Museum Impact: Hamilton Gallery and Art History, Audiences and Interpretation post Covid19

9 December 2021, 10:00:00 pm

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Session Convenors

Distinguished Professor Peter McNeil, UTS

Session Moderators

Distinguished Professor Peter McNeil, UTS

Session Speakers

Distinguished Professor Peter McNeil, UTS
Jane Clark, MONA Tasmania
Dr Alex Burchmore, University of Sydney
Associate Professor Alison Inglis, University of Melbourne
Dr Lisa Beaven, La Trobe University
Dr Matthew Martin, University of Melbourne


It is the mission of smaller metropolitan and regional galleries to protect vital heritage and to promote community cohesion, creativity, and wellbeing. Australia’s regional and non-metropolitan art galleries and museums were and are severely impacted post COVID19. Academics from Uni Melb, LaTrobe U, U Newcastle, ANU, Uni Syd, UTS and MONA spent part of 2020-21 collaborating with the staff of Hamilton Art Gallery (VIC) to mitigate this threat by piloting new exhibition, educational and online resources. Hamilton AG houses a highly significant collection of Enlightenment art works including painting, prints and decorative arts. The core of this collection is a group of European decorative arts (mainly 1650-1830) gifted by local grazier H.B. Shaw in 1957. The collection is also rich in Australian and Asian art works as well as studio glass. Tapping into the potential of these art works our interdisciplinary team has been researching and generating new object biographies and tabulating the historical and environmental factors which led to the formation of the collections. How can we share the latest art historical methods and debates for general publics across such a wide range of materials and chronologies?

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PAPER #1
Places, people and imagination: the Australian collection at Hamilton Art Gallery

PRESENTER
Jane Clark, MONA Tasmania

Across wide-ranging media—painting, sculpture, tapestry, prints and drawings and decorative arts—Hamilton’s contemporary Australian collection speaks directly to history, showing that past, present and future are inseparable.

PAPER #2
Chinese Collections: Overview

PRESENTER
Dr Alex Burchmore, University of Sydney

Contribution to the panel discussion

PAPER #3
British prints in the Hamilton Gallery: The Ancients.

PRESENTER
Associate Professor Alison Inglis, University of Melbourne

This short presentation will examine the Hamilton Gallery's remarkable group of works on paper by Edward Calvert and Samuel Palmer, both followers of William Blake known as "The Ancients". These prints were acquired through a combination of donation and strategic purchases and now represent a major collecting strength of the Gallery.

PAPER #4
Sculpture in the Shaw Bequest at the Hamilton Gallery

PRESENTER
Dr Lisa Beaven, La Trobe University

This short presentation explores the sculptural works in the Shaw Bequest from the perspective of scale. The Shaws collected a number of small-scale replicas of monumental sculptural installations, many of which were fundamentally altered through the process of miniaturisation. As such they straddle the boundaries of works of art and souvenir and function as markers of geography and memory.

PAPER #5
Anglo-Gallic Taste in the Hamilton Collection

PRESENTERS

Dr Matthew Martin, University of Melbourne
 & Distinguished Professor Peter McNeil, UTS

The existence of the Shaw collection in Hamilton speaks to the cosmopolitan and not simply Anglophile viewpoint of a single collecting couple, May and Herbert Shaw. It also poses questions regarding Australia’s largely uncharted connections to local and global collecting practices and our appreciation of decorative arts and design from multiple sources and origins. The panel that follows concerns this group’s collaborative project and various ‘impacts’ that have resulted in an exhibition, publication and symposium in order to present new perspectives on the Hamilton Gallery's important collections of European, Chinese, Japanese and Australian works of art. Another key outcome has been the engagement of the local and wider Australian community in a celebration of this regional gallery's history and significance in its 60th anniversary year through a range of public programs and events.

Biographies

Distinguished Professor Peter McNeil, UTS

Dr Peter McNeil is Distinguished Professor of Design History at the University of Technology Sydney and lately a Finland Distinguished Professor at Aalto University Helsinki. His research engages with different ways in which visual imagery and materiality shaped lives from the eighteenth century to the present day. He is currently working on the relationship of Eurasian decorative arts and design to wider fashion culture (1500-1800), is the Australian representative for a major international queer art exhibition (ALPHA Foundation), and supporting a UTS research team investigating the Indigenous Australian fashion revolution. He leads the research group Intersectional Design Histories at UTS. 


Jane Clark, MONA Tasmania

Senior Research Curator, Mona (Museum of Old and New Art), Hobart. Jane joined Mona in 2007, as a key member of the core creative team; previously Curator of Australian art and Curator of Major Special Exhibitions at the National Gallery of Victoria; and then Deputy Chairman of Sotheby’s in Australia. She works in Melbourne and Hobart. 


Dr Alex Burchmore, University of Sydney

Dr Alex Burchmore is an art historian specialising in the study of Chinese art, with a focus on ceramics, trade and exchange, and the interweaving of personal and material identities. Alex received his PhD from the Australian National University in 2019 and joined the University of Sydney in 2021. His doctoral dissertation traced the extent to which artists in China have used porcelain to shape their personal, historical, and cultural identities. His recent publications include a chapter dedicated to the ‘fugitive luxury’ of contemporary Chinese ceramics in The Allure of Matter: Materiality Across Chinese Art (University of Chicago Press, 2021). 


Associate Professor Alison Inglis, University of Melbourne

Assoc-Prof Alison Inglis is the Course Co-ordinator of the MA of Art Curatorship program at the University of Melbourne. She has a long-standing research interest in nineteenth-century British art as well as the history of art collections in Australia.


Dr Lisa Beaven, La Trobe University 

Dr Lisa Beaven is an Adjunct Senior Research Fellow at La Trobe University and a research associate at the University of Melbourne. Her research interests are focussed on seventeenth-century art patronage and collecting and aspects of Early Modern landscape painting and ecology. 


Dr Matthew Martin, University of Melbourne
  

Matthew Martin is Lecture in Art History and Curatorship in the University of Melbourne. Prior to joining the university in 2019, he worked for over 12 years as a curator of European decorative arts in the National Gallery of Victoria. His current research focusses on the intersections between art history and the history of science in the eighteenth century, especially in relation to ceramics and glass, and the transcultural object in the early modern period.