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The Art of Science

The Art of Science: Baudin’s Voyagers 1800–1804

Exhibition now showing

Cultural warning: People of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander descent should be aware that this exhibition contains names, images, objects and works of people who are deceased.

30 March to 24 June 2018 | Studio Gallery | Free, donations welcome

See exquisite illustrations of Australian animals and marine life, as well as striking portraits of Aboriginal people, rare documents and hand-drawn maps from Nicolas Baudin’s expedition to Australia. Discover the ambitions behind this lavishly funded French voyage and experience a captivating fusion of art and science.


Free exhibition app

Bring the paintings on show in the exhibition to life! Download the free Art of Science at the NMA app and look for the eye icon at the Museum.

Android available on Google Play Available on the App Store


A companion book, The Art of Science: Nicolas Baudin’s Voyagers 1800–1804, edited by Jean Fornasiero, Lindl Lawton and John West-Sooby is also available for $39.95 at the Museum Shop.

Buy online now

About the expedition

Baudin's expedition embodied the Enlightenment’s hunger for knowledge. National Museum curator Cheryl Crilly writes for The Museum magazine about the remarkable works created by Baudin’s artists, Charles-Alexandre Lesueur and Nicolas-Martin Petit, and what they reveal about the sense of wonder that this strange ‘new’  world inspired.

More on the expedition


Lecture and exhibition preview

Thursday 29 March 2018, 1pm to 3pm | Exclusive to Friends full members. Join Friends

Join us for a fascinating talk with Lindl Lawton, Senior Curator at the South Australian Maritime Museum, and Jean Fornasiero, Emeritus Professor of French Studies at the University of Adelaide and a Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities, and be the first to see this stunning exhibition.

Cost: $5 | Bookings essential: Eventbrite (fees apply) | Visions Theatre

School holiday activities

Voyages of discovery: Adventures at sea | Weekdays 16–20 April and 23–27 April 2018
(Note: no program on Anzac Day, Wed 25 April) 10–11.30am and 11.30am–1pm

Be part of Captain Baudin’s crew and make your own telescope, then work with an artist from NatureArt Lab to paint your own nature-inspired artwork and share your family's journey on our giant map. All ages, children must be accompanied by an adult.

Cost: $10 child, $7 Mkids | Bookings essential: Eventbrite (fees apply) | Bay Window

Afternoon play space | Weekdays 16–20 April and 23–27 April 2018
(Note: no program on Anzac Day, Wed 25 April) 2–3.30pm

Play, read or relax in our Bay Window play space or try one of the self-guided activities inspired by The Art of Science: Baudin’s Voyagers 1800–1804. All ages, children must be accompanied by an adult.

Cost: $2 child | Bookings not required, places limited | Bay Window

Banner image: Jellyfish Cassiopea andromeda (detail), by Charles-Alexandre Lesueur, 1804–07. Museum of Natural History, Le Havre

List 2 of international loans for Baudin’s Voyagers exhibition, June 2017 – July 2018 (PDF 2.8mb)

The National Museum of Australia is an approved borrowing institution under the Government's Protection of Cultural Objects on Loan Scheme.