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.

The Lady Rowers of the YWCA

25 Jul 2012

In case you hadn’t yet heard, the Olympics are just about to roll around again. As July comes to a close the Olympics will commence, captivating the world as it showcases the physical heights of human potential and creates history in its wake. Clearly this is an excellent opportunity for museums such as ours to combine a very Australian love of sports with a little history.

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The lone fisherman

16 Jul 2012

There’s something ambient about Kenneth Macqueen’s The Beach Fisherman, 1934. A man stands barefoot on a beach, fishing line in tow, with the shore stretching out further than the eye can see and the clouds threatening rain in a decidedly gloomy way.

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Eighteen months on a leaky boat

11 Jul 2012

There is something intriguing about natural history illustrations. The plants look as though they are sprouting from the page but the animals appear slightly on the edge of reality, with blankly staring eyes and stiffly posed limbs. Perhaps this is because the immobility of plants permit them to be drawn from life whereas animals do not generally allow the painter that luxury unless they are in a more, well, deceased state.

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Flashback to Brisbane 1893: Disastrous Floods!

26 Jun 2012

During early February in 1893 the south-east of Queensland had seen a week of unusually heavy rainfall. The Brisbane Courier newspaper reported that ‘disastrous floods’ had caused an ‘unprecedented rise’ in the Brisbane River, and on the 6th of February residents awoke to read that the flooding had finally ‘reached the magnitude of widespread calamity’.

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Restoring hope and a fishing boat called ‘Freedom’

14 Jun 2012

With all the rain in Sydney recently, you could be forgiven for forgetting what blue sky looks like. But for the Lu family, who arrived in Australia in 1977 on the Vietnamese refugee boat Tu Do, the colour sky blue is forever etched in their memories as the colour of freedom.

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Through the eyes of a 13 year old

13 Jun 2012

An Estonian woman remembers what it was like being 13. In 1991, Mall Juske described what she saw 42 years earlier on board SS Cyrenia, rolling into the harbour at Fremantle. It was a bright and sunny Sunday as she ‘took a stroll in the town’.

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Who's that girl?

07 Jun 2012

As much as I enjoy working with these sailing images, I was delighted to find a number of studio portraits within the William Hall collection. There are portraits of men, some family shots and the occasional wedding – but most strikingly there are a number of beautiful portraits of women.

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