August 2019
Welcome to the latest issue of e-news from The University of Melbourne Museums and Collections. This electronic newsletter is circulated each month and provides information on current exhibitions, events and news items from the University’s museums and collections. For details of the individual collections explore the Museums and Collections website.


New exhibition and book highlights Baillieu Library Print Collection

A new exhibition set to open on the 31 July in the Noel Shaw Gallery will showcase over 65 works from the Baillieu Library’s outstanding Print Collection. Horizon lines: The ambitions of a print collection focuses on Northern and Italian Renaissance printmakers, such as Albrecht Dürer, and Dutch Republic artists, including Rembrandt, as well as the British etching revival. The selected woodcuts, engravings and etchings present a variety of perspectives on the ambitions of the artists who created them, as well as their collectors and scholars. The exhibition is staged as one of several activities to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Harold Wright and Sarah and William Holmes scholarships.

The exhibition is accompanied by a substantial hard cover publication. Horizon lines: Marking 50 years of print scholarship is a collection of compelling essays on Western print practitioners, print collectors and print history from the 15th to the 20th centuries. It further celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Harold Wright and Sarah and William Holmes scholarships, awards which link the University of Melbourne and the British Museum and secure a unique opportunity for print scholars from across Australia and New Zealand to study prints first-hand at the British Museum. These studies have benefitted several generations of print curators and academics as well as print scholarship itself. In Horizon lines, rather like a Festschrift, the essays by award recipients, have been written to honour the scholarships which inspired them.

Horizon lines: The ambitions of a print collection will be on display on the first floor of the Baillieu Library from 31 July to 8 December 2019. Copies of the publication can be purchased from the Grainger Museum or Readings Carlton.

Image: Giorgio Ghisi, Allegory of Life [detail], 1561. Baillieu Library Print Collection, University of Melbourne. Gift of Dr J. Orde Poynton 1959

2019 IMAC Award recipient from Birmingham joins us at Melbourne

Erin Holder, the UK recipient of the 2019 International Museums and Collections Award (IMAC Award), will commence her month-long placement with the museums and collections on campus in late July. Currently completing her History degree at the University of Birmingham, Erin is excited to explore and work directly with the University of Melbourne’s collections during her placement. Guided by curators, collection managers, archivists and conservators, her projects engage with different areas of collection management across a selection of the University’s collections, including the Baillieu Library Print Collection, Grainger Museum, University of Melbourne Archives and the Grimwade Centre for Cultural Materials Conservation. Through her specially tailored program, Erin has the unique opportunity to develop new professional skills and build on existing areas of interest by working closely with the collections.    

Erin’s projects and cultural adventures during her time in Melbourne can be followed via her blog.

Applications for the 2019 IMAC Award are currently open for the reciprocal part of the exchange, which will enable a University of Melbourne student to travel to the University of Birmingham early next year. For more information and how to apply visit the IMAC Award website.

Image: Erin Holder

2019 Redmond Barry Fellows announced

Dr Nanette Carter and Robyn Oswald-Jacobs were recently announced as the 2019 joint recipients of the Redmond Barry Fellowship at a ceremony held at the State Library of Victoria. The Fellowship, named after Sir Redmond Barry (1813-1880), a founder of the University of Melbourne and the State Library of Victoria, is awarded to scholars and writers to facilitate research and the production of works of literature that utilise the collections of the two institutions.

Nanette and Robyn's project examines Frances Burke's importance in Australia's design and cultural history, highlighting her textile design and role as a champion of modernist design from the late 1930s. While Burke's work has been included in exhibitions on modern design, there has been no significant survey exhibition of her work. The project will bring Burke's work to a new generation, and will result in a monograph commissioned by Thames & Hudson and an exhibition at Heide Museum of Art focusing on Burke as a leading Australian textile designer.

Image: George Folingsby, Sir Redmond Barry KCMG, 1881. University of Melbourne Art Collection

Dolmetsch Family at the Grainger Museum

The Grainger Museum has a rich collection of material relating to the Dolmetsch family, who were pioneers in early music performance and instrument creation. The Museum contains extensive correspondence between the Dolmetsch family and Percy Grainger, ranging over two decades from the 1930s to 1950s, as well as instruments made in the Dolmetsch instrument workshop, including a treble viola da Ggamba, an alto viol, and three recorders.

