A Hall of Mirrors: Reflections on Nature in a Natural History Museum

By Sarah Edwards.

Published by The International Journal of the Inclusive Museum

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published online: January 2, 2015 $US5.00

With evidence of significant decline in animal populations worldwide, environmental issues place the work of natural history museums directly into the 21st Century spotlight. As an artist conducting research within the natural history collections at Museum Victoria (Melbourne, Australia) I undertook a one-month residency at RMIT University’s First Site Gallery in February 2013, culminating in an exhibition entitled "A Hall of Mirrors." This public display aimed to hold up a metaphorical mirror on the methods used by natural history museums to re-present nature, by providing an aesthetic avenue through which to engage with, mediate between, and raise awareness about our increasingly fragile natural environment and the vital work the museum plays in preserving it.

Keywords: Museum, Natural History Museum, Nature, Environment, Replica, Model Making, Diorama

The International Journal of the Inclusive Museum, Volume 8, Issue 1, March 2015, pp.1-10. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: January 2, 2015 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 612.980KB)).

Sarah Edwards

PhD Candidate, School of Art, Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT) University, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Sarah Edwards is a PhD Candidate in the School of Art at RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia. She holds a Bachelor or Education in Visual Arts, a Post Graduate Diploma in Art Curatorship from the University of Melbourne, and a Master of Fine Art from RMIT University. As a practicing artist, Sarah is inspired by natural history museums and applies traditional collection management techniques to her art practice. Since 1990, she has worked in the cultural heritage sector, and is now a researcher within the natural science collection at Museum Victoria, Australia, having worked there professionally for most of her twenty year career.


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