Guest Post: MONA – Museum of Old and New Art

Imogen Kennard-King is back with an excellent blog post on the weird and wonderful world of MONA, Museum of Old and New Art. Thank you Imogen!

After a long absence, I am back with a blog sharing some observations from a recent visit to MONA, the Museum of Old and New Art, in Hobart, Tasmania. This was my first visit to both Tasmania and MONA. After studying, hearing about and writing about this museum from a distance since its opening in 2011, I was very eager to see it for myself. I was keen to see if the museum would live up to the extraordinary hype that surrounds it. This seemed almost impossible from the varied experiences and opinions I had heard prior to my visit. The central themes of sex and death have meant that the museum has always occupied a controversial space and inevitably drawn disparate and extreme reactions from visitors and commentators. While preparing for my visit I wasn’t sure how long to allow to ensure I saw everything and didn’t feel rushed. I couldn’t find much useful advice online so will share my timings here.Read More »

Bauhaus: Weimar

2019 marks 100 years of Bauhaus. The word Bauhaus literally translates in English to ‘construction house’. Bauhaus wasn’t just a school for the arts that strived to combine all disciplines of the arts in one place, it was a modern art movement. As an institution, it operated in three German cities – Weimar (1919 to 1925), Dessau (1925 to 1932) and Berlin (1932 to 1933). The Bauhaus institution was eventually closed in Berlin by the Nazi Party due to their disagreement with the ‘leftist’ curriculum being taught. Although only operating as a school for 14 years, the legacy of Bauhaus has continued to permeate almost every facet of art and design to this day. This is primarily due to its overarching aim of combining fine art with functional design.

To celebrate, I am going to write three blog posts throughout the year on my time spent in each of the three Bauhaus centres. First up is Weimar. Rather than focus on what Bauhaus-related activities are available, I’m going to give a more broad overview of the various museums and heritage sites on offer. This will, of course, include anything to do with Bauhaus.Read More »

GLAM Blog Club: Serendipity

The theme for this month’s GLAM Blog Club is…….Serendipity. When you literally Google ‘definition: serendipity’ you get the following: “the occurrence and development of events by chance in a happy or beneficial way.” As soon as I saw the theme, one particular event came to mind that I’d like to share.

Queensland Parliamentary Library Curatorial Project

In 2013 I was approached by one of my lecturers at The University of Queensland to be part of a research project team working with the O’Donovan Collection at the Queensland Parliamentary Library. The O’Donovan Collection is this incredible array of rare books covering all sorts of topics from botany to philosophy and everything in-between. It dates back to 1860, when Queensland Parliament was formed. The collection was amassed to ensure that the Parliament had access to a contemporary series of books and manuscripts. One of the most notable collectors was Denis O’Donovan, Queensland Parliamentary Librarian from 1874 to 1901. He catalogued the collection so that future generations could more easily find information. Yay for cataloguing.Read More »

UQ Art Museum: Second Sight: Witchcraft, Ritual, Power

This evening I attended the opening of Second Sight: Witchcraft, Ritual, Power at The University of Queensland Art Museum. In 2015 I completed my Honours in history focusing on the memorialisation of the Salem Witch Trials in Salem and Danvers, Massachusetts. Needless to say, I have a very special place in my heart for anything to do with witchcraft. I was really looking forward to this exhibition and jumped at the chance to attend the opening.

Exhibition Aim

Before entering the exhibition, there is a panel explaining why this exhibition has been curated and what it’s hoping to achieve. According to the panel, the historical etchings and contemporary artworks seek to depict or disrupt ideas of witchcraft. Whereas some of the historic pieces have quite stereotypical depictions, the contemporary works delve deeper into themes of gender, nature and sexuality, to name a few.

It worked really well not having the works displayed chronologically. Instead, as the panel states, the exhibition becomes less literal and more open to interpretation. If I were seeing purely historic artworks, I would argue the opposite and hope they would be displayed in some sort of chronological or geographical way.

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Australian Museum: Whales/Tohorā

Thank you Ziggy for yet another fantastic blog post! Enjoy reading about the Whales/Tohorā exhibition currently on display at the Australian Museum.

The Whales/Tohorā exhibition, currently on at the Australian Museum, explores the evolution and biological diversity of whales, and their significant role in the cultural history and heritage of South Pacific Islanders. This exhibition was created by, and is on loan from, Te Papa Tongarewa (Museum of New Zealand).

All images included in this post are courtesy of Te Papa or the Australian Museum and have been retrieved from the Australian Museum website. Click here to visit the website.A huge thank you to Claire Vince and the Media and Communications Team at the Australian Museum for providing us with the following images and videos. Attribution information can be found beneath each image. Read More »

Vitra 100 Miniatures Exhibition

Words cannot really express how bizarre it was seeing this exhibition of 100 miniature chairs inside St John’s Anglican Cathedral. For quite some time the exhibition was scheduled to be on display at the Living Edge Brisbane Showroom – hosts of the exhibition. I can only imagine something happened last minute and this was no longer possible. Either that, or the decision was made to make this a truly spiritual experience.

The exhibition contains 100 miniature chairs, all in their own little Perspex box. The first chair is from 1870 and the final, from 1990. They essentially look like doll house chairs – if that helps you to visualise what is meant by the word miniature. There are three components I want to discuss: layout, content, and labels.Read More »

Update: Museums I’d Love to Visit

Despite the fact that Valentine’s Day was yesterday in Australia, it is still technically the correct day to be posting this in other parts of the world. Every year, I write a little something on museums/heritage and the theme of love. I am taking the opportunity this year to reflect on my post from 2017, Museums I’d Love to Visit. Let’s see how many I have been able to tick off my list.

1. Mütter Museum – Philadelphia

The number one museum on my list in 2017 was the Mütter Museum in Philadelphia. A few months after writing the blog post, in November, I presented at a conference in Boston. I decided to make the journey to Philadelphia specifically to visit this museum and to explore the city. Not only did it live up to my expectations, but, it was also one of the most interesting and intriguing museums I have ever visited.Read More »