The Awards program encourages excellence and recognises the significant positive impact of our highest achievers in contributing to the sector by establishing benchmark excellence in Exhibitions, Public Programs, and projects and developments that promote ethical and sustainable practices.

The 2013 Awards were presented at the Museums Australia National Conference in Canberra, on Sunday 19 May.

Congratulations to the awardees of the Museums & Galleries National Awards 2013.

See the Winners Book for all the awards and details (.pdf, 0.6mb)


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Museums Australia are very grateful to the judges who supplied their time end expertise for the judging held in Canberra in April.

EXHIBITION JUDGES
Rebecca Coronel, National Museum of Australia
Dr Christopher Chapman, National Portrait Gallery
Bernice Murphy, Museums Australia

PUBLIC PROGRAM JUDGES
David Arnold, National Museum of Australia
Marie Wood, heritage and museum education professional (retired)

SUSTAINABILITY JUDGE
Lee Scott, Museums Australia

 

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NATIONAL WINNER

Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery
Redevelopment Project - Core Exhibitions

Judges comments: ‘The redevelopment of the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery core exhibitions utilises more spaces (including the new Bond Store displays) to produce an integrated suite of museum displays, and achieving a greater consistency of collection presentations and experiences than was attainable in the institution’s previous history. The exhibitions presenting both Aboriginal and settler history in their contrasting viewpoints, as well as their interconnections, and making the most of collection resources and supplementary interpretative (including digital) techniques, has also reached a level of integrated ‘story telling’ for Tasmanians and other visitors that is unsurpassed in the institution’s long evolution.

The architectural redevelopment, providing beautifully designed new and refurbished spaces for the new exhibitions, as well as interconnecting older displays and facilities on the site, has produced highly successful, visitor-appealing outcomes. The TMAG redevelopment of core exhibitions has demonstrably garnered much community engagement and support, and will provide a strong basis for the further redevelopments still planned.’

 

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PUBLIC PROGRAMS

LEVEL 1 (LESS THAN $20,000)

HIGHLY COMMENDED

National Museum of Australia and Barking Spider Visual Theatre
Museum on the Move: Family Festival

Inspired by the planes, trains and automobiles on show in the Hall, ‘Museum on the Move’, was themed around the large objects in the Hall and the different kinds of transport people have used to travel around Australia. The program involved live performances and craft activities.

Judges comments: ‘The museum successfully collaborated with expertise in theatre and puppetry to animate objects in their collection and bring their stories into the present. The program was demonstrably well received by the public.’

WINNER (shortlisted for National Award)

National Portrait Gallery
ADFAS Hearing Impaired Program

The National Portrait Gallery has designed a program, which has been made possible by a gift of $1,200 from ADFAS Canberra, for hearing impaired children to discover and enjoy the gallery. The program’s objectives were to engage the children in an interactive experience stimulated by portraiture; to explore and encourage physical expressiveness through the creation and performance in a mask as an extension of self; to promote social confidence and interact with others.

Judges comments: ‘This is a carefully constructed program funded by ADFAS for young, often isolated hearing-impaired students from unrelated schools: designed to use portraits to focus discussion and activities around ideas of portraiture and identity development. The success of the program is augmented by continued funding from ADFAS achieved for further developments. This program is a wonderful example of how modest financial resources can be utilised to engage with isolated community groups.’

LEVEL 2 ($20,000 - $150,000)

HIGHLY COMMENDED

MacArthur Museum Brisbane
Back to Brisbane - 70th Anniversary of General MacArthur’s Arrival in Brisbane

Judges comments: ‘This well-sponsored festival coordinated activities and events with a diverse selection of community organisations, and achieved a dynamic celebration of a little-known event. It would have been difficult to be in Brisbane at the time and not know that this event was happening.’

