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Investigation into the collections of Dr Herbert Basedow

David Kaus, National Museum of Australia

2 July 2009

National Museum Friends Foundation Fellow David Kaus outlines his research into Aboriginal artefacts and natural history specimens collected by Herbert Basedow between 1903 and 1928 and now held in institutions across Australia.


collection, indigenous


Tattoos, lashing, house and canoe building

Siosiua FP Tofua'ipangai

Vaka Moana series, 16 June 2009

Siosiua FP Tofua’ipangai, also know as Lafitani, examines significant Tongan cultural practices, discussing the techniques of tattoos, lashing, house and canoe building over time.


art, pacific


Stories of sadness and loss

Laina Hall, Peter Lane and Susannah Helman

Behind the Scenes – Australian Journeys series, 13 June 2009

Collector Peter Lane and curators Laina Hall and Susannah Helman discuss three stories from the Australian Journeys gallery: the emotional drama of convict tokens, Alexander Mussen’s redemption on the goldfields and Muriel McPhee’s secret trousseau.


collection, conflict, crime, gold, journeys, migration


Violent ends: the arts of environmental anxiety

Professor Deborah Bird Rose, William Fox, Professor Tom Griffiths, Roger Hillman, Mandy Martin, Kate Rigby, Dr Libby Robin, Professor Will Steffen, Dr Carolyn Strange, Thom Van Dooren

11 June 2009

Fears around global warming are explored through different mediums by a group of artists, poets, dancers, singers, scientists, film makers, historians, creative writers and cultural theorists.


art, environment, science


The ‘spirit of inquiry’ in Port Macquarie

Roslyn Russell, National Museum of Australia

Behind the Scenes – Landmarks series, 10 June 2009

Curator and historian Roslyn Russell talks about the work of amateur scientists, including astronomer WJ Macdonnell, in the New South Wales coastal town of Port Macquarie, as part of her research for the Creating a Country gallery.


exhibition, exploration, place, science


Heavens above!

Vince Ford, Hermann Wehner and Dr Kirsten Wehner

Behind the Scenes – Landmarks series, 30 May 2009

The National Museum’s rare 1883 Grubb refractor telescope, used in early Australian astronomical observing programs and returned to working condition, is discussed by curator Kirsten Wehner, astronomer Vince Ford and astronomical engineer Hermann Wehner.


collection, exploration, science


Writing Captain Cook symposium

Professor Geoffrey Blainey, Jackie French, Susan Hall, Dr Maria Nugent and Martin Terry

Historical Interpretation series, 17 May 2009

Leading writers and historians discuss their recent books on Captain James Cook and explore Australia’s continuing fascination with the explorer.


cook, exploration, pacific


Design inspirations behind the Museum building

Sue Dove, Coffey Projects

29 April 2009

Sue Dove provides an insight into the design of the National Museum of Australia, discussing the building’s aim and function, the influence of other international buildings, contentious design aspects, and the expression of major Australian themes.


architecture, museums


Rugged Beyond Imagination: Stories from an Australian mountain region

Matthew Higgins, National Museum of Australia

Historical Interpretation series, 15 April 2009

Curator Matthew Higgins talks about his book Rugged Beyond Imagination, which explores how people including stockmen, skiers, scientists and surveyors have shaped and been shaped by the Australian alpine environment.


environment, place


‘Never enough grass’ and Bowen Downs

Dr George Main, National Museum of Australia

Behind the Scenes – Landmarks series, 8 April 2009

The development of the Australian pastoral industry at Bowen Downs in central Queensland, one of four places to be featured in the ‘Never enough grass’ module of the National Museum’s Creating a Country gallery, is outlined by curator George Main.


agriculture, exhibition, industry, place

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