Discover stories behind the latest exhibitions, fascinating explorations into maritime science and archaeology, and the surprising details of what happens inside (and outside) a modern working museum.

kimanmm

Kim Tao

Kim is the curator of post-Federation immigration at the Australian National Maritime Museum.

A woolie mermaid

04 Aug 2015

Last week I started exploring the fascinating intersection between needlework, craft and maritime history in the museum’s collection, examining an embroidered sampler made by young British migrant Julia Donovan in 1879. Today I will be looking at the sampler’s first cousin – the sailor’s woolwork picture or embroidered ship portrait, affectionately known as a ‘woolie’.

Read more
Needlework sampler made by Julia Donovan on board Carnatic en route to Australia, 1879

A migration story in stitch

28 Jul 2015

One of my favourite objects in the museum’s collection is a charming needlework sampler made by 19-year-old assisted immigrant Julia Donovan on board the Carnatic in January 1879. Immigration records show that Julia arrived in Rockhampton, Queensland, from England on 5 February 1879, and presumably went into domestic service in the growing port town.

Read more

Waves of migration returns on Australia Day

23 Jan 2014

The museum’s award-winning digital projection Waves of migration returns this Sunday, Australia Day, to once again illuminate the museum’s iconic roofline with a rich tapestry of migration stories drawn from our collection.

Read more

Suitcases, boats and bridges

09 Aug 2013

Last week I was invited to speak about the museum’s work at the Suitcases, boats and bridges: telling migrant stories in Australian museums workshop, organised by Dr Nina Parish from the University of Bath and Dr Chiara O’Reilly from the University of Sydney.

Read more

The opulent ship with a royal connection

27 Jul 2013

With plenty of attention focused on the British royal family at the moment, I was delighted to discover a royal connection in a recent addition to the museum’s collection – a framed 1900 print of the Orient liner Ophir in the Suez Canal by British artist Sir Frank Brangwyn.

Read more

History and knitting

27 Jun 2013

Over the past few weeks I have been working my way through a wonderful collection of textiles, handcrafts, photographs and family heirlooms donated by Anu Mihkelson, who as a toddler migrated from Sweden to Australia with her Estonian parents Oskar and Magda in 1948.

Read more