Lake Macquarie City Art Gallery
Stencils Past, Stencils Last

Judges comments: ‘This program is commended for its excellent development incorporating successful collaboration with the Indigenous community.;

WINNER (shortlisted for National Award)

Museum of Chinese Australian History
The Travelling Museum

The Travelling Museum consists of a team of instructors from the Chinese Museum travelling to schools around Melbourne for a half-day program of activities and workshops. Each student participates in three varied components including a dance session, an object-based session and a hands-on craft session. The activities are all highly participatory and focus on Chinese culture, history, arts and crafts, and Chinese Australian history.

Judges comments: ‘The Travelling Museum uses innovative activities and programs in conjunction with collection items and traditional practices to engage school children innovatively with Chinese history. The program has been so successfully realised as to secure ongoing funding, and is well-received by schools and teachers, so that it has expanded its reach beyond metropolitan Melbourne.’

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SUSTAINABILITY

LEVEL 1 (LESS THAN $20,000)

WINNER

Museum of Chinese Australian History
Water Dragon

Claire Tracey’s Water Dragon is a project developed in collaboration between the artist, the Chinese Museum and the City of Melbourne’s Arts and Participation program. Conceived as a two part project, Water Dragon consists of a series of workshops, where school groups participated in creating a series of scrolls around the theme of ‘The Year of the Dragon’. The scrolls were then exhibited in the Museum. These drawings then informed the design of a dragon sculpture made from up-recycled plastic bottles hung above Cohen Lane in front of the Museum. The artist of this piece, Claire Tracey, is a Melbourne based installation artist with a particular focus on art in public space practice.

Judges comments: ‘This project is an excellent expression of the agency museums can take, through innovative, collaborative public projects, in promoting awareness and active community participation of environmental sustainability and adaptive reuse.’

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EXHIBITION (PERMANENT)

LEVEL 1 (LESS THAN $20,000)

HIGHLY COMMENDED

Mineral Heritage Museum
Minerals Heritage Museum

The Minerals Heritage Museum (MHM) has a display located in the heart of Brisbane, and aims to preserve, display and educate the public about these beautiful and wonderful freaks of nature.

Judges comments: ‘This museum has demonstrated fine work in the area of public access, and is commended for the production of its exhibition support materials. There is a clear rationale for the update work achieved. The museum’s purposive utilisation of collection management techniques has had very positive outcomes.’

LEVEL 2 ($20,000 - $150,000)

HIGHLY COMMENDED

City of Armadale
Welcome to Armadale 1830-1913

This exhibition presents early European discovery and settlement of the district, contact and conflict with the districts traditional owners and the struggles people faced whilst living in the district.

Judges comments: ‘This is an interesting presentation and a strong example of what can be achieved by an organisation with a small budget. The exhibition updates clearly address issues of eco-friendly and sustainable practices.’

LEVEL 4 (MORE THAN $500,000)

WINNER (shortlisted for National Award)

Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery
Redevelopment Project - Core Exhibitions

The Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery (TMAG) cares for the Tasmanian state collections that include the sciences, art and design, cultural heritage and the State Herbarium. The Redevelopment project has allowed for a complete re-think of how TMAG interprets stories and present them to visitors. In essence the project is unique because it is the first large scale collective re-interpretation of the state’s collections since the museum opened in 1863.

Judges comments: ‘The redevelopment of the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery core exhibitions utilises more spaces (including the new Bond Store displays) to produce an integrated suite of museum displays, and achieving a greater consistency of collection presentations and experiences than was attainable in the institution’s previous history. The exhibitions presenting both Aboriginal and settler history in their contrasting viewpoints, as well as their interconnections, and making the most of collection resources and supplementary interpretative (including digital) techniques, has also reached a level of integrated ‘story telling’ for Tasmanians and other visitors that is unsurpassed in the institution’s long evolution. The architectural redevelopment, providing beautifully designed new and refurbished spaces for the new exhibitions, as well as interconnecting older displays and facilities on the site, has produced highly successful, visitor-appealing outcomes. The TMAG redevelopment of core exhibitions has demonstrably garnered much community engagement and support, and will provide a strong basis for the further redevelopments still planned.’

