Coral, cubism and the Colosseum: University of Sydney museums this summer

2 January 2013

Kids aged six to 12 can enjoy arts and crafts, short expert talks, stories, artefacts and dress ups at the University museums over the summer holidays
Kids aged six to 12 can enjoy arts and crafts, short expert talks, stories, artefacts and dress ups at the University museums over the summer holidays

The University of Sydney's museums have something for all kids during the summer holidays, with each holding an activity day Friday in January, targeting children aged six to 12. Each day features a rolling series of activities including arts and crafts, short expert talks, opportunities to scrutinise art and artefacts, and stories.

The Nicholson Museum, Macleay Museum and University Art Gallery are all within close walking distance - so pack a picnic and spend a day museum hopping at the University of Sydney.

Nicholson Museum

  • Children's activity day: Rascally Romans and the Lego Colosseum - 10am-4pm, Friday 18 January. Handle artefacts in hands-on workshops, take part in a Roman play, wear a toga and learn some Latin in this series of activities that will transport you back to the Roman Empire's heyday.
  • The Colosseum exhibitioncontinues at the Nicholson, where a 250,000-piece Lego rendition of one of the world's most recognised monuments takes prime position. The model is set amongst ancient Roman sculptures, coins and other artefacts offering a taste of life in AD 80, when the Colosseum opened. A free talk at 11am on Thursday 17 January by ancient history lecturer Dr Anne Rogerson - Did the Romans eat ice cream? - offers insights into the Roman Empire's culinary habits.
  • 50 Objects 50 Storiesalso continues through summer telling some of the most riveting tales from the Nicholson's vast antiquities collection, the biggest in the southern hemisphere. A fragment of The Iliad purchased by Enoch Powell and an ivory furniture inlay lovingly restored by Agatha Christie are among the fascinating objects on show.
  • Aphrodite's Island: Australian Archaeologists in Cyprus celebrates Australia's longstanding archaeological connections with Cyprus. It features items from the museum's collection of more than 1,500 Cypriot artefacts, the largest in Australia and one of the most significant outside of Cyprus.

Macleay Museum

  • Children's activity day: Biology: Past and Future - 10am-4pm, Friday 11 January. Budding biologists will have a chance to peer down microscopes, listen to talks on biology and complete science activities.
  • The Meaning of Lifechronicles some of Australia's most significant scientific advances in the last 50 years. Marking the 50th anniversary of the University's School of Biological Sciences, the exhibition puts the eradication of cane toads, marine life on the Great Barrier Reef and surviving in the Simpson Desert under the microscope.
  • A free address at the museum on 23 January at 6pm from Professor Steve Simpson - star of the ABC's Great Southern Land TV series - will discuss how locust plagues offer new clues into the causes of human obesity, how we age and crowd behaviour.

University Art Gallery

  • Children's activity day: Art Abstraction - 10am-4pm, Friday 25 January. Create abstract artworks based on those featured in the current exhibition of J. W. Power's work and listen to talks on the artist and the avante-garde movement.
  • J. W. Power was better known for a bequest that evolved into the Museum of Contemporary Art than his own artistic work. J.W. Power and Abstraction Création brings to life Power's own artistic acclaim, better known in Europe than in Power's Australian homeland. The show recreates Power's 1934 solo exhibition in Paris, thanks to an exhibition plan accidentally discovered by the gallery's senior curator.

Event details:

What: University of Sydney Museums in January

Where: University Art Gallery,War Memorial Arch, northern end of The Quadrangle; Macleay Museum: Gosper Lane, off Science Road; Nicholson Museum: southern entrance of The Quadrangle. See map and directions.

Cost: Free, but with a coin donation for children's activity days.

Opening hours: Monday to Friday, 10am to 4.30pm; first Saturday of the month, 12pm to 4pm.

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