Stephen Hawking: A 70th birthday celebration
We are celebrating Professor Stephen Hawking’s 70th birthday with a new display about his life and achievements.
The display features objects and papers primarily sourced from his own archives including handwritten notes on work with Roger Penrose, his drawing of the Hawking Radiation mechanism, the annotated script for a 1999 guest appearance on The Simpsons, and the blue suit he wore for a zero-gravity flight in 2007. The display also includes a specially recorded message and a selection of personal photographs from Hawking’s life and career that haven’t been seen before.
The display also includes two art works by David Hockney. A rarely-seen 1978 portrait and a new iPad portrait, the first of Hockney’s iPad portraits to be shown to the public. The way the portrait has been drawn is displayed on an iPad film, with each brush-stroke being shown before the image comes to a finish at the completed work.
Picture Credit: Tom Oldman
David Hockney paid a visit to the Museum to see his new iPad portrait film of Stephen Hawking. You can see the portrait midway through the film, behind Hockney, next to his portrait of Hawking in 1978.
This first ever display of items from the Hawking archive encourages visitors to reflect on the relationship between Hawking’s scientific achievements, particularly the work that established his reputation in the 1960s and ‘70s, and his immense success in popularising astrophysics. Hawking and his daughter Lucy have been involved in the selection of objects for display.
The Science Museum, which Professor Hawking describes as ‘one of my favourite places’, has also commissioned a series of photographic portraits of Professor Hawking, in his office at the University of Cambridge, which will feature in the display.
Science Museum’s photograph of Professor Stephen Hawking in his office at University of Cambridge, where he is Director of Research at the Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics and where he also founded the Centre for Theoretical Cosmology.
When using the picture, please credit: Science Museum/Sarah Lee. Exclusive right to publish only valid until September 2012.