November 13, 2015

The British Museum: A Museum for the World

The British Museum: A Museum for the World

Neil MacGregor, Director, British Museum

The British Museum was founded in 1753 by an act of Parliament and is the embodiment of Enlightenment idealism. In a revolutionary move, it was from its inception designed to be the collection of every citizen of the world, not a royal possession and not controlled by the state. Over the succeeding 260 plus years it has gathered and exhibited things from all over the globe – antiquities, coins, sculptures, drawings – and made them freely available to anyone who was able to come and see them. Millions have visited and learned, and have been inspired by what they saw. Today the Museum is probably the most comprehensive survey of the material culture of humanity in existence.

The world today has changed; the way we access information has been revolutionised by digital technology. We live in a world where sharing knowledge has become easier, we can do extraordinary things with technology which enables us to give the Enlightenment ideal on which the Museum was founded a new reality. It is now possible to make our collection accessible, explorable and enjoyable not just for those who physically visit, but to everybody with a computer or a mobile device. Our partnership with Google allows us to further our own – extraordinary – mission: to be a Museum of and for the World, making the knowledge and culture of the whole of humanity open and available to all.

To read the full article click

Ref: Britsh Museum Blog

November 4, 2015

Meaning and significance

Recently Penrith Regional Gallery & The Lewers Bequest completed the significance assessment of their collection, following the receipt of a $4,000 Community Heritage Grant (CHG) last year.

you’ve been to the Lewers Gallery site, you’ll know that the Lewers’ family home, its place beside the Nepean River, the sculptures and garden are all part of the fabulous package offered by the Regional Gallery, and an important piece of Australia’s mid-century modern art and design heritage.

The Gallery houses an extensive collection of modern art, some of it made by Margo and Gerald Lewers themselves, some of it collected by them. It holds significant examples of Australian Modernism in particular Abstraction, Constructivism and Minimalism. More recently the collection has been expanded to include contemporary works, with examples from Islander, Aboriginal and Western-Sydney artists such as Greg Semu, Brook Andrew and Justine Williams, as well as work generated through the gallery residency program


Statements of Significance determine the financial, social, cultural value and importance of an item or collection.

Dr Sally Watterson, an independent consultant, was engaged to evaluate the cultural significance of the Gallery and its permanent collection. Waterson’s role was to coordinate and manage the application of Significance 2.0, the federal policy document used to determine the importance of our cultural collections. Determining the significance of a cultural object—be it a single work of art, a historic building, or an entire collection—demands detailed investigation into the provenance—or chain of ownership—as well as considerable historical research into how one work of art interrelates with another and with other collections.

atements of Significance determine the financial, social, cultural value and importance of an item or collection. Each statement presents an argument about how and why an object is important and underpins the policies around that object, prioritising them in terms of resources for curatorial, conservation, exhibition, research and access programs.

part of the project, Collection Manager Dr Shirley Daborn attended an intensive preservation and collection management workshop held in Canberra. “While the CHG provides the funds, the workshop offers the expertise to help us protect the collection, while also assisting us with our ambition to increase our engagement with scholars, students and the general public interested in researching this fascinating period in history,” Daborn said.

Ms Anne-Marie Schwirtlich, Director-General of the National Library of Australia, a strong advocate of the CHG program, said: “It is all about working together to help spread the message that if we don’t preserve our history now, it could be lost forever. Through sharing this knowledge, the information can be taken back to the communities where it is most needed to ensure that local heritage collections are still there for future generations.”

Gallery Director, Dr Lee-Anne Hall said the significance assessment process was a crucial step in fully honouring the history of the Gallery as a centre of artist activity in the mid-century period. So now when you drop into the fabulous gallery by the river, you’ll know you are looking at a collection with real significance.

Ref: News from M&G NSW - 4 November 2015

This email is being sent to all listed member Historical Societies, Museums and Individuals of the Central Tablelands Chapter of Museums Australia (NSW Branch) and other interested persons.
If you know of other Societies, Museums or Individuals who would like to be added to the list, please email Wal Pilz with name, address, phone no. and email address.