Taking a Tour

Senior curator Kirsten Wehner talks to Museum education staff about the Landmarks gallery. January 2011.

Senior curator Kirsten Wehner has seen Landmarks grow from a series of abstract ideas to a gallery ready to be installed. Recently she took our hardworking Education staff and volunteers on a tour of the gallery.

Last week, I led the Museum’s Education staff and volunteers on a tour of the Landmarks gallery. As we walked through the space, discussing the overall concept and taking a first look at some of the objects, I reflected on how exciting it is to be introducing the gallery to the wider world.

 My hope is that Landmarks will prove particularly engaging for a schools audience. Some of the gallery main’s themes connect strongly with the national history curriculum, and the idea of exploring history through experience in place promises as an accessible and appealing approach. After all, we all live somewhere, and we can all think of objects that speak to us of the places we have lived. Exploring how objects tell us about Australian places and our and others’ lives in them is what Landmarks is all about.

2 Responses to “Taking a Tour”

  1. Linda McHugh says:

    Thanks Kirsten for a great tour! It is very exciting to see the gallery shaping up, especially using place as a point of departure for the exhibits.
    Not to mention the BIG objects! Who doesn’t like BIG? BIG is beautiful.
    We work from the known into the unknown in education and I think using place (the learner’s place or a place they know well or identify with) will make that journey more real/personal. I’m very excited about the sensory stations and the open exhibitions for similar (concrete) reasons.
    We’re certainly looking forward to taking school groups into the gallery and I think that the “Spirit of Inquiry” module (was that it’s name?) will become, for me, a lovely metaphor for students own learning journeys.

    • Kirsten Wehner says:

      Thanks Linda! I’m very glad you enjoyed the tour.

      I’m really looking forward to seeing how visitors connect with the places in the gallery. One of the challenges in developing Landmarks was deciding which places to include in the gallery’s opening suite. There are obviously thousands of places in Australia – perhaps millions depending on how you define them – and Landmarks will feature only 36 when it opens in June.

      I know that some visitors will be delighted to see ‘their place’ in the gallery; but I hope that others will enjoy discovering how the places they know are similar to, or different from, places in the gallery. Places in the gallery are grouped into themes intended to suggest points of comparison. The Urban Life module, for example, explores life in Australia’s cities. With over 90% of the country’s population living in urban areas, I hope that many visitors will be moved to ask how their suburb, or city centre, or local beach, compares to those we talk about in Landmarks.