Percy Grainger described his friend Arnold Dolmetsch as a ‘genius’ and a ‘musical Confucius’, in an article for the Music Quarterly in 1933. In his work as an instrument maker, Arnold Dolmetsch built harpsichords, clavichords, lutes and viols, working in Boston, then Paris, and finally moving to England and settling in Haslemere in 1917. There he established the Haslemere Festival in 1925, founded for the performance of early music on historical instruments. Arnold Dolmetsch donated one of his alto viols to the Grainger Museum in 1938, thereby supporting Grainger’s championing of early music as one of the aims of the new museum. More

Image: Detail of alto viol made by Arnold Dolmetsch, 18th century with modifications made by Arnold Dolmetsch before 1938. Donated by Arnold Dolmetsch to the Grainger Museum, 1938. Grainger Museum Collection, University of Melbourne

University of Melbourne Open Day

The University’s annual Open Day, to be held on Sunday 19 August, will once again provide the opportunity for visitors to explore many of the museums and collections on the Parkville campus. Highlights will include the opportunity to visit the Harry Brookes Allen Museum of Anatomy and Pathology, the Tiegs Zoology Museum, the University of Melbourne Herbarium and the recently refurbished Old Quad.

Also on offer will be a wide range of exhibitions, including Horizon lines: The ambitions of a print collection in the Noel Shaw Gallery, Baillieu Library, and interactive music exhibitions and music-related displays at the Grainger Museum. Science Gallery Melbourne, part of a global network of galleries dedicated to igniting creativity in young people where science and art collide, will also be hosting pop-up programs all day as part of the DISPOSABLE exhibition.

See the Open Day website for full details.

Image: Christine O'Loughlin, Cultural Rubble, 1993. University of Melbourne Art Collection, commissioned by the University of Melbourne with funds provided by the Ian Potter Foundation 1993


Horizon lines: The ambitions of a print collection

Noel Shaw Gallery, Level 1, Baillieu Library, Monday 5 August 2019, 12.00pm to 1.00pm

Curator’s floor talk

Join Kerrianne Stone, Curator, Prints on a tour of the exhibition Horizon lines. Highlighting major schools and artists in the collection, the exhibition focuses on Northern and Italian Renaissance printmakers, such as Albrecht Dürer, Dutch Republic artists, including Rembrandt van Rijn, and the British etching revival.

Bookings and further information.

Image: Albrecht Dürer, The Promenade, c.1498. Baillieu Library Print Collection, University of Melbourne. Gift of Dr J. Orde Poynton 1959

Nineteenth-century perspectives on Melbourne’s urban history

Old Quad Library, Thursday 8 August 1.00pm to 2.00pm

Presented by Professor Andrew May, the latest presentation in the Potter Museum of Art's Up from the Vaults series invites you on a journey through the past to take a closer look at early examples of Melbourne’s urban landscapes. In a little over three decades from 1837, Melbourne expanded from an imagined grid of the future to a bustling colonial metropolis. For this event, Professor May will lead a virtual walking tour of Melbourne as it was represented in key nineteenth-century works: James Adamson’s Melbourne from the south side of the Yarra Yarra (1839), Nathaniel Whittock’s The City of Melbourne (1854), and Henry Gritten’s Melbourne from the Botanical Gardens (1865).

Bookings and further information.

Image: Henry Gritten, Melbourne from the Botanic Gardens [detail], 1865. University of Melbourne Art Collection. Purchased 2018, The Russell and Mab Grimwade Miegunyah Fund

Horizon lines: The ambitions of a print collection

Noel Shaw Gallery, Level 1, Baillieu Library, Tuesday 20 August 2019, 12.00pm to 1.00pm

Lightning talks on selected prints

Hear Print Collection interns talk about their fascinating research into selected prints on display in the exhibition Horizon lines: Sakina Normanbohy on Hieronymus Hopfer's Soliman, Emperor of Turkey; Carly Richardson on Jacopo de’ Barbari's The Sacrifice of Priapus; Ada Coxall on Rembrandt's The three trees and Jasmine Penman on Lionel Lindsay.

Bookings and further information.

Image: Soliman, Emperor of Turkey, c.1526, Baillieu Library Print Collection, University of Melbourne. Purchased, 2018


Reflections: contemporary glass sculpture in performance

Grainger Museum, Thursday 22 August 2019, 12.00pm to 1.00pm

Floor talk

In this exhibition floor talk, artist and exhibition collaborator Elaine Miles will discuss the Glass Percussion Project (GPP) collaboration from her perspective as a visual artist. This initiative was directed by Elaine and Speak Percussion director Eugene Ughetti and featured up to 1000 hand blown glass objects, sound and lighting. The teams of musicians who worked on this project helped make significant contributions to experimental and contemporary new music. Elaine’s work is featured in the exhibition How it plays: Innovations in percussion, representing contemporary work in the percussion scene in Australia.

Elaine Miles is a Melbourne based contemporary artist who works in installation, sculpture and performance. Her public art commissions feature her hand blown glass within mixed medium sculptures. She has artwork in public and private collections in all states around Australia.

Bookings and further information.

