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Special issue: International Museum Day, 18 May 2018

Welcome to this special International Museum Day 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.

International Museum Day 2018

In celebration of International Museum Day on Friday 18 May 2018, a series of tours of the University’s museums and collections will be held throughout the day. Don’t miss this opportunity to explore some of the University of Melbourne’s rich cultural collections first hand.
 
Book now for tours of the University of Melbourne Archives, Tiegs Zoology Museum, Law Rare Books, University of Melbourne Herbarium and Ian Potter Museum of Art and more.
 
The celebration of International Museum Day (IMD) has been organised by the International Council of Museums (ICOM) since 1977. The objective of the day is to raise awareness of the fact that museums are an important means of cultural exchange, enrichment of cultures and development of mutual understanding, cooperation and peace among peoples. 

 

Tours and talks

Tour: 19th Century Australian collecting

Ian Potter Museum of Art, Friday 18 May 2018, 12.15pm to 12.35pm

Join Alisa Bunbury, the University of Melbourne's Grimwade Curator, as she takes a look at a fascinating part of the University of Melbourne’s Art Collection. In this exclusive behind the scenes viewing, Alisa Bunbury will discuss her research findings relating to 19th century Australian landscape prints, paintings and decorative arts from the Grimwade Collection in the University of Melbourne Art Collection. She will discuss motivations on collecting art at the time and identify what we can learn from investigating such collections.

Free event: Further information and bookings

Image: Ian Potter Museum of Art at dusk [detail]. Photo by Peter Casamento

Tour: Tiegs Zoology Museum 

Tiegs Museum, Friday 18 May 2018, 12.30pm to 1.00pm

The University of Melbourne's Tiegs Museum is a small zoological museum dedicated to setting out the animal kingdom on display. Join honorary director, David Young, as he explains the history of the museum and how the displays are arranged. Visitors will have the opportunity to explore the museum following David's introduction and to ask questions. This tour is part of the University of Melbourne's International Museum Day program.

Free event: Further information and bookings

Image: Thylacine skull and jaw bone. Tiegs Zoology Museum, University of Melbourne 

Tour: Law Rare Books Collection 

Law Rare Books, Friday 18 May 2018, 12.30pm to 1.00pm

Carole Hinchcliff, Law School Librarian, University of Melbourne, will present this tour, which will provide an opportunity to view some of the treasures of the Law Rare Books Collection, including a limited addition Magna Carta facsimile of an original held by the British Library, and a daguerreotype. This event is part of the University of Melbourne's International Museum Day program.

Free event: Further information and bookings

Image: Items from the Law Rare Books Collection, University of Melbourne  

Tour: Digitisation initiatives in the University of Melbourne

University of Melbourne Herbarium, Friday 18 May 2018, 12.30pm to 1.00pm

The University of Melbourne Herbarium houses approximately 150,000 dried plant specimens, including algae, ferns, and flowering plants, that were collected between 1770 and 2018. Come and learn about the innovative initiatives currently underway to capture digital data and high-resolution images of these specimens. Dr Jo Birch, curator of the Herbarium, will discuss the discoveries and challenges encountered during digitisation of these collections. Attendees will get a sneak peek of The University of Melbourne Herbarium online data portal that will be launched later this year, which will enable online public access to many of these digital resources for the first time.

Free event: Further information and bookings

Image: R. Brendel & Co., Nasturtium (Tropceolum majus), papier-mâché & wood, c.1900

Tour: Henry Forman Atkinson Dental Museum

Henry Forman Atkinson Dental Museum, Friday 18 May 2018, 12.30pm to 1.00pm

The University of Melbourne's Henry Forman Atkinson Dental Museum is unique in Australia for its age and comprehensiveness and its ability to provide insights into the social history of health, the history and development of the dental profession, and the history and development of dental education in Victoria. The tour, lead by Alex Chubaty, will cover the highlights of the collection including George Washington’s dentures.

Free event. Further information and bookings

Image: Henry Forman Atkinson Dental Museum

Tour: Grainger Museum 

Grainger Museum, Friday 18 May 2018, 1.00pm to 1.30pm

Discover the University of Melbourne's Grainger Museum through this introduction to Percy Grainger and the museum’s history and collections, with Dr Heather Gaunt, Curator, Collections and Exhibitions, Grainger Museum. Stay on after the tour and explore the Grainger’s temporary exhibition, Synthesizers: Sound of the Future.

