50 Objects 50 Stories by Michael Turner @michaelmuseums0
“50 Objects 50 Stories is a celebration of storytelling. Fifty objects from the Nicholson Museum’s collection has been chosen, not for their archaeological significance or for their aesthetic beauty, but for the often fascinating story they have to tell.”
I’ve had the honour of following Michael Turner’s honest journey in the creation of this book via twitter. Although Michael is in Australia, our first connection was from his passion for Kids in Museums. It was from these conversations that 50 Objects and 50 Stories started to slowly come to life. However, until I received the gorgeous book in the post I did not realize the true meaning of the title.
The gorgeous A4 size hardback is filled with sharp, slick photos of objects that have fascinating stories to be told. The photos, while very sophisticated, are not the selling point. It’s the telling of the background of the objects. The historical importance. The biography. That is the real importance. And that is what Michael Turner managed to do so flawlessly for each chosen object.
While all these objects can be found in Nicholson Museum in Sydney Australia, the book brings them to life and makes you feel almost an ownership to them. Michael has managed to capture an inanimate objects and bring them to life with skilful writing and captivating stories.
Each page is laid out with a stunning photo of the object on the right side of the double-spread. The left side has a broad title of the object with the ‘Museum data’ on the left (where the object came from, invoice/catalogue reference, material if appropriate, etc). And then there’s the captivating story of the object.
You do not need to have ever visited Nicholas Museum, or indeed Australia to appreciate the value of this book. In a similar fashion to British Museum’s A History of the World in 100 Objects, the story becomes the focal point with the object somehow, almost willingly, taking a backseat.
Extremely well written and just enough information to whet the appetite without preaching.
Only wish it was 100 objects and not 50 as now I want to know more about Nicholson Museum’s collection.