Image: Glass Percussion Project

Exhibitions at The University of Melbourne

Horizon lines: The ambitions of a print collection   

Noel Shaw Gallery, Baillieu Library, from Wednesday 31 July 2019

Horizon lines: The ambitions of a print collection focuses on Northern and Italian Renaissance printmakers, such as Albrecht Dürer, and Dutch Republic artists, including Rembrandt, as well as the British etching revival. The selected woodcuts, engravings and etchings present a variety of perspectives on the ambitions of the artists who created them, as well as their collectors and scholars. The exhibition is staged as one of several activities to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Harold Wright and Sarah and William Holmes scholarships. The awards enable print scholars from Australia and New Zealand to examine prints at the British Museum. Taking its cue from the approach of Harold Wright and inspiration behind the scholarships, this exhibition encourages considered looking for the acquisition of knowledge and sheer enjoyment of prints.

Image: Baccio Bandinelli, Apollo and Daphne, 1515. Baillieu Library Print Collection, University of Melbourne. Gift of Dr J. Orde Poynton 1959  

DISPOSABLE: Reimagining Your Waste

Science Gallery Melbourne, from Thursday 1 August 2019 

The lid has been lifted on human wastefulness, but what next? Science Gallery Melbourne’s pop-up season, DISPOSABLE, takes you on a dumpster dive to find creative solutions to our throwaway culture.From the human digestive system to the rise of single-use plastic, DISPOSABLE will make you question how far you will go in the war on waste.  

Would you wear a plastic bag? Would you eat food from a dumpster? Would you drink your own urine? Curated with young adults for young adults, the season will be an experimental trash bag of installations, exhibits and events at sites throughout Melbourne, including The University of Melbourne, Testing Grounds and Footscray Community Arts Centre. More

Bauhaus Now!

Buxton Contemporary, to Saturday 20 October 2019  
Guest curated by Ann Stephen

In the year of its centenary the Bauhaus returns to haunt our museums. How do contemporary artists re-imagine a relationship to this legendary school? Are they scavengers raiding the ruins of modernism, appropriators of ‘good design’ kitsch or acolytes of an unholy sect? Bauhaus Now! explores its legacy in Australia—both for contemporary artists and for art education—highlighting its visionary, collectivist ideals and its radical practices. More

Image: Peter D Cole, Elemental landscape 2009-19 (detail), enamel on brass, 52 parts, dimensions variable, Courtesy of the artist, © the artist

Fabric Culture

Grainger Museum, to Thursday 29 August 2019

An interdisciplinary collaboration project between the Faculty of Fine Arts and Music and the Grainger Museum, Fabric Culture highlights the patterns and threads of cultural connection through the mediums of sound and vision. The exhibition will feature works by students and academics of the Faculty, and will also showcase a new collaborative audiovisual work, Pattern Loops recently created by MCM Interactive Composition and VCA Animation students in response to the ideas, patterns and clothing designs of Percy and Ella Grainger. Fabric Culture will open from 27 July until 29 August 2019. More

Revealed: Arnhem Land Barks from the Anita Castan Collection – Yirrkala and Milingimbi

Burke Gallery, Trinity College, to Thursday 5 September 2019

This incredibly significant collection of bark paintings from two communities in North East Arnhem Land is both rich in cultural and artistic traditions. In 1963, Yolngu elders had presented the Yirrkala bark petitions to Australia’s federal parliament asserting their traditional custodianship of country. This was a pivotal moment in Australia's march towards Indigenous reconciliation. Formed by Ken Neybert, a young American collector in the mid-1960s who recognised the beauty in Yolngu bark paintings, Anita Castan acquired the collection in the US and returned it to Australia. It remains a deeply important body of art works for the Yolngu communities who produced them. More

Image: Opening night of Revealed: Arnhem Land Barks from the Anita Castan Collection – Yirrkala and Milingimbi

Ancestral Memory

Old Quad, to Friday 11 October 2019

The newly refurbished Old Quad is thrilled to inaugurate its Treasury gallery with the exhibition, Ancestral Memory, from Maree Clarke (Mutti Mutti/Wamba Wamba/Yorta Yorta/Boon Wurrung). A renowned cultural ‘revivifyer’, Clarke has been active in reclaiming the visual/material culture of her Ancestors and re-thinking this in line with her lived experiences as a contemporary southeast Australian Aboriginal artist.

Ancestral Memory tells the story of water on the lands of the Kulin Nation. Diving into the history of Old Quad’s location, the Kulin Nation cultural advisor Jefa Greenaway says, ‘[w]hat transpired from this research was that the story of water has always been and continues to be very important to this place. It is a story that traverses the campus.’

