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  • 22 Oct 2015 4:43 AM | Anonymous

    TMAG Director Janet Carding addresses members at the Friends of TMAG Annual General Meeting, September 2015

    As mentioned previously, once the formal business of our AGM on 24 September was finished with, members were provided with a review of recent projects and a tantalising preview of forthcoming events and activities by Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery Director, Janet Carding.

    This is a transcript of her address.

    >>>

    I’ve been at TMAG for less than six months so I can’t tell you about everything we’ve done over the last year, but here are some highlights of 2014–15:

    The many exhibitions included Bush Blitz in Focus: Discovering New Species in Tasmania, City of Hobart Art Prize 2014, George Davis: Master Draughtsman, Jorg Schmeisser: Antarctic Paintings, 21 Up, Things I Once Knew: The Art of Patrick Hall and The Suspense is Awful: Tasmania and the Great War

    Participation by TMAG scientists in the national Bush Blitz Program field expedition to the Arthur, Pieman and Savage River areas

    Acquisitions have added to our collections including a new piece by Patrick Hall, depth of field bought with the support of the Foundation; a watercolour by Benjamin Duterrau, Schone Castle, Scotland; 1960s dining room suite by Schulim Krimper (dining table, dining chairs, side table, sideboard), coffee table and desk; Patricia Dukes Antarctic