Lucinda Douglas-Menzies

Professor Malcolm Longair, b. 1941. Astronomer

About this artwork

This photograph of Professor Malcolm Longair is part of a series of portraits of leading astronomers by Lucinda Douglas-Menzies. Taken in the museum at the Cavendish Laboratory, Cambridge, where Longair was head from 1997 to 2005, this photograph features two items which could be mistaken for regular pieces of furniture. Behind Longair is the desk which belonged to James Clerk Maxwell, the first Cavendish Professor of Experimental Physics. The peculiar looking coat stand, which Longair leans against, is in fact the apparatus Maxwell used for a key experiment relating to the kinetic theory of gases. The inclusion of such objects is typical of Douglas-Menzies’ style in offering the viewer a greater insight into the world that the sitter occupies.

Lucinda Douglas-Menzies

Lucinda Douglas-Menzies