Leading Museums, Museum Leaders

Tasmanian Aboriginal history

QVMAG Director Richard Mulvaney, Aunty Patsy Cameron and Project Manager, Greg Lehman. ABC News: Lauren Waldhuter.

Lauren Waldhuter, Launceston museum to set up permanent exhibit showcasing Tasmanian Aboriginal history, ABC News, 10 September 2015

A new art gallery showcasing the history of Tasmania’s Aboriginal people prior to colonialism will be established in Launceston.

The Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery (QVMAG) has received a $300,000 grant to set up the permanent display, set to open during NAIDOC week in 2017.

The gallery’s development will be guided by members of an Aboriginal reference group.

Project manager Greg Lehman said the new display would focus on the early history of Aboriginal populations, going back 40,000 years before colonisation.

“Our exhibition will actually look at the 90 per cent of Tasmania’s human history that came before colonialism,” he said.

“The period of time that Aboriginal people were shaping the wilderness, we’ll be looking at Aboriginal scientific knowledge, native foods, archaeology and we’ll have stories of anthropology sitting beside perspectives from Aboriginal people today.”

He said the works that will be displayed were still being selected, but the gallery would include many pieces currently in storage at the museum.

“Because the QVMAG hasn’t had an Indigenous gallery before a lot of its collection hasn’t been seen,” he said.

“We’ll be bringing into the public eye an incredibly rich collection of work created by Aboriginal people, and work created by colonial artists and other artists.”

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