Free event. Further information and bookings

Image: Grainger Museum

'The Art of Healing' exhibition

Medical History Museum, Friday 18 May 2018, 12.30pm to 1.00pm

The exhibition The art of healing: Australian Indigenous traditional healing practice at the University of Melbourne's Medical History Museum follows the premise of Tjukurrpa (dreaming). It looks at traditional Indigenous healing practice as past, present and future simultaneously. It presents examples of healing practice from the many distinct and varied Indigenous communities throughout Australia. These will be shown through contemporary art practice. The key to this exhibition is revealing that traditional Indigenous healing is a current practice informed by the past and an intrinsic part of the life of indigenous people in Australia. The tour, lead by Senior Curator, Dr Jacqueline Healy, will cover the highlights of the exhibition.

Free event: Further information and bookings

Image: Judith Pugkarta Inkamala, Bush Medicine, 2017. Medical History Museum, University of Melbourne
 

Tour of the Malcolm Fraser Book Collection and Archives

Law Rare Books, Friday 18 May 2018, 1.15pm to 1.45pm

Katie Wood, Archivist, University of Melbourne Archives, and Carole Hinchcliff, Law School Librarian, University of Melbourne, will show highlights of The Malcolm Fraser Collection at the University of Melbourne, which currently consists of one hundred metres of family and personal records relating to the former Prime Minister of Australia, the Rt Hon. Malcolm Fraser and his personal library.

Free event: Further information and bookings

Image: Malcolm Fraser as a young man at Nareen station, c.1958. University of Melbourne Archives
 

Tour: Cartography of the ages

Rare and Historic Maps Collection, Friday 18 May 2018, 1.40pm to 2.00pm

The University of Melbourne's David Jones will show some of the rare maps from the University Library's Map Collection. Included will be a variety of original material from the Renaissance period to the beginnings of the settlement of Melbourne and a brief talk about the collection.

Free event: Further information and bookings

Daniel Stopendael after Nicolaes Visscher, Orbis terrarum tabula reiens amendata et in lucem edita [detail], c.1686. Rare and Historical Maps Collection, University of Melbourne

Tour: 'Mindful' at the Dax Gallery

The Dax Centre, Friday 18 May 2018, 2.00pm to 2.30pm

Our mind is a marvellous thing. It is a product of the brain that is intangible, directive, always active, creates and recreates or experiences and inescapable. Art is one direct means of expression even when other communication means are not available - a way of externalising the internal processes and calming thoughts and feelings. At the Dax Centre the Cunningham Dax Collection displays artwork that explores the mind in many of its twists and turns. Lead by the Dax Centre's Christine Harrison.

Free event: Further information and bookings

Image: Elizabeth Turnbull, My Ancestors and Me, 2010. The Cunningham Dax Collection
 

Public Talk: From Monaco to Melbourne: Louise Dyer's business comes home

Tallis Wing, Melbourne Conservatorium of Music, Royal Parade, Friday 18 May 2018, 2.40pm to 3.00pm

The University of Melbourne's Dr Simon Purtell will recount the time he spent in music publishing house Editions de l’Oiseau-Lyre’s base in the principality of Monaco on the French Riviera in 2012–13. During this time the business, founded by Melbourne woman Louise Dyer (1888–1962), was closed and the archive packed up and shipped back to Melbourne to find a new home in the University’s Special Collections. Simon will highlight some fascinating treasures in the press’s offices that he uncovered. This session is part of the symposium, Louise Dyer and Editions de l’Oiseau-Lyre: The establishment of a music press.

Free event: Further information and bookings

Image: Cover detail, François Couperin Œuvres complètes (Paris: Editions de l’Oiseau Lyre), 1932–1933, Rare Music, Special Collections

Public Talk: Art of the Louise Hanson-Dyer visitors' book

Tallis Wing, Melbourne Conservatorium of Music, Royal Parade, Friday 18 May 2018, 3.00pm to 3.20pm

The University of Melbourne's Reetika Khanna will present this talk, focusing on a highlight of the Editions de l’Oiseau-Lyre archive in Special Collections, Louise Dyer’s Visitors’ Book, an opulently-bound volume, with 9 full-page artworks by Australian artists including Arthur Streeton, John Shirlow and Thea Proctor. Reetika’s presentation will draw on her research into each artwork, culminating in an online exhibition, showcased during her presentation. She will also consider how the body of artworks in the Visitors’ Book reflects Dyer’s aesthetic taste and her position as a patron of the arts. This session is part of the symposium, Louise Dyer and Editions de l’Oiseau-Lyre: The establishment of a music press.

