The Blue Metal in Museums Story (continuing)

Everything in a museum has a story to tell. Forgive me this post, but readers of Iconophilia will remember my anguish at the way the National Gallery of Australia has used “blue metal” – called “Nimmitabel Blue“, which is crushed basalt from a quarry on the Monaro high plain – to simultaneously de-sanctify Australia’s Guernica, The Aboriginal Memorial at the same time as it is used to ice-proof its new box gutters? In this regard, the Museum of Old and New Art in Hobart is nowhere as radically functionalist or pragmatic. I’m not exaggerating. Read the Ron’s own account.

There’s no semiotic confusion in this gutter for the roof of the MONA Library, at the rear of the Roy Grounds Round House. It’s a gutter. While there’s plenty of challenging framing devices inside the museum, the blue metal knows its place. Outside in the gutter.

And even gutters are elegant at MONA. Here’s where the water goes when it rains, creating a waterfall-effect. Nice detailing. Only one stone out of place (unlike the NGA).


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