Art Museum opens a window on UNE collections

Published 04 June 2009

maskSome of the treasures housed in six diverse collections at the University of New England are now on show at the New England Regional Art Museum (NERAM). In officially opening the exhibition – Penguin Gizzards and More! – last Friday evening, the Chancellor of UNE, the Hon. Richard Torbay MP, praised the “vision and inspiration” shown by all the participating museum curators in mounting the exhibition.

“The result is one of the most valuable, rare, and interesting collections of material in the region – if not Australia,” Dr Torbay said. “This fantastic cultural collection represents a real win for the University and the region.”

Penguin Gizzards and More! includes items from UNE’s Museum of Antiquities, Zoology Museum and Museum of Education, the N.C.W. Beadle Herbarium, the UNE Art Collection, and the UNE Regional Archives.

The Interim Director of NERAM, Caroline Downer, said that the exhibition included an interesting range of exhibits – “from birds’ heads on sticks, whale bones, horses’ teeth and pressed plant specimens to a range of paintings from the University Collection.” Among the outstanding art works on view is a painting by Russell Drysdale, titled Two Children, that was donated in 1941 by Sir James R. McGregor to what was then the New England University College. Ms Downer commented that the exhibition at NERAM of items from the UNE collections “would build a wonderful relationship between our two institutions.”

The exhibition will continue till the 27th of September.  A series of talks will be run in conjunction with the exhibition, with the topics and speakers as below:

Sunday 7 June, 3 pm – Museum of Antiquities – Portals to the past: 50 years of change – John Harris.

Sunday 21 June, 3 pm – N.C.W. Beadle Herbarium – N.C.W.  Beadle Herbarium: a pressing engagement – Jeremy Bruhl and Ian Telford.

Sunday 5 July, 3 pm – UNE Regional Archives – Serendipity: the relationship between luck and management in archival collections – Bill Oates.

Sunday 9 August, 3 pm – UNE Art Collection – Beneath the paint: uncovering heritage through art – Michelle Arens.

Sunday 16 August, 3 pm – Museum of Education – Object lesson: what school artefacts tell us about our changing society and culture – Christine Bryan.

Sunday 6 September, 3 pm – Zoology Museum – Museums and climate change: how collections can inform the future structure of our ecosystems – Nigel Andrew.

THE PHOTOGRAPH displayed here shows an item from the Museum of Antiquities that is included in the Penguin Gizzards and More! exhibition. Clicking on this image reveals a photograph, taken at the exhibition opening, showing (from left) Meg Larkin (Chair of the NERAM Ltd Board), the Hon. Richard Torbay MP, Caroline Downer (Interim Director of NERAM), Michelle Arens (UNE Art Collection Manager), and Christine Bryan (University Curator).