Silk in tatters, burst seams, sweat stained and grimy, the coatee worn by Australia’s first prime minister, Edmund Barton was in a poor state. Conservator Deb Spoehr spent painstaking hours cleaning and stabilising the coatee, preserving its fascinating story. See how this transformation took place.
Articles tagged with: heritage
Horses were a vital part of the Parliament House opening ceremonies. What did they make of all the fuss? Three photographs of Bill, the horse ridden in Canberra by the Duke of York, provide a fresh insight into the day’s events.
Hilda Abbott was a distinguished guest whose recollections reveal that behind the public performance, VIPs are only people after all.
It took determination, ingenuity and a small piece of string to get Parliament House finished in time for its grand opening in 1927.
Last week we welcomed early learners and their parents to PLAY UP for a special National Reconciliation Week event introducing museum items and activities to this small but mighty audience.
Measuring temperatures and predicting weather changes in a politically turbulent climate for years, the weather station in the heart of Old Parliament House has recently undergone conservation treatment.
As one of only two women in federal parliament, Senator Dorothy Tangney was by all accounts a strong personality, not easily cowed by her more numerous male colleagues.
It all started at the beginning of a summer scholarship at the Museum of Australian Democracy. I spent much of the first week soaking up the atmosphere, walking in the footsteps of the heroes and villains from my research.
Were you a smoker when Old Parliament House was the federal parliament? If so, then you were in good company as smoking was common.
The Speaker’s Chair, in the House of Representatives chamber, has a number of special features, and the piece is drenched in symbolism.
News-watchers might have heard about US Senator Ted Cruz and his 21-hour long filibuster to the Senate on September 24. The last filibuster in the Australian Parliament was in 1918 when ALP Senator Albert Gardiner spoke for over 12 hours.
We recently had the opportunity to travel to Aldgate in the Adelaide Hills to document master glassblower Tim Shaw creating a new lightshade which is to play a part in the Members’ Dining Room refresh project.
For the last couple of months I have been sequestered away in the museum bunker poring over and cataloguing more than 600 architectural plans. The plans trace the design, building and evolution of Old Parliament House from 1921 until 1988.
From the 14 to 20 April I had the opportunity to participate in a five day course with the Institute for Professional Practice in the Arts and Heritage, ANU held at Kakadu National Park. Wondering what tropical climates and timber buildings would hold in store for our nationally listed ‘people’s’ house, I admit to being wonderfully surprised.
I’ve been working at the museum for over 18 months now and, though I’ve become accustomed to the building’s rabbit warren-like layout and (sometimes) pokey rooms, one place that has continued to pique my interest is the room where we keep our office stationery.
We recently attended two conferences—The artefact, its context, and their narrative: multidisciplinary conservation in historic house museums and Interpretation—future challenge. Two conferences, different themes, yet we came away thinking about a common idea—’spirit of place’.
Marching through the paint layers of history—revealing the hidden secrets of Provisional Parliament House (Part 2)
A week is a long time at the Museum of Australian Democracy at Old Parliament House…especially when you are scraping paint off walls while the rest of Australia is lazing about on the beach, watching the cricket, playing with Christmas presents and feasting on leftovers.
After years consigned to the spare room, the garage and the share house, a television has finally come back to its original home in the Prime Minister’s Suite at the Museum of Australian Democracy at Old Parliament House.
Marching through the paint layers of history—revealing the hidden secrets of Provisional Parliament House (Part 1)
We are currently undertaking a refurbishment of the Members’ Dining Room so that the space meets the requirements of a contemporary function venue, yet protects, reveals and communicates the rare and significant historical features.
The first thing I wrote in my notebook when I attended the recent Museums Australia Conference in Adelaide was ‘I feel large, small, different’. Was this going to be an Alice in Wonderland experience? From the opening ceremony to the closing plenary the conference encouraged me to reflect on this museum and its place in the museum world.