Free event: Further information and bookings

Image: Choumoff Paris, Louise Hanson-Dyer, c.1930s

Tour: University of Melbourne Archives: Treasure boxes

University of Melbourne Archives, Friday 18 May 2018, 3.00pm to 5.00pm

End your day by exploring the University of Melbourne Archives with reference archivists Sophie Garrett and Georgie Ward, and discover some of the treasures stored in the boxes on nearly 20km of shelving. University, Trade Union, Community Group and Business records sit alongside the records of fascinating individuals. These unique documents, photographs, audiovisual materials and objects can be made available to researchers within and beyond the University. This popular tour starts with afternoon tea at 3pm. We don’t walk all 20km, but comfortable shoes are advised!

Free event: Further information and bookings

Image: Inside the Archives
2018 Redmond Barry Fellowship public lecture

Hunting Tuberculosis Through History: disease in the archives or diseased archives?

Dr Ross Jones, 2016 Redmond Barry Fellow
Dulcie Hollyock Room, ground floor, Baillieu Library, Wednesday 23 May 2018, 6.00pm to 7.00pm

Dr Jones will present the outcomes of his research into the life history of tuberculosis. Hunting tuberculosis throughout history is a fascinating and challenging task as the disease has changed from prehistoric times, when it crossed over to humans due to the domestication of animals, until the present where multi drug resistant versions threaten to expose the ‘emperor’s clothes’ of modern medical technologies. In the nineteenth century in Melbourne, tuberculosis found a new home in the crowded slums and was seen to be the ‘white man’s burden’, until the advent of bacteriology and germ theory burst upon the medical world. This lecture will examine all aspects of the life history of tuberculosis, focusing largely (but not exclusively) on Melbourne in the nineteenth century.

Free event: Further information and bookings

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

Exhibitions at The University of Melbourne

The shape of things to come

Buxton Contemporary, to Sunday 24 June 2018

The shape of things to come explores the roles and agencies of the artist in culture, society and politics as visionaries, storytellers, dissenters, foreseers and imaginers of different futures. This project spans the mythic role of the artist as well as some of the more specific social agencies of artists as producers of powerful trans-historical narratives; as sensors, transformers, intermediaries and ‘advancers’ of the world we inhabit.The diverse array of selected artists and works featured are variously imbued with a sense of ritualism, mysticism, and even foreboding; evoking the dynamics of a world in constant change and turmoil. More

Image: The digital screen at the entrance of the Buxton Contemporary, featuring Kate Mitchell's digital video In Time, 2015. Courtesy the artist and Anna Schwartz Gallery. Photograph James Geer

Meredith Turnbull: Closer

Ian Potter Museum of Art, to Sunday 1 July 2018

Meredith Turnbull takes a non-hierarchical approach to art making, combining sculpture, photography, decorative objects and jewellery in artworks that invite reflection upon use, value and decoration, adornment and excess. In Meredith Turnbull: Closer the artist presents an installation of newly commissioned work which responds to the University of Melbourne Art Collection. Turnbull has drawn from the Collection’s eclectic and vibrant holdings of decorative art to make new forms and display contexts for objects ranging from large scale wood carvings, glazed earthenware and porcelain, to modernist fine art jewellery. Closer engages with decorative traditions to explore the intersections between visual art, craft and design. Meredith Turnbull is a Melbourne-based artist, curator and writer.

Image: Meredith Turnbull, Co-workers: Objects, Décor, Fabrics (Dekor XXVIII), 2010-2016. Courtesy of the artist and Daine Singer, Melbourne
 

Stieg Persson: Polyphonic

Ian Potter Museum of Art, to Sunday 1 July 2018

Stieg Persson: Polyphonic explores the rich, complex and beguiling practice of Melbourne-based artist Stieg Persson. Bringing together work spanning a thirty-year career, this major exhibition provides the opportunity to reflect upon the preoccupations and concerns that thread through and bind the artist’s expansive practice: issues of mortality and the human condition; the ongoing relevance and importance of the past; the ebb and flow of notions of taste and class, and underpinning these intersecting interests, the fundamental question about just what is the contribution of art to contemporary life. As Persson asks, “Does art any longer have any faith in its ability to be an authentic form of self-expression?”

