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Museums and Collections
 
e-news


November 2018

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.

News

2018 Ursula Hoff Fellowship recipient announced

The Ian Potter Museum of Art is pleased to announce Dr Jane Eckett as the recipient of the Ursula Hoff Fellowship for 2018. Dr Ursula Hoff bequeathed funds to the University of Melbourne to establish a Fellowship for the study and promotion of prints held in the print collections of the University of Melbourne and the National Gallery of Victoria. In recognition of Dr Hoff’s scholarly and professional achievements, the Fellowship is awarded annually to a candidate displaying a commitment to research into prints, the history of print collecting and the scholarly activities of museums and universities. The Ursula Hoff Fellow is provided research access to collections relevant to their research at the University of Melbourne and the National Gallery of Victoria.

Dr Jane Eckett is an early career researcher and teaching associate in the University of Melbourne's art history and gender studies programmes. Drawing on her prior research into the post-WWII monotypes of Jankel Adler, Louis le Brocquy, Alan Davie and Inge and Grahame King, Dr Eckett aims to contextualise Ludwig Hirschfeld-Mack's trace monotypes against international monotype practice. Remembered chiefly in Australia for his pivotal role in disseminating knowledge of Bauhaus pedagogy and for his experimental Farbenlichtspiel (colour light plays), Hirschfeld-Mack's extensive printmaking practice is less well understood, particularly the transfer drawing technique he employed in his trace monotypes.

Image: Dr Jane Eckett

Limited edition 'Objects of Fame' exhibition catalogue

The Grainger Museum is pleased to announce the release of a limited-edition exhibition catalogue for the Museum’s current exhibition, in collaboration with Arts Centre Melbourne, Objects of Fame: Nellie Melba & Percy Grainger.

This 38-page, full-colour publication includes an introductory overview of the exhibition by curators Heather Gaunt (Grainger Museum) and Margaret Marshall (Arts Centre Melbourne), as well as three scholarly essays on the topic of fame. More than 15 Minutes of fame: Curating legacies of limelight by Ashley Barnwell, Performative Travel: Celebrity bodies and their baggage by Jacqueline Dutton and finally The psychology of fame by Simon Kinsella. All three offer a unique insight into the idea of fame in the context of the exhibition.

The catalogue is priced at $15 and can be purchased at the Arts Centre Melbourne welcome desk, the Grainger Museum or through the Grainger Museum’s online eCart shop.

Image: Front cover of the Objects of Fame: Nellie Melba & Percy Grainger exhibition catalogue

Conserving ‘The Statutes at Large’ volumes from the Law Rare Books collection

Conservators are often engaged by collection caretakers to conduct surveys of their collection in order to assess the condition of items and provide recommendations for their continued care. In 2017, conservators Jennifer Louise Todd and Tristan Congreve from the University of Melbourne’s Grimwade Centre for Cultural Materials Conservation were tasked with one such project and carried out a survey on the Statutes at Large volumes from the University’s Law Rare Books collection.

Twenty-four volumes belonging to Sir Redmond Barry were identified and recommended for further conservation treatment. Miegunyah Bequest funding was awarded for the project in 2018, principally to stabilise the volumes for digitisation, allowing the contents of the volumes to become more accessible to current researchers and future generations. More

Image: Jennifer Louise Todd and Tristan Congreve assistant Paper Conservators, Grimwade Centre for Cultural Materials Conservation

New display for Dookie Campus Museum

A new display of material from the Dookie Campus Historical Collection was recently installed in the museum building at the University of Melbourne’s Dookie campus for the campus' annual Open Day. A popular attraction with Open Day visitors, the new display includes a range of documents, photographs and objects that chronicle the 130 years of agricultural education at Dookie. Highlights include items related to the former Principal and internationally renowned wheat breeding expert Hugh Pye, the introduction of education programs for women in 1919, and sporting and social memorabilia.     

The museum building is also one of the heritage treasures of the Dookie campus. Built as a much-needed chemical laboratory in 1903, the building was restored to commemorate Dookie’s centenary in 1986 and reopened as a history centre and tutorial room in 1987. Besides providing a display space for the Dookie Campus Historical Collection, the museum also features some of the original chemistry laboratory facilities, such as the fume-hood that now holds a small exhibit of glassware and other apparatus used for the teaching of chemistry in past years.

Image: Items from the Dookie Campus Historical Collection displayed for the Open Day

'Awaken' exhibition now open in the Arts West Gallery

Australian Aboriginal cultural heritage objects from the University of Melbourne’s globally significant Donald Thomson anthropological collection have gone on display for the first time in the Arts West Gallery. The Awaken exhibition includes items from the collection gathered by Donald Thomson from the diverse communities of Arnhem Land, Cape York, and the Western and Central Deserts during the University of Melbourne anthropologist's 50-year career.

A Faculty of Arts and Chancellery initiative, Awaken has been developed in consultation with communities, using local knowledge alongside Donald Thomson's fieldwork notes to activate the object stories and their deep connection with each community. Awaken has been curated by Genevieve Grieves, Worimi Nation film-maker, storyteller and Melbourne Museum Director of First Peoples, assisted by Rosemary Wrench (Museum Victoria) and alumna Shonae Hobson (Kaantju). It features innovative digital labels, including 3D images and virtual reality.

The exhibition is open Monday to Friday, 10.00am to 4.00pm, Arts West Gallery, Arts West, Parkville campus.

Image: Installation view of Awaken

Events

1968: The year of the Monkees

Curator's talk
Dulcie Hollyock Room, ground floor, Baillieu Library, Wednesday 7 November 2018, 12.00pm to 1.00pm

In this talk Dr Derham Groves will review some world events from 1968, the same year the American pop band The Monkees toured Australia. According to the author of 1968: The Year that Rocked the World (2005), Mark Kurlansky: ‘There has never been a year like 1968, and it is unlikely that there will ever be one again’. It was certainly a roller coaster of a year, as a series of tumultuous events that made people celebrate one day and despair the next. On the plus side for example, NASA was quickly working towards a moon landing and  inspiring things happened in the world of sports. However on the down side, there was fierce fighting in Vietnam and the senseless murder of American civil rights campaigner Dr Martin Luther King Jr. Dr Groves’ talk will put The Monkees’ tour of Australia in 1968 into a wider cultural, political and social context.
 
Free event. Further information and bookings.  

Image: Micky Dolenz puppet by Jonathan Liow

The collectors: Australian art in the late 19th and early 20th centuries

Public lecture
Fitzroy Town Hall Reading Room, Wednesday 7 November 2018, 6.30pm to 7.30pm


Hear about three prominent 19th Century art collectors Alfred Felton, Sir Russell Grimwade and Dr Samuel Ewing. Living in Melbourne these collectors shared common interests in the pharmaceutical industry, philanthropy and art. Learn about the fascinating lives of these gentlemen who have helped shape Melbourne’s fine art collections and have left endowments to the University of Melbourne and beyond that are still actively contributing to the cultural fabric of Melbourne today.

Presented by the Ian Potter Museum of Art in partnership with Yarra Libraries and the Ewing Trust.
 
Image: Russell Grimwade, self portrait, 1934. University of Melbourne Archives

Scholar and poet Lisa Gorton on 'The Universe Looks Down'

Public talk
Leigh Scott Room, Level 1, Baillieu Library, Wednesday 14 November 2018, 12.00pm to 1.00pm 


Scholar and poet, essayist and critic, Lisa Gorton will discuss the relationship between artist and poem inherent in the exhibition The Universe Looks Down, currently on display in the Noel Shaw Gallery, Baillieu Library. As Gorton writes, ‘Headlam has used the poem as a device for stepping back from her waiting canvas’.

Kristin Headlam’s exhibition The Universe Looks Down derives from a University commission of a suite of etchings by Kristin in response to the long narrative poem of the same name by eminent Australian poet Chris Wallace-Crabbe. As part of this major commission, the University Library acquired the sketchbooks, preliminary drawings and watercolours which evidence the conceptual development of the 64 etchings in the completed suite. These exploratory images, as well as the completed fine prints give a rare glimpse into the creative process Kristin entered into to complete this unique collaboration.

Free event. Further information and bookings.

Image: Like videos, the islands glided past, etching and aquatint, 2016/2017 [#23]. Rare Books, Special Collections, University of Melbourne

Unpicking Costume Designs for Opera

Grainger Museum, Thursday 22 November, 12.00pm to 1.00pm

Join award-winning costume and set designer Anna Cordingley as she explores the key role of costume in an opera production and the evolution of costume design since Dame Nellie Melba stormed the world scene. In this free Objects of Fame: Nellie Melba and Percy Grainger exhibition public program Anna will discuss the foundations of great costume design for opera. How does a designer strike a balance between character development, practical considerations and creative vision? How has costume design evolved from Dame Nellie Melba's era? What have been the recent developments in the place of costume within a broader production?

This free public event accompanies the current exhibition at the Grainger Museum Objects of Fame: Nellie Melba and Percy Grainger which continues until 17 February 2019. The Museum is open Sunday to Friday, 12pm - 4pm.

Free event, Further information and bookings.

Image: Cloak worn by Nellie Melba as Elsa in Lohengrin, c.1891. Designed by Jean-Philippe Worth. Gift of Pamela, Lady Vestey, 1977. Australian Performing Arts Collection, Arts Centre Melbourne

Exhibitions at The University of Melbourne

The Garden of Forking Paths: Mira Gojak and Takehito Koganezawa  

Buxton Contemporary, from Wednesday 7 November 2018

The Garden of Forking Paths brings together the distinctive practices of Mira Gojak and Takehito Koganezawa finding points of connection and divergence in the trajectories of these two highly accomplished artists. The project takes its name from modernist Argentine writer Jorge Luis Borges’ intricate and magical short story from 1941. Part philosophy, part science fiction and part riddle, Borges’ The Garden of Forking Paths is a richly multidimensional text that conjures co-existent but dynamically shifting realms of time and space.

This exhibition is curated by Shihoko Iida, Chief Curator of the Aichi Triennale 2019 and Melissa Keys, Curator of Buxton Contemporary in collaboration with the artists. More

Image: Mira Gojak, Prop for Instabilities 2, 2013. The Michael Buxton Collection, University of Melbourne Art Collection. Donated through the Australian Government’s Cultural Gifts Program by Michael and Janet Buxton

Perfection

Science Gallery Melbourne, to Saturday 3 November 2018

Mathematical precision, quantum physics, utopian worlds, body modification, internet dating and Instagram filters. Why do humans strive for perfection?

Underpinned by the accuracy and precision of maths and physics, a wave of new science and technology allows us to modify, hack and transform our lives into our own personal perfection. We can surgically modify our bodies, build perfect cities, clone our dogs and live in ecological harmony with our environment. With growing cultural pressures to look perfect and live an ideal life, is striving for perfection a positive goal? Or is imperfection what sustains life and creates diversity and difference?

Through the lens of artists, musicians, mathematicians, architects, designers, psychologists and surgeons, Science Gallery Melbourne will explore what it means to pursue perfection in a non-perfect world. Perfection is on display at the Dulux Gallery, Melbourne School of Design.

Monkeemania in Australia

Ground floor, Baillieu Library, to Thursday 31 January 2019

Monkeemania in Australia celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Australian tour by the American band, The Monkees, in 1968. More broadly, it also provides a snapshot of everyday life in Australia at a very eventful time in history. 1968 was a roller coaster of a year, as a series of tumultuous events—including assassinations, heroic victories in sports, a bloody war, the publication of Gore Vidal's Myra Brekinridge, a devastating famine, and the premiere of 2001: A Space Odyssey—caused people to celebrate one day and despair the next.

Monkeemania in Australia consists of an exhibition and a series of public talks by the exhibition’s curator, Dr Derham Groves, about The Monkees, their Australian tour, their eponymous TV show, their music, and their film Head (1968), a surreal masterpiece. The exhibition runs until 31 January 2019.

Image: Mike Nesmith puppet by Zhuojun Sun

The Universe Looks Down

Noel Shaw Gallery, Baillieu Library, to Sunday 17 February 2019

Kristin Headlam’s exhibition The Universe Looks Down derives from a University of Melbourne commission of a suite of etchings by Kristin in response to the long narrative poem of the same name by eminent Australian poet Chris Wallace-Crabbe. As part of this major commission, the University Library acquired the sketchbooks, preliminary drawings and watercolours which evidence the conceptual development of the 64 etchings in the completed suite. These exploratory images, as well as the prints give a rare glimpse into the creative process Kristin entered into to undertake this unique collaboration. The exhibition is accompanied by a series of talks by Kristin Headlam, Chris Wallace-Crabbe and Lisa Gorton.

Image: Kristin Headlam, The end of Horn, 2016/2017. Rare Books, Special Collections, University of Melbourne

Objects of Fame: Nellie Melba and Percy Grainger

Grainger Museum, to Sunday 17 February 2019

Presented by Grainger Museum and Arts Centre Melbourne

Melbourne produced two international stars of classical music – Nellie Melba and Percy Grainger – in the decades surrounding Federation. Adopting a name in honour of her home town, Nellie Melba made her professional debut in 1887 and became hailed as the greatest opera singer of her time. Percy Grainger was a child prodigy who forged a career of pianistic brilliance and musical innovation as the new century unfolded. Each conquered the world’s great stages, enjoyed royal approbation and public fascination. The musical talents of Melba and Grainger, who had both family and professional connections, were matched only by the fame they engendered. Stampeding their way into popular consciousness as early media-assisted celebrities, they created rich intellectual and material legacies. Objects of Fame: Nellie Melba and Percy Grainger showcases these two extraordinary Australians, drawing on objects from Arts Centre Melbourne’s Australian Performing Arts Collection, and the Grainger Museum. This exhibition also offers opportunities to consider fame in the context of today’s technology-focused culture that allows performers to become ‘famous’ in ways that Grainger and Melba could never have conceived.

The art of healing: Australian Indigenous traditional healing practice

Medical History Museum, to Saturday 2 March 2019

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
 

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

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

University of Melbourne Collections

Issue 22 of the University of Melbourne Collections magazine will be available soon. Join the Friends of the Baillieu Library and receive two complimentary issues of the magazine annually.

 
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