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EXHIBITION (TEMPORARY)

LEVEL 1 (LESS THAN $20,000)

HIGHLY COMMENDED

Mosman Art Gallery
Attack - Japanese Submarines in Sydney Harbour

Judges comments: ‘This exhibition is a credit to the artist, known for different celebratory works, commissioned to respond to a darker local history event not greatly represented in the art world previously. The exhibition therefore has a strong public appeal. Future plans to travel the exhibition to Japan were commended by the judges.’

WINNER

Western Australian Museum Geraldton
Seeing Change: A photographic story from Abrolhos fishers

A fishing community’s experience of environment and social change seen through the camera lens.

Judges comments: ‘This exhibition covers material from social and natural history and contemporary topical issues. The exhibition is graphically strong and incorporates a great selection of images. The public outreach programs are comprehensive as is the involvement of the wider community.’

LEVEL 2 ($20,000 - $150,000)

HIGHLY COMMENDED

Maitland Regional Art Gallery
Creative Power: The Art of George Baldessin

An exhibition of selected prints and drawings showing the development of Baldessin’s various themes as well as his very individual style.

Judges comments: ‘An imaginatively conceived exhibition that honours the aesthetics of the artist through strong, unifying design and professionally produced collateral components. The exhibition also includes an excellent education component.’

WINNER

Maitland Regional Art Gallery
Paperworks

A series of exhibitions set out across 11 gallery spaces. Featuring artists from Australian, America and Europe showcasing paper as a medium.

Judges comments: ‘This exhibition takes a range of different approaches and includes an imaginative selection of diverse participants - all unified as part of a strong and cohesive package. The quality of the individual catalogues impressed judges in the high value given to the diversity of each artist’s practice, while maintaining the unity of concept.’

LEVEL 3 ($150,000 - $500,000)

HIGHLY COMMENDED

State Library of Victoria
Look!

Look! celebrates the worlds and stories revealed in picture books today. Original artwork, sketches and drawings by more than 40 Australian illustrators are on display, including Bob Graham, Ann James, Shaun Tan, Graeme Base, Leigh Hobbs and Terry Denton.

Judges comments: ‘A vibrant and innovative community outreach program and travelling exhibition has made ‘Look!’ both attractive and engaging for all ages.’

WINNER

Museum Victoria
The Art of Science: Remarkable Natural History Illustrations from Museum Victoria

Museum Victoria presents the development of scientific art from the museum’s seldom seen collection of artworks and rare books, and stunning images produced with microscopes, macro-lenses, and computers.

Judges comments: ‘This comprehensive exhibition makes a range of connections and brings the museum’s collections ‘alive’ in fresh ways. The exhibition has been thoroughly realised and interpreted, and beautifully executed with a fine contemporary edge.’

LEVEL 4 (MORE THAN $500,000)

HIGHLY COMMENDED

State Library of Victoria
Love & Devotion

Love and devotion celebrated the beauty of Persian manuscripts and the stories of human and divine love that they tell. The exhibition featured nearly 70 rare 13th- to 18th-century Persian, Mughal Indian and Ottoman Turkish illustrated manuscripts and miniatures, and early European manuscripts.

Judges comments: ‘This exhibition takes a classic theme and objects and provides a rich, multicultural exploration of the content, elucidated through various themes and beautiful collateral.’

WINNER

Australian Centre for the Moving Image
Game Masters

Game Masters showcased the world’s best videogame designers with over 100 and mobile game technology. Over 30 game designers who have made a significant and ongoing impact in the field were profiled throughout the exhibition through a combination of rare concept artwork archival material, newly commissioned interviews and playable games. The Game Masters exhibition was accompanied by a series of public, film and education programs, appealing to people of all ages and abilities, from the budding game developer to smart phone users, from children to the ‘original’ gamers.

Judges comments: ‘Game Masters has a strong and engaging personality, appropriate to the target audiences. The exhibition is innovative and demonstrates admirable curatorial rigour in the research and investigation that has gone into its realisation. Significant challenges and issues are raised through the project, and dealt with further in the accompanying education materials, which the judges found admirable.’

 

 

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