A central feature of the exhibition, Clarke’s dramatic glass eel trap shares both ancient and contemporary connections. Displayed alongside two woven eel traps, the distinctive patterns and methods of weaving connect these items to place; to a series of waterways running thick with eels and ancestral memory. Greenaway assures us that ‘[t]he eels continue to swim through the storm water pipes of the University. They rear their heads up in some of the ponds and storm water grates that exist on the campus.’

A powerful demonstration of resilience, Clarke’s Ancestral Memory launches the Old Quad into the next chapter while keeping a firm grasp on the past.

Image: Installation view of Ancestral Memory. Artist Maree Clarke. Photograph © Christian Capurro

The Women’s: Carers, advocates and reformers

Medical History Museum, to Saturday 2 November 2019

The Women’s: Carers, advocates and reformers exhibition explores the work of The Royal Women’s Hospital through the contributions of many remarkable individuals; public education and health campaigns; the training of nurses, midwives, doctors and other health professionals; and public policy and research. It follows the institution from its modest East Melbourne origins to its location today in the Parkville medical precinct, while also presenting the stories and knowledge of the traditional owners. The exhibition and accompanying catalogue highlight items from the Women’s Historic and Archive collection, Medical History Museum collection and the Victorian Public Records Office.

The Women’s has played a critical role in the life of Melbourne since its beginnings. As historian Janet McCalman explains: 'The Royal Women’s Hospital opened in August 1856 as the Melbourne Lying-In Hospital and Infirmary for the Diseases Peculiar to Women and Children in a terrace house in Albert Street, East Melbourne. Melbourne was in the midst of a gold-rush that would bring half a million people through the colony in the decade. Women were abandoned, pregnant and destitute, while their husbands and erstwhile lovers tried their luck on the goldfields. The need for a charity lying-in hospital for women without homes was urgent.'

Image: Dr Kate Campbell (1899-1986) examining a premature baby in an isolette, 1974. Gift of Winifred Crick, Medical History Museum, University of Melbourne

How it plays: Innovations in percussion

Grainger Museum, to Friday 20 December 2019

How it plays: Innovations in percussion is a collaborative exhibition and performance project including Grainger Museum, Federation Handbells (Museums Victoria/Creative Victoria), Speak Percussion, Faculty of Fine Arts and Music and the Melbourne School of Design.

The exhibition explores radical innovations in percussion, focussed on Melbourne, that have changed the way we can all hear and play music, ranging from Percy Grainger’s ‘tuneful percussion’ in the early twentieth century, to the present, with the Federation Handbells and the trailblazing organisation, Speak Percussion.

Image: J.C. Deagan (designer/maker), Percy Aldridge Grainger (designer/maker), Staff Bells, 1916. Grainger Museum Collection, University of Melbourne. Photograph Peter Casamento


Arts West, to Tuesday 1 October 2020

One of the most important anthropological collections in the world, the Donald Thomson Collection includes almost 7500 artefacts and 2000 biological specimens collected mainly on Cape York, Arnhem Land and from the Great Sandy Desert and the Gibson Desert of Western Australia, during the University of Melbourne anthropologist's 50-year career. Donald Thomson's ethnohistory collection is included in the UNESCO Australian Memory of the World register.

Professor Thomson's wife Dorita Thomson made a generous gift of the collection of objects into the care of the University of Melbourne. This, along with the photographs, film and field notes owned by the Thomson family, have been on long-term loan to Museums Victoria from the University and the Thomson family since 1973. The Thomson family's own collection is featured in the Awaken exhibition, including handwritten notes, postcards sent to his family and Professor Thomson's typewriter.

Image: Installation view of Awaken, Arts West, University of Melbourne

More exhibitions

For a full list of exhibitions and associated events at the University of Melbourne, visit the websites of the individual galleries and museums.

Ian Potter Museum of Art

Margaret Lawrence Gallery

George Paton Gallery

The Dax Centre

Science Gallery Melbourne

Burke Gallery, Trinity College

Buxton Contemporary

Old Quad

Image: Medical History Museum

University of Melbourne Collections

Issue 24 of the University of Melbourne Collections magazine is now available. Join the Friends of the Baillieu Library and receive two complimentary issues of the magazine annually.

In this issue read about the Electrical and Electronic Engineering Collection; the latest Medical History Museum exhibition on the Royal Women's Hospital; an indigenous carved emu egg from the University Art Collection; the Ernest Fooks Collection at the Architecture, Building and Planning Library and much more.


News from the Grainger Museum

Subscribe to the Grainger Museums e-News to receive monthly updates on exhibitions, events and news about the collections and activities.  

Read the July issue to find out about the Grainger's current exhibition, How it Plays: Innovations in Percussion

Image: Installation view of How it Plays: Innovations in Percussion
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