"The Eternal and Infinite Universe" Painting

Local Artist Mark James has kindly donated his painting on wood panel, "The Eternal and Infinite Universe" to the Living Museum collection.

He explains:

"This painting, TEIAU 2019, is a smaller 2019 version of The Eternal And Infinite Universe 1994 with the same text (but without the last half - which would have made it too long for this painting). The text simply encapsulates a theory of the universe, or multiverse, according to which our visible universe should be accelerating apart (because it is falling gravitationally out towards the greater mass of the infinity and many other cosmoses).

Historically, back in 1994 when the original was painted, no one thought that the 'universe' could be accelerating apart. It was thought that after the initial expansion of the big bang (whatever caused that) gravity would be slowing the momentum down. There was a mystery in this scenario though, which was that according to the present rate of expansion (aka the Hubble constant) the universe was calculably only 10 billion years old, and many astronomers thought that was not old enough to account for the apparent age and state of evolution of many galaxies in our visible universe.

I figured that if, instead of the expansion having slowed down from a faster time, it had speeded up from a slower time, then that would mean the visible universe was older, and could then account for its state of evolution. Of course I also needed to think of an explanation for why the visible universe would be accelerating part - and that was included in the 94 painting."


Letterpress Printers Wooden Tray

Letterpress printing is a technique of relief printing using a printing press. Many copies are produced by repeated direct impression of an inked, raised surface against sheets or a continuous roll of paper.

This was the normal form of printing text from its invention by Johannes Gutenberg in the mid-15th century until the 19th century. It remained in wide use for books and other uses until the second half of the 20th century.

Dr Lorna Robinson, Director of the Rumble Museum donated this item to the Living Museum. She said: "Reading and books have been one of the greatest loves of my life from a very early age, and I think this artefact is both beautiful (I love the little cubby holes!) and preserves part of the history of the printing tradition. I also chose it because books and printing are a defining part of the history and way of life of the city of Oxford".

BMX Bicycle

A BMX bike is an off-road sports bicycle used for racing and stunts. BMX means bicycle motocross (off-road motorcycle racing). BMX started in the early 1970s when children began racing their bicycles on dirt tracks in Southern California, inspired by the motocross superstars of the time.

The BMX bike in our collection is donated by Duncan Martin, Iris Project trustee and volunteer for the museum.

Duncan said: "I knew that I wanted to donate a bike to the Living Museum because cycling has always been such a big part of my life. It's also a bit part of the life of the city of Oxford. I chose a BMX bike, because this was the first sort of bike I had as a child."



Street Art Placard donated by Will Gompertz

We are delighted to receive an object for the Rumble Museum collection from Will Gompertz, BBC Arts Correspondent. Will has chosen an art placard which was made as part of Britain's first ever Performance Art Festival in May 2008. He organised this festival while he was working at the Tate. He said: "my life started when I began working at the Tate - everything began to make sense while living and working in the world of art and really loving it".