Free for educational use
Designing the Charles Darwin- voyages and ideas that shook the world exhibition
Year of production - 2009
Duration - 3min 50sec
Tags - Charles Darwin, discovery, exploration, historical representations, museums, science, see all tags
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About the Video Cliptop
Designing the Charles Darwin – voyages and ideas that shook the world exhibition was recorded at the Australian National Maritime Museum as it prepared for its special exhibition Charles Darwin — voyages and ideas that shook the world in March 2009.
The video clip Designing the Charles Darwin – voyages and ideas that shook the world exhibition is on the website Charles Darwin – The Australian Connection produced in 2009 by Ryebuck Media in association with the Australian National Maritime Museum for Screen Australia Digital Learning. The website takes us on an adventure to explore the role Australia played in shaping Charles Darwin’s theories.
The exhibition and the website were produced to coincide with the 150th anniversary of the publication of Darwin’s On the Origin of Species.
The Australian National Maritime Museum presented the exhibition, Charles Darwin — voyages and ideas that shook the world, on the 200th anniversary year of Charles Darwin’s birth and 150 years after the publication of his famous evolutionary theory On the Origin of Species.
At the age of 22 Charles Darwin seemed destined to become a clergyman when in 1831 he was given an opportunity to sail to South America on the small survey vessel HMS Beagle. The five year voyage exposed the young Darwin to the stunning nature of the world, triggering ideas that would come to explain the origin of life on earth and shake society to its core. The Beagle voyage proved the seminal event in Charles Darwin’s career, setting him on a path to become the most famous naturalist of the modern era.
Darwin’s account of the Beagle voyage inspired other naturalists to join survey expeditions exploring the world. Two of these, Joseph Hooker and Thomas Huxley were influenced by their experiences in Australia and went on to become Darwin’s staunchest supporters during the evolution debate and pivotal figures in the world of 19th century science.
Charles Darwin – Voyages and ideas that shook the world incorporates material from diverse collections including the British Museum, the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, the Oxford University Museum of Natural History, the National Library of Australia and the State Library of New South Wales.
A museum exhibition might be very carefully designed to influence your experience of the exhibition. Listen to how the curator describes the design elements of this exhibition, and answer the following questions:
- How does the exhibition use colour?
- How does it use sound?
- How does it use space?
- How does it use words?
- How does it use objects?
- How does it use words?
- What is the reason for including all these design elements in the exhibition?
- The display is part of the way the Australian National Maritime Museum is representing history — that is, it is part of the Museum’s selection, interpretation and presentation of the historical events. What do you think are the main strengths and possible weaknesses in using this approach as part of its representation? Explain your ideas.
Nora Barlow (ed), The autobiography of Charles Darwin 1809–1882, New York, WW Norton & Company, 2005
Charles Darwin, Voyage of the Beagle, London. Penguin, 1989
F.W. Nicholas and J.M. Nicholas, Charles Darwin in Australia, Port Melbourne, Cambridge University Press, 2002
Iain McCalman & Nigel Erskine (eds), In the wake of the Beagle: science in the southern oceans from the age of Darwin, Sydney, UNSW Press, 2009
Iain McCalman, Darwin’s armada: how four voyagers to Australasia won the battle for evolution and changed the world, Sydney, Viking, 2009
David Quammen (ed), Charles Darwin: On the origin of species, illustrated edition, New York, Sterling, 2008
Julie Simpkin (ed), Charles Darwin: An Australian Selection, Canberra, National Museum of Australia Press, 2008