University of Otago, New Zealand


Te Tari Hua-Ruanuku

The World of Joseph W. Mellor (1869-1938) Chemist, Ceramicist & Cartoonist - Exhibition

Wednesday 12 November 2014

The World of Joseph W. Mellor (1869-1938) Chemist, Ceramicist & Cartoonist is an exhibition that highlights Mellor’s life, work and legacy.

It begins with his early life in Kaikorai Valley and first work in Dunedin (e.g. Sargoods Boot Factory), and then to his study at the University of Otago, his marriage to Emma Cranwell Bakes, his many publications and relationships with his publishers, his contemporaries such as Bernard Moore, Frank Wedgwood, and potter and artist Marc-Louis-Emmanuel Solon, his involvement in various ceramic societies world-wide, and his legacy, which constitutes today annual memorial lectures associated with the Ceramic Society in England and the Wellington Branch of the New Zealand Institute of Chemistry; a Mellor Professorship at the University of Otago; and a street and park named after him in the suburb of Kaikorai Valley, Dunedin.

His personal archives, ceramics and books are found at Special Collections, University of Otago, the Otago Museum, and the Heritage Collection, Dunedin Public Library.

Notable items on display will include a manuscript ‘textbook’ notebook compiled by Mellor in 1888-1890; testimonials from Professor James Gow Black and George M. Thomson; samples of Mellor’s cartoons including Uncle Joe’s Nonsense for Young and Old Children (1934), the election notice to the Royal Society (London); and Mellor’s Chemistry publications including his Comprehensive Treatise on Inorganic and Theoretical Chemistry. (1922-1937). Also on display will be a Dresden Plate, a Wedgwood plate cup and saucer, and Chinese teapot from the Mellor Collection at the Otago Museum, and Mellor’s own chess set, on loan from the Otago Chess Club.

The exhibition begins on 17 December 2014 at the de Beer Gallery, Special Collections, 1st floor, University of Otago, Dunedin. It runs to 5 March 2015.

Hours of the exhibition: 8.30 to 5.00 Monday to Friday

For further information, please contact Special Collections Librarian Dr Donald Kerr or co-curator Professor Lyall Hanton, Mellor Professor of Chemistry, University of Otago

Respected Dunedin scholar celebrated - Dunedin TV video