Monday, May 27, 2013

The Museum of Economic Botany

At our Botanic Gardens - clearly my favourite place for taking photos if you've been reading here for a while! - there is a fascinating building called the Museum of Economic Botany. It's been there as long as I can remember but it's had a makeover in recent years. I remember it from childhood as rather dark, cold and mysterious. One singularly fascinating object contained therein is etched in my memory from earliest years. It's still there. Can you guess from the pictures? My boys find it just as fascinating today. It's quite fun to think of names for it.

Pretty much equally fascinating today though are the amazing papier mache and plaster models of apples, pears and fungi, as well as case upon case of dried grains, fruit, pods, timbers and so forth: all the plants that humans have put to use for food, clothing and shelter.

There is also the exquisite 'Cabinet of Curiosities' installation by the amazing local artist Fiona Hall, commissioned for the MEB's restoration in 2009. It has various peepholes and views including this little tunnel containing tiny models of animals, plants and birds which lights up in sequence from end to end and in different colours, quite mesmerising.

And at this time of year, on the Plane Tree Lawn not far away, is the excellent sport of catching autumn leaves, discovered by Charlie, Clem and I last year. We were up and out early (for us - 10am) on a Sunday morning and it was so beautiful, we vowed to get out early on Sundays as often as possible. This time of year, anyway.

- Jane x


  1. Gorgeous pics :-) I love the fungi
    (I'm going to guess the - ahem - 'bottom'!)

  2. coco de mer? The fungi are amazing and I love the peepholes.

  3. Runs off to Wikipedia ... Coco de Mer! That is SO COOL. I love all things botanical, especially weird looking fruits and seed pods (no kidding - I have a photograph of a Durian fruit on my kitchen wall and a tattoo of a Devil's Claw pod on my lower back). I would have fun at this place ...

  4. I'm loving all those mushrooms. They look awesome all together like that. Actually it all looks awesome. My mum lives in Adelaide.. I shall have to convince her to go there with us next time we visit her.


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