Marie Curie is an icon in the history of science. As the lone woman in a male world, her life story is almost as groundbreaking as her discoveries. In 1903 Marie Curie received the Nobel Prize in Physics and became the first woman to be awarded a Nobel Prize. 1911, she was awarded the full Nobel Prize in Chemistry and thus became the first person ever to be conferred the award a second time. The exhibition about Marie Curie – Marie Skłodowska / Madame Curie – takes a new approach to the familiar story of Marie Curie.
The Nobel Museum’s exhibition is about life in the service of science. With scenographic design and unexpected perspective, we wish to allow our audience to meet Marie Curie’s passion for her scientific work in a playful and thoughtful way. This is not yet another biographical exhibition in the line, but rather we are approaching the phenomenon Marie Curie from a variety of different perspectives. The exhibition title refers to both person and persona Curie – what makes them different, what unites them? Not the least, we want to make visible the resistance Curie met as a woman in a male dominated world and how she managed to overcome it.
Anna Stenkula, curator at the Nobel Museum.
The exhibition is divided into five main parts: in The Nobel Prizes we sort out what the Nobel Prize meant to Curie, and what Curie meant for the Nobel Prize; in Woman of Science we examine Curie’s life and achievements from a gender perspective, as a woman among men, being at the same time an icon, an inspiration and an anomaly; in The Laboratory, we highlight Curie’s at most times unglamourous everyday life as a researcher in the very environment where her discoveries took place; in Radioactivity we look at the contemporary enthusiasm for radium, but also the devastating effects of radiation; in The Atoms the importance of Curie’s discovieries to the scientific field is examined.