Animal as Object – nature and culture

Written by Deb Mostert For the past five years, artist Deb Mostert has been visiting Queensland Museum weekly to draw and document the State Collection, in particular the bird and mammal collection. Her artworks from these visits form the basis of her new exhibition Animal as Object – nature and culture at the Tweed Regional Gallery. As a mid-career artist with a 35-year practice, I … Continue reading Animal as Object – nature and culture

Clothed in tradition

Written by Judith Hickson, Curator, Queensland Stories In today’s world, where increasing importance is placed on fashion, what we wear is a window into our social worlds – a kind of non-verbal, symbolic language which speaks for who we are and how we would like others to see us. Though interpretations may differ across cultures and circumstances, concepts and ideas about personality, religious affiliation, authority … Continue reading Clothed in tradition

Obscure by name, obscure by nature: A cryptic insect, little known, rarely seen

By Kieran Aland & Christine Lambkin, Queensland Museum Among the numerous objects and specimens on display at the Queensland Museum are some with truly extraordinary stories! Today Kieran from the Discovery Centre joins us to share one of his favourite specimens from the museum’s displays. This insect displayed in the Discovery Centre appears rather drab. It is so poorly known that it lacks a common … Continue reading Obscure by name, obscure by nature: A cryptic insect, little known, rarely seen

Moonshine, Cane Farms and Mascots: Histories of a Jug

How one jug in Queensland Museum’s collection can lead to many histories. Tess Shingles, Acting Assistant Curator, Queensland Stories Have you ever wondered what moonshine, Queensland farming, and mascots have in common? Answer: The Beenleigh Rum Character Jug, though perhaps not at first glance. This jug, held in Queensland Museum’s collection is quite small, colourful and full of character. The “Beenleigh Rum” painted on the … Continue reading Moonshine, Cane Farms and Mascots: Histories of a Jug

The Mabo Decision 30 years on… the legacy lives on

By Leitha Assan, Senior Curator, Indigenous Cultures From its inception in Townsville in 1981 to the High Court victory on 3 June 1992, 2022 marks 30 years since the historical landmark Mabo decision was handed down by the High Court of Australia. The High Court ruled that the Meriam people were entitled to possession, occupation, use and enjoyment of their Islands, effectively recognising their Native Title. … Continue reading The Mabo Decision 30 years on… the legacy lives on

Getting Drawn into Archaeology for National Archaeology Week

Guest Blogger – Dr Emma Rehn (@BlueRehn), James Cook University and ARC Centre of Excellence for Australian Biodiversity and Heritage (CABAH) Alongside the fascinating artefacts and objects in the archaeological collections at Queensland Museum, you’ll also find a range of maps and drawings. Archaeological illustrations record crucial data and come in many forms – read on to learn more about visuals in archaeology in honour … Continue reading Getting Drawn into Archaeology for National Archaeology Week

Resin: an essential piece of kit

By Marisa Giorgi, Information Officer, Queensland Museum There is nothing new about the use of adhesives and sealants. They have been a critical element in the technology of First Australians for thousands of years. Plant-based resin has been employed in the production of many traditional tools and when prepared correctly, resin can become as hard as rock. There is evidence of resin-use in toolmaking from … Continue reading Resin: an essential piece of kit

Cobb+Co Museum’s Horse-Drawn Omnibus

By Jeff Powell, Curator Cobb+Co Museum Next time you catch a bus, have a thought for “commuters” of Brisbane in the nineteenth century! Cobb+Co Museum in Toowoomba contains over 50 horse-drawn vehicles, including a horse-drawn omnibus. The museum preserves the history of what was known as the ‘the horse and buggy era’, but we concede that most people could not afford a buggy, nor even … Continue reading Cobb+Co Museum’s Horse-Drawn Omnibus

Brisbane floods at Queensland Museum

Flooding decimated many suburbs, businesses and homes across Brisbane in February 2022. Queensland Museum at South Bank and the Cultural Precinct Centre were closed on Sunday 27 February and will remain closed for 19 days. The recent rain wasn’t unexpected but it was unpredictable. Queensland Museum staff watched and waited in anticipation. Would the falls be larger than the floods of 2011 that closed the … Continue reading Brisbane floods at Queensland Museum

What has four legs, two wheels and flies?

By Jeff Powell, Curator Cobb+Co Museum. Transport museums are not usually associated with presenting medical advances, but few objects in any museum had a bigger impact on public health than our dunny cart. It is difficult for us in the twenty-first century to imagine a time when people were left to their own devices regarding human waste or ‘night soil’, as it was genteelly called … Continue reading What has four legs, two wheels and flies?

In every suburban street

Many of us think nothing of picking up a few things for dinner on the way home, or purchasing a trolley load of groceries at the supermarket on the weekend. Shopping in supermarkets is a part of everyday life in Australia, but it is a fairly recent phenomenon. Large suburban shopping centres only sprang up in the years since car ownership became commonplace in the 1950s. Continue reading In every suburban street

Caravanning in Queensland

By Jeff Powell, Curator Cobb+Co Museum. A caravan in Queensland Museum’s collection (H46579) was made by Duncan (Len) Macpherson around 1945. Although simple in appearance, the caravan is evidence that Len was a bit of a trendsetter. His wooden caravan is a tangible example of social changes that were about to sweep the nation. Caravans were not completely unknown in the late 1930s, but were … Continue reading Caravanning in Queensland

Tower Mill: An Archaeological Investigation of Queensland’s Oldest Surviving Building

By Taylor O’Neill – Museum Studies student at the University of Queensland with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Archaeology. Known as the Old Windmill or The Observatory, Tower Mill is an instantly recognisable part of Brisbane City and Queensland’s oldest building. What can archaeology tell us about this place? Located on Brisbane City’s Wickham Terrace, you’ve probably glanced at Tower Mill once or twice … Continue reading Tower Mill: An Archaeological Investigation of Queensland’s Oldest Surviving Building

5 minutes with Dr Paul Muir, Research Officer and Collection Manager, Corals

Dr Paul Muir is the Research Officer and Collection Manager for Corals at Museum of Tropical Queensland in Townsville. His research interests lie in mesophotic (deep reef) corals, coral bleaching, coral biogeography, coral taxonomy and marine microbiology. What is your favourite object/species in the collection and why?– Welllll…….there’s about 50 000 coral specimens in our collection, so it’s difficult to say!  But, there is this … Continue reading 5 minutes with Dr Paul Muir, Research Officer and Collection Manager, Corals

To the beach, by Cobb & Co

By Jeff Powell, Curator, Cobb+Co Museum Cobb & Co delivered mail and passengers to some of the most remote and dusty corners of Queensland such as Boulia, Croydon, and Thargomindah, but Cobb & Co was just as important to settlements around Brisbane and southeast Queensland. The opening of the railway between Brisbane and Ipswich in 1875 spelled the end of Cobb & Co’s original route … Continue reading To the beach, by Cobb & Co

‘I Do’, More Than a Dress

One of the stories featured in the ‘I Do: Wedding Stories from Queensland’ exhibition is from Torres Strait Islander man, Walter Waia who was married in the Blue Mountains in Bilpin, New South Wales in 1986. Walter met his first wife, an Australian Caucasian woman while he was working for the Department of Aboriginal Affairs in Canberra. They developed a relationship and decided to get … Continue reading ‘I Do’, More Than a Dress

Seven Fascinating Stories to Discover at I Do! Wedding Stories from Queensland

Few things change our life more than getting married. It binds us legally or emotionally to a person, a family, a community and a shared future. Currently on display at Queensland Museum are more than 40 ensembles from the museum’s collection together with loans and commissioned artwork that explore the significant rolefashion plays in revealing the diverse, rich, heartbreaking and hopeful stories behind wedding garments. … Continue reading Seven Fascinating Stories to Discover at I Do! Wedding Stories from Queensland

Once Made in Queensland (including the kitchen sink!)

2020 has been a year when many accepted practices have come under review; commuting to work, socialising with friends and family, how and where we take holidays to name a few. Covid-19 has also focused scrutiny on the origins and reliability of commodities we have come to expect as necessary for life. There was concern about the supply of toilet paper, antiseptic hand wash and … Continue reading Once Made in Queensland (including the kitchen sink!)

A Wedding Anniversary on Christmas Eve!

How many couples do you know celebrate their wedding anniversary on Christmas Eve? One married couple whose wedding story features in the museum’s exhibition I Do! Wedding Stories from Queensland did so throughout their married life. Mary Ann and John Dunlop were married 157 years ago today in 1863. What a big day it must have been for the couple to travel from Oxley down … Continue reading A Wedding Anniversary on Christmas Eve!

Is it a buckboard?

Cobb+Co Museum has always wanted a Queensland buckboard, and we think we have one… By Jeff Powell, Curator, Cobb+Co Museum The American buckboard was about as simple a four wheeled vehicle as it was possible to build. They looked like someone had taken a section of picket fence, attached a wheel in each corner and placed a seat on top and halfway back. Comfort was … Continue reading Is it a buckboard?