Stieg Persson is an alumnus of the University of Melbourne’s Victorian College of the Arts, graduating with a Bachelor of Art (Painting) in 1981 and a Master of Fine Arts in 1998. Persson is currently a PhD candidate at the VCA; examples of this new work are included in the exhibition. More

Image: Stieg Persson, Landscape (Covetous) [detail], 1983. The University of Melbourne Art Collection. Purchased 1983

Dark imaginings: Gothic tales of wonder

Noel Shaw Gallery, Baillieu Library, to Tuesday 31 July 2018

In 18th century Europe a revolutionary shift in literary and artistic expression took place that became known as ‘the Gothic’. Nightmarish images of barbarity, oppression and the supernatural were abstracted from an earlier medieval (or ‘Gothic’) age and fused with a Romantic focus on imagination and emotion, resulting in works of frightening and thrilling originality. Leading exponents of the gothic set their creative works in dark and claustrophobic spaces or wild, threatening landscapes and infused them with melancholy, gloom and fear.

Dark imaginings: Gothic tales of wonder explores the expression of the Gothic from the mid-18th to the mid-19th centuries. The exhibition marks several important gothic anniversaries, including the bicentenary of the first publication of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and the 200th birthday of Emily Brontë, author of Wuthering Heights. More

Image: Graphic by Janet Boschen based on: Robert Burns (author) and John Faed (artist), Tam O’Shanter. Edinburgh, 1855. Rare Books, Special Collections, University of Melbourne

Synthesizers: Sound of the future

Grainger Museum, to Sunday 9 September 2018

Presented by Grainger Museum and Melbourne Electronic Sound Studio

Today’s musical hackers, sound artists and digital musicians who patch and share and experiment with sound are the direct beneficiaries of innovators in electronic sound in the second half of the twentieth century. The Grainger Museum was at the heart of musical experimentation in Melbourne in the late 1960s and early 1970s, when University of Melbourne composer and teacher Keith Humble, and composer and Grainger Museum Curator Ian Bonighton ran a renegade electronic composition studio with early analog synthesizers, including the EMS Synthi 100.

The exhibition Synthesizers: Sound of the future explores this Melbourne scene and, more broadly, the evolution of the commercially produced synthesizer by EMS (Electronic Music Studios Ltd, UK) in this period. The exhibition features key instruments on loan from the Melbourne Electronic Sound Studio (MESS) and the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences. More

Image: Portable analogue synthesizer EMS VCS 3, made in 1969, at the Melbourne Electronic Sound Studio. Melbourne Electronic Sound Studio (MESS) Collection. Photograph Amber Haines

The art of healing: Australian Indigenous traditional healing practice

Medical History Museum, to Saturday 29 September 2018

The art of healing: Australian Indigenous traditional healing practice follows the premise of Tjukurrpa (dreaming). It looks at traditional Indigenous healing practice as past, present and future simultaneously. It presents examples of healing practice from the many distinct and varied Indigenous communities throughout Australia. These are shown through contemporary art practice and examples of plants and medicines.

The exhibition is accompanied by a major catalogue with the perspectives of Indigenous communities represented. The key to this exhibition is revealing that traditional Indigenous healing is a current practice informed by the past, and an intrinsic part of the life of Indigenous people in Australia. More

Image: Judith Pugkarta Inkamala, Bush Medicine, 2017. Medical History Museum, University of Melbourne
 

Liquid form: Ancient and contemporary glass

Ian Potter Museum of Art, to Sunday 28 October 2018

Liquid form: Ancient and contemporary glass celebrates the luminous medium of glass. Displaying significant artefacts from the Egyptian and Roman periods alongside the work of contemporary makers, Liquid form examines the development of faience and glass manufacture in the ancient world and demonstrates how these methods have been reinvigorated and extended in the modern era.

Highlighting the treasures in the University of Melbourne’s Classics & Archaeology Collection, Liquid Form is the first major exhibition of glass at the Ian Potter Museum of Art. The exhibition also showcases significant works from major collections around Australia, including the Australian Institute of Archaeology, Melbourne; the Dodgson Collection of Egyptian Antiquities at Queens College, the University of Melbourne; the John Elliot Classics Museum, the University of Tasmania; the RD Milns Antiquities Museum, the University of Queensland and the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne. More

Image: Egyptian necklace, 1550BCE-395CE. University of Melbourne Art Collection. Classics and Archaeology Collection. Gift of Miss D Kilburn, 1962

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

The Professor Sir Joseph Burke Gallery, Trinity College

Buxton Contemporary

Image: Visitors at the Ian Potter Museum of Art. Photography by Jody Hutchinson

Now available: University of Melbourne Collections

Issue 21 of the University of Melbourne Collections magazine is now available. Join the Friends of the Baillieu Library and receive two complimentary issues annually.

 
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