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  • 28 Mar 2019 3:18 PM | Deleted user

    Sticht necklace detail

    A historic necklace belonging to a prominent west coast mining family has returned to Queenstown for the first time in nearly a century.

    A gift from Robert Carl Sticht to his new wife Marion in 1895, the charm necklace tells the couple’s story, following their journey to Tasmania from the United States.

    Mr Sticht managed the Mount Lyell Mining and Railway Company in Queenstown from 1897 to 1921 after working there as a metallurgist for two years prior.

    The necklace features 27 unique pendants, almost half of which are marked with significant dates and places relating to events in the family’s lives, including a map of Tasmania engraved with the couple’s initials and dates marking their tenth wedding anniversary.

    Some of the pendants have symbolic associations, including Robert Sticht’s fraternity pin from the Brooklyn Polytechnic, a baby’s tooth from their son Hadmar (b. 1905) and a miniature miner’s ‘spider’, a type of candle holder used inside a mine.

    Quite a few of the charms relate to luck, which might be expected of people involved in the mining industry. One of these is a stone specimen of chiastolite, a stone with a natural cross that was thought to protect from evil or bad luck.

    Sticht necklace

    Images: Assembled by Marion Oak Sticht (1864-1924), Necklace and charm pendants, c. 1900-1914
    Purchased with the assistance of the TMAG Foundation Ltd. 2018, Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery

    In 2018, the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery (TMAG) acquired the necklace for the State Collection, with the generous support of the TMAG Foundation – the museum’s main fundraising body.

    Since acquiring the piece, TMAG has worked with Libraries Tasmania, the West Coast Community Services Hub and local community members in order to return the necklace to Queenstown.

    The necklace will be displayed at the West Coast Community Services Hubalongside other related items from TMAG’s collection throughout 2019, providing locals and visitors alike with the opportunity to connect with the rich history and stories of Tasmania’s west coast.

    Director of TMAG, Ms Janet Carding said, “We are extremely grateful to the TMAG Foundation for making the acquisition of this wonderful piece of west coast history possible and we are delighted that we are now able to share it with the local community in Queenstown.”

    Opening of display

    Image: (L-R)  Mr Ian Newman, Treasurer, TMAG Foundation Ltd; Mr Ian Stewart, Chair, TMAG Foundation Ltd; Hon Ruth Forrest, MLC for Murchison; Ms Janet Carding, TMAG Director; Mr Peter Walker, General Manager Copper Mines Tasmania; Mr Ross Latham, Director Collections and State Archivist, Libraries Tasmania

  • 31 Oct 2018 3:16 PM | Deleted user

    Portrait of Henry Foss, c 1820

    A significant artwork by celebrated colonial artist Thomas Griffiths Wainewright, Portrait of Henry Foss, c 1820 has recently been acquired by the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery (TMAG).The acquisition has been made possible with the generous support of the TMAG Foundation Limited.

    Wainewright is arguably the best known and most skilled portraitist from colonial Australia. He was convicted of forgery and transported to Hobart in 1837 where he died 10 years later. Prior to transportation, Wainewright lived the high life in London. He was a dandy and noted art critic, as well as an artist and collector. Intriguingly, he was also suspected of poisoning three family members to access inheritances. While the murders were never proven, he was the inspiration behind several characters in novels by writers including Charles Dickens and Oscar Wilde.

    Henry Foss was Wainwright’s second cousin who shared his interest in antique prints and manuscripts. The portrait is likely to be a token of their friendship rather than a formal commission. The Portrait of Henry Foss provides a compelling link between the artist’s free and luxurious life in London and the celebrated Tasmanian portraits he produced as a convict and in his final year as a free yet impoverished man. Ultimately, the Foss family played a leading role in Wainewright’s conviction.

    Very few artworks from Wainewright’s London period have survived, and the Portrait of Henry Foss is one of only three known oil paintings produced by him. One of the other oil portraits is of the Romantic poet, Lord Byron. The Portrait of Henry Foss is evidence of Wainewright’s talent in oils, a fact little recognised until now.

    TMAG currently owns 10 of the approximately 50 portraits that Wainewright created during his time in Hobart. All others are works on paper and are rarely available for acquisition.

    Mr Geoff Willis, Chair of the TMAG Board of Trustees, said the museum was delighted to have the opportunity to acquire such a significant artwork for the State Collection.

    “We are extremely grateful to the TMAG Foundation for their support in helping TMAG to take advantage of this rare opportunity to acquire one of only three surviving oil works by Wainewright created during his life in London.”

    Colin Thomas, the Chair of the Tasmanian Chapter of the Australiana Society, unveiled the portrait to TMAG Foundation supporters at a recent fundraising dinner.

    Portrait of Henry Foss is a work of exceptional quality that successfully strengthens and develops TMAG’s collection of colonial and nineteenth century art that has been identified as a priority acquisition area for TMAG”, Mr Thomas said.

    The acquisition of the work also creates an opportunity to undertake further research and establish greater knowledge of the materials and techniques Wainewright used in London. While Wainewight’s biography is relatively well-known, almost no prior research has been conducted into his artistic practice and personal collection in London during the 1820s.

    Portrait of Henry Foss is now on display in TMAG’s Dispossessions and Possessions colonial gallery.

    Wainewright acquisition announcement

    (From left to right) Romy Morgan (TMAG Foundation), Geoff Willis (Chair of TMAG’s Board of Trustees), Colin Thomas (Chair of the Tasmanian Chapter of the Australiana Society), Jane Stewart (Principal Curator of Art, TMAG), Ian Stewart (TMAG Foundation) and Ann Atkinson (TMAG Foundation)

    Banner image: Thomas Griffiths Wainewright (1794-1847), Portrait of Henry Foss, c 1820 (detail), oil on canvas

  • 04 Sep 2018 1:35 PM | Anonymous

    The Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery (TMAG) is delighted to welcome Kirstie Ross as its new Senior Curator of Cultural Heritage, joining Elspeth Wishart and her team.

    Kirstie brings to TMAG 19 years’ experience of working in Museums and Archives in New Zealand, most recently from her role as the Social History Curator at Te Papa in Wellington, New Zealand where she has been for 14 years. She has a strong background in producing quality exhibitions including Gallipoli: the scale of our war, attracting over two million visitors where she was the lead curator and Blood Earth and Fire focusing on New Zealand’s environment, the Maori and European’s understandings and changes to it.

    She has experience working with communities to develop and deliver exhibitions and as a Treaty of Waitangi claims historian.

    She also worked at the Auckland City Libraries with the special collections. Kirstie has a number of publications to her name and most recently co-authored Holding on to Home: New Zealand Stories and Objects of the First World War.

    Senior Curator of Cultural Heritage, Elspeth Wishart says “Kirstie will be a great asset to TMAG and the Cultural Heritage department, bringing a solid background in social history as well as a fresh perspective and new skills to the team.”

    Kirstie says she is delighted to join the Cultural Heritage team at TMAG. “I am looking forward to working with staff at TMAG to connect both Tasmanians and other visitors to the museum’s rich collections and expertise in diverse and compelling ways.”

  • 16 Aug 2018 11:33 AM | Deleted user

    The Conciliation

    The Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery (TMAG) has opened two important new art exhibitions exploring the state’s colonial past, The National Picture: The Art of Tasmania’s Black War and Thomas Bock.

    The National Picture has been developed in partnership with the National Gallery of Australia (NGA) and is a major exhibition of colonial art works and contemporary responses to the Black War in Tasmania.

    Curated by Professor Tim Bonyhady (Australian National University) and Dr Greg Lehman (University of Melbourne), the exhibition draws on key loans from national and international collections, including several works from TMAG’s collection, and examines British settlers’ representations of Tasmanian Aboriginal people.

    TMAG Director Janet Carding said The National Picture was a complex exhibition, telling an important and ever-evolving story.

    “It is a wonderful chance for Tasmanians to see major works from TMAG’s collection – many of which are usually on permanent display in our Dispossessions and Possessions gallery – sitting alongside colonial works from other institutions that have been rarely seen in the state,” Ms Carding said.


    “Visitors will also be able to see responses to these works from contemporary artists, including Tasmanian Aboriginal artists Julie Gough and Ricky Maynard.

    “I hope that Tasmanians will visit TMAG over the coming weeks to see this important exhibition and learn more about the Black War, a traumatic and violent time in our state’s history.”

    Also opening today is an exhibition of exquisite drawings, watercolours and daguerreotypes by convict artist Thomas Bock, developed in collaboration with the UK’s Ikon Gallery.

    Bock (c.1793 – 1855) was sentenced to 14 years transportation in Birmingham in 1823, and when he arrived in Van Diemen’s Land he was set to work capitalizing on his trade as an engraver. He received his Absolute Pardon in 1835, and emerged from his convict sentence to become one of the most sought after artists in the colony.

    While he is best known for the many commissioned portraits he produced over 30 years in Hobart, the exhibition Thomas Bock is focussed on a collection of sketches which build a trace record of the world he occupied, as well as likenesses of former convicts and others who experienced various levels of hardship and prejudice.

    Thomas Bock demonstrates not only Bock’s technical skill, but also his sensitivity to a wide range of subject matter,” Ms Carding said.


    “His portrait work features rich observations of a wide range of subjects, including the extraordinary series of portraits of Tasmanian Aboriginal people, now held in the British Museum but on show in Australia for the first time as part of this exhibition.”

    “Also part of the exhibition are personal sketches Bock made at home or in his studio, often of family members, as well as nude studies that showcase his life drawing skills.

    “It has been wonderful to collaborate with Ikon Gallery on this exhibition, bringing to life the significant body of work of one of Birmingham – and Hobart’s – most fascinating artists.”

    The exhibitions are accompanied by a range of public programs, including a forum discussing the themes explored in The National Picture at 11:00 am on Friday 17 August, and a Thomas Bock curator floor talk at 11:00 am on Saturday 18 August.

    The National Picture: The Art of Tasmania’s Black War is on show in Argyle Galleries 1-3 and Thomas Bock is on show in Argyle Gallery 4 from 17 August until 11 November 2018. For more information about the exhibitions’ associated public programs, download a flyer.

    Seated Female Nude

    Image details, from top of page:
    Benjamin Duterrau, The Conciliation, 1840, oil on canvas. Collection: Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery.
    Geoff Parr, Place: The national picture, 1983/2015, photographic transparencies scanned as digital images and printed on aluminium, one panel of four.
    Thomas Bock, Mathinna, 1842, watercolour. Collection: Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery.
    Thomas Bock, Seated female nude, back view (detail), c. 1840s, pencil on grey paper. Collection: Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery.

  • 01 Aug 2018 10:36 AM | Deleted user

    Science Month at TMAG

    The Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery (TMAG) is celebrating all things science this August, with an action-packed month of activities and exhibitions.

    Firstly, tomorrow (Thursday 2 August) sees the opening of the Antarctic Photography Exhibition, part of the Australian Antarctic Festival, in TMAG’s Bond Store Basement.

    Until 19 August, visitors will be able to see stunning photographs of the icy continent which are the finalists in the festival’s Antarctic Photography Competition, and also vote on the people’s choice winner.

    From next week, National Science Week gets underway across Australia and TMAG is taking part in several events to celebrate.

    On Friday 10 and Saturday 11 August, TMAG will be open late to host the second edition of the pop-up science bar for adults, BeakerStreet@TMAG.

    Highlights of the free-entry event are set to be a visit from ABC presenter Dr Karl Kruszelnicki and a talk on probability by MONA founder David Walsh.

    Visitors will also be able to listen to a range of talks from guest speakers, meet roving scientists, dance to live music, check out the finalists in the Science Photography Prize and enjoy plenty of Tasmanian food and wine.

    TMAG staff will also once again join in the fun at the Festival of Bright Ideas at Princes Wharf No. 1 on Hobart's waterfront on Friday 17 and Saturday 18 August.

    While the sessions on Friday are for pre-booked school groups, festival-goers will be able to visit TMAG’s stand during Saturday’s free public open day and see how science comes alive.

    And finally, TMAG’s own scientists will be offering some fascinating ‘Into the Vaults’ behind-the-scenes tours at our Rosny Collections and Research Facility and the Tasmanian Herbarium.

    Visitors can sign up for a free tour of the Tasmanian Herbarium in Sandy Bay on Tuesday 14 August, and a free tour of the Rosny Collections and Research Facility on Monday 20 August.

    For more information about all these events, please visit the Events page.

    Image details:
    (Left) Chris Wilson’s first prize winner in the Antarctic Photography Competition in 2016, Iceberg with Penguins.
    (Top right) BeakerStreet@TMAG promotional image, courtesy Crow’s Nest Media.
    (Bottom right) Behind the scenes at TMAG’s Rosny Collections and Research Facility.

  • 06 Jul 2018 9:37 AM | Deleted user

    NAIDOC Week 2018

    The Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery (TMAG) is celebrating NAIDOC Week with a variety of activities as part of its Discovery Day and School Holiday programs this July.

    This year, NAIDOC Week runs from 8-15 July 2018, focuses on the theme ‘Because of Her, We Can!’

    It celebrates the fact that as pillars of our society, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women have played – and continue to play – active and significant roles at the community, local, state and national levels.

    TMAG’s NAIDOC Week activities will get underway with a special welcome celebration at the start of Discovery Day on Sunday 8 July at 10:00 am, featuring music and dance performances.

    Throughout the rest of the day, visitors will be able to enjoy a wide variety of activities throughout the museum, all focused on the theme of NAIDOC Week.

    pakana kanaplila, Tasmania’s traditional/contemporary Aboriginal dance troupe, will lead a fun and playful session sharing cultural knowledge through dance and performing arts, and musician Kartanya Maynard will teach songs in both English and palawa kani, the revived Tasmanian Aboriginal language.

    TMAG’s Senior Curator of Indigenous Cultures, Zoe Rimmer, will shares stories of Tasmania’s Aboriginal women both past and present, and the first Indigenous visual artist to receive the award of National Living Treasure, Lola Greeno, will be presenting a very special workshop session.

    Lola’s exquisite shell necklaces are also featured in TMAG’s current exhibition Lola Greeno: Cultural Jewels, which is on show throughout NAIDOC Week.

    Shell necklaces and the Cultural Jewels exhibition are also the inspiration for TMAG’s School Holiday program activity, which gets underway on Tuesday 10 July and runs until Friday 13 July.

    In the She Shells activity, kids aged 7 and up can drop into a daily workshop between 11:00 and 2:00 pm in the Centre for Learning and Discovery, exploring traditional and contemporary Tasmanian Aboriginal shell necklace-making.

    They’ll be able to meet TMAG’s Aboriginal Learning Facilitator, enjoy specially-designed iPad interactive apps, hands-on design activities, and contribute to a ‘shell’ string installation.

    Younger children can explore the early learners’ play space next door with their carers, which will contain games and resources on themes such as natural collections, shapes and patterns.

    Discovery Day runs from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm on Sunday 8 July. The School Holiday Program runs from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm from Tuesday 10 to Friday 13 July. Lola Greeno: Cultural Jewels is on show in Argyle Gallery 4 at TMAG until Sunday 22 July 2018. Read more about the exhibition here.

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