagalli plates of the early Pallava dynasty and the large-sized grant acquired from Tiruvalangadu, issued by Rajendra Chola I. The latter consists of 31 large plates strung on a ring to which is attached a seal showing the Chola emblems andRajendra's legend in relief. This is not only interesting as an "epigraphical curio" but its contents, especially the genealogical portion are also valuable.

The stone inscriptions include inscriptions in Brahmi, Vatteluttu, Nagari, Telugu, Tamil and Kannada scripts. Of theBrahmi inscriptions, the Bhattiprolu stone reliquary inscriptions are important as the alphabet employed here is considered to be earlier than 200 BC. This suggests that there was a variety of Brahmi script in vogue in the South, long before that period. The Brahmi inscriptions from Amaravati and Jaggayyapeta are important both for showing the further developments of the script and for revealing several technical terms which could not be known otherwise. The Vatteluttu inscriptions include also those on the hero and memorial stones, already referred to; this script was in use in the southern region of the Tamilcountry till a late period and most of the early Pandyan and Kerala inscriptions are in this script. In order to show the development of the scripts of South India from the Brahmiscript, specimens of original inscriptions in the different scripts such as Telugu, Tamil, Kannada, Brahmi and Nagari are shown in separate groups, arranged on the mezzanine floor of the New Extensions, in chronological order, headed by a plaster cast of an Asoka inscription and followed by a chart showing clearly the different stages of development of each of the scripts. The remaining stone inscriptions are exhibited in the Archaeological Reserve Collection shed.


Industrial Art

The exhibits of the Section consist of specimens of wood carving, ivory carving, metalware, inlay and embossed works. Their total number is about 1,450. The wood carving of South India is noted for its wealth of details. A great majority of the Museum collection of woodcarving belong to old temple cars. They represent the various deities of the Hindu pantheon. Some of the representations of figures are unique as corresponding representations of the figures in metal are not met with.

The ivory carvings include representations of animals such as cows, deer and deities such as Vinayaka by traditional carvers of Mysore, Travancore and Visakhapatnam. The excellence of workmanship of the carver is revealed by the intricate work on an ink-bottle holder in the collections.

The metalware objects consist of lamps of different types, utensils used in temple and household worship, toys and luxury articles such as betel boxes and nut crackers. Each one of these groups is of great interest. Especially, the collection of lamps is remarkable for the multiplicity of types and the delicacy of workmanship. Of these, the large lamps with festooned branches spreading out, exhibited in the centre of the metalware gallery are noteworthy.

The Tanjore metal vessels and Bidri ware exhibited in the gallery are also of interest.

During 1992 AD the Bronze Gallery was reorganised. The Industrial Art Gallery was reorganised in 1997 AD.






'Fort Tranquebar'



Conservation work of a part of the Danish Fort has been completed recently under the supervision of the Commissioner Archaeology and Museums, Government of Tamil Nadu. The Fort has also been illuminated by modern lighting. 
 
Tranquebar - Night View