At Spalding House: Inquiring Finds

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    Anonymous. 'Death of an Empress' (detail), Japan, Edo period (1615-1868), 18th century. Ink and colors on paper. Purchase, Richard Lane Collection, 2003. (2007.3)

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    A Rube Goldberg machine by Ross Mukai, created specially for 'Inquiring Finds.'

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February 05, 2014 - July 06, 2014
Honolulu Museum of Art Spalding House


Exhibition Overview

At their core, science and art are built upon sets of questions, and a search for answers. Inquiring Finds, the fourth installment of Spalding House’s education-driven exhibition series, investigates the science behind the concepts and creation of works of art through five focused exhibitions.

Potter Alchemy: The Chemistry of Ceramic Glazes
Through Korean celadon vases, salt-glazed wares by Toshiko Takaezu, and other ceramic vessels from the collection, find out what happens to ground stone, minerals, and metal oxides when exposed to temperatures of 2000˚F and higher.

For centuries, ceramists and potters have experimented with materials and techniques. They have developed a deep understanding of how different substances react to one another under specific conditions to create a wide variety of glassy surfaces on their wares. On view are ceramic vessels—by Peter Voulkos, Toshiko Takaezu, Rose Cabat, Catharine Hiersoux, David Kuraoka, and others—that exhibit a number of popular glaze types.

It’ll Last Longer: Image Capture, Then and Now
Learn how the understanding of optics and photosensitive materials shaped the way artists see, capture, and create images. Featuring works by Gary Schneider, Walter Chappell, Susan Rankaitis, and David Nyzio. We also created a camera obscura (Latin for "dark chamber")—walk inside to see an image of the Spalding House garden projected upside-down on the camera obscura wall!

Fool, Spectrum: Color, Light, and Perception
Peruse Op Art works by Richard Anuszkiewicz and Karl Benjamin, Helen Gilbert, and Anderson O’Mealy, and see how light waves and frequencies affects the color of colors.

What Moves You: The Mechanics of Kinetic Art
Levers, wheel and axles, pulleys, inclined planes, wedges, and screws are all simple machines. Simple machines are defined as devices with a specific movement or purpose that change the direction or magnitude of a force. They can be seen as elements or components that make up more complex machines such as an elevator, or a car—or a kinetic work of art.

Explore the inner workings of sculptures by Alexander Calder, Arthur Ganson, Heinz Mack, George Rickey, Mamoru Sato, and a  Rube Goldberg machine that Hawai‘i artist Ross Mukai created just for this exhibition, and see how they rely on engineering, principles of physics, and the use of simple machines

Come Undone: The Art of Entropy and Decay
Despite our best efforts, nothing lasts forever, including artwork. See how artists Bruce Conner, Ernesto Pujol and others come to terms with, and negotiate the inevitable.

This exhibition and the related school tour Science Through Art are sponsored by: