Skipper and First Mate Millard (Big Bear and Pepe)
Mon 8 Feb 2016 23:47
Amaze Collection at the State Library
After the incredible library, we stood at the bottom on the main staircase and admired ‘Keef’ – in all his bad boy glory.
First we stepped over a gorgeous inset tile.
Up close, a great picture taken by Tony Mott who has taken thousands of pictures of rock n’ roll stars, many appearing in magazines and album covers.
Tony has been honoured with an exhibition here (17/10/2015 to the 7/2/2016) at the State Library entitled What a Life.
The exhibition closed last night but we chatted up a guard and had the place to ourselves. A tiny, tiny taster.
The next door along the corridor was for the Amaze Exhibition.
The Michael Crouch Gallery is a lovely space.
Foundation Tablet of Sin-Kasid, King of Uruk, circa 1860 BCE. The Sumerian inscription on this tablet records the king’s name, titles and epithets, stating that he built a royal palace. It is one of many tablets bearing similar inscriptions that have been recovered from the foundations of Sin-Kasid’s palace at Uruk. They were placed in every fourth course of bricks during construction, ensuring that when the mud-brick palace needed future renovation, Sin-Kasid;s name and deeds would be admired by his successors.
Hypnerotomachia Poliphili by Francesco Colonna, 1499. February 2015 marked the 500th anniversary of the death of Venetian printer, Aldus Manutius who established the Aldine Press in 1494. Only 40 years after the introduction of moveable metal type, the Aldine Press published some of the most beautifully designed books through the use of inventive typography, layout and illustrations.
This beautiful example was published in 1499, written by a Dominican monk, Francesco Colonna, it describes Poliphili’s pursuit of his lover Polia and includes woodcut illustrations attributed to a range of important Renaissance artists including Bellini and Botticelli. (Woodblock print on laid paper bound in calf).
Telopea speciosissima (Waratah) and three other species from Australian wildflowers – cigarette cards by WD & HO Wills, 1913. Cigarette cards were produced to stiffen flimsy cigarette packaging and to advertise cigarette brands. Originally produced as individual cards, they were produced in sets by the 1890’s. This set features fifty cards. Most commonly were made from paper, the cards were also made from other materials such as silk, satin and lace. The images were printed onto fabric with a paper backing often added to give rigidity. (Printed on silk with paper backing, presented by WD & HO Wills, Sydney 1916).
Mould for hand made bricks 1788 – 1880, the First Fleet of 1788 brought brick moulds and five thousand bricks. The brick is from the first Government House, Sydney 1788. Brick construction in the early colony of Sydney proved difficult. A local source of lime was needed to make mortar, and no natural deposits were readily found. Shells were collected to crush for lime, which was then mixed with sand and hair to create a rough mortar. Puddled mud was often used as a poor substitute, making it necessary to restrict buildings to one storey. The two-storey Governor’s house was the one exception. The brick was found next to foundation stone laid May 1788.
Proclamation to the Aborigines, 1816. Often credited to Thomas Davey (1758-1823), 2nd Lieutenant Governor (1813-1817) of Van Diemen’s Land, this Proclamation Board was actually commissioned by Governor George Arthur (1784-1854). Made between 1828 and 1830, the pictorial design of the Proclamation Board was an attempt to explain the idea of equality under the law to the indigenous people of Tasmania. (Oil on board).
First Australian Christmas Cards designed by various artists, 1881. The practice of exchanging Christmas-themed greeting cards first became popular during the mid-nineteenth century. Christmas cards available in Australia, however, portrayed only English and European scenes. On the 26th of February 1881, Sydney stationer John Sands advertised an art competition offering prizes for original Christmas card designs showcasing ‘Australian subjects’. Seven hundred designs were submitted. Twenty four designs were placed into production and ready for sale by early December.
Nora Kathleen Fletcher by Swain of New Bond Street, London, July 1915. Nora Fletcher was an experienced nurse, working in Europe when war was declared in 1914. She was thirty four years old when she joined the British Red Cross in September 1914 and worked as Principal Matron in France and Belgium. Highly regarded by her colleagues, she received several awards for her services including the Royal Red Cross in 1915 and Commander of the British Empire in 1920. (At the top – The most venerable Order of St. John of Jerusalem, as a Serving Sister in 1916. Left – Royal Red Cross, 1915. Right – Medaille de la Reconnaissance Francaise. Bottom on the display, right hand picture here – CBE).
Letter fragment found on Lasseter’s body, 1931. “I’m done for”. These are the last words of a dying man; fragments of sentences that convey the hopeless desperation felt by Harold Lasseter as he lay dying in a cave near the Petermann Ranges in Central Australia. Starving and nearly blind, his dream of discovering gold during the Great Depression were shattered as he wrote his last words to his wife. The discovery of this letter is featured in Warren Brown’s book Lasseter’s Gold.
Telegram from Robert Buck to John Bailey reporting finding the remains of Lasseter, the 27th of April 1931.
Photographic portrait – silver on gelatin print, of Graeme Murphy by Branco Gaica, 1989. Graeme Murphy AM (born on the 2nd of November 1950) is a bastion of contemporary dance in Sydney. Although he trained and performed in classical ballet, in 1979 he became artistic director of the Sydney Dance Company. With his wife and fellow dancer Janet Vernon, Murphy led the company for the next thirty years. He was made a Member of the Order of Australia in 1982 for services to ballet. Branco Gaica is a Sydney-based commercial photographer.
‘Awful Confession’. In 1837, James Greenacre was found guilty of the murder of his fiancé Hannah Brown and sentenced to hang. Sarah Gale was convicted of consorting with Greenacre, aiding and assisting him in his crime, and sentenced to transportation to New South Wales for the rest of her natural life. The trial for this sensational crime drew huge crowds to the Old Bailey, and public interest ensured a ready market for broadsides and penny portraits of the notorious pair, which would have been produced quickly and sold cheaply on the streets of London during the days of the trial.
Convict Leg Irons – possibly from Port Arthur, 1830-1848.
Soldier’s Goodbye and Bobbie the Cat. 8th of March 1941, Kensington. Sam Hood’s cheeky image of Bobbie the cat below the embracing couple is the second most popular image of the State Library’s photographs on Flickr. The 30th of September 2015 was the seventh anniversary of Flickr – the key goal of this website is to share the world’s public photographic archives. The State Library of NSW joined Flickr at its inception in 2008.
Our favourite curio was this Souvenir Chart of the course for the annual Sydney to Hobart. Boxing Day 2015 marked the 70th anniversary of the Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race. This souvenir chart was drawn by renowned Sydney marine artist and yachtsman Jack Earl for Millards, a menswear store in the Queen Victoria Building. Earl was one of the founders of the race and skippered his ketch the Kathleen Gillett in the inaugural race in 1945. Time now to walk back through the library to get down to the basement exhibition of Captain Cook’s bits and bobs.
Down the beautifully lit and reflected staircase.
ALL IN ALL AN ECLECTIC SELECTION OF BITS AND BOBS
A HIDDEN FIND OF GOODIES