Mercury Mercury fountain at the Fundacio' Joan Miro'
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VideoMercury fountain at the Fundacio' Joan Miro'. (External Sample)
In the Joan Miro Museum in Barcelona, Spain, next to a drawing by some guy called Picasso, there is a remarkable object: A mercury fountain, designed by Alexander Calder. Now that's what I call art.

Sadly I have not had a chance to visit this object yet, but I was alerted to it by Alexandra Cichecki of Amsterdam. I immediately started trying to think of reasons why my company should pay for me to go to a trade show in Spain, or at least somewhere in the general area, and I'm definitely going there eventually, hopefully with permission to make a QuickTime VR object of it.

When it was originally installed in the Spanish Pavilion at the 1937 World's Fair in Paris, it was just out in the open, and presumably people could touch the mercury. Amazingly, it's still on display to this day, but now it's located in its own sealed glass room. I wouldn't be surprised if people enter only wearing elaborate breathing apparatus, because that room must support about the highest concentration of mercury vapor it's possible to have in air.

Alexandra sent a collection of URLs with photographs of the fountain:
From the home page of David Eppstein
From the home page of Sonja Kueppers
From the Digial Imaging Project at Bluffton College
From the official Calder website
From PhiTar PhoTos
From PBS
The video for this sample is from borrowed the official Joan Miro Museum website and the sample photo is borrowed with permission from the home page of David Eppstein.

Location: Fundacio' Joan Miro'
Photographed: 10 January, 2003
Size: 60"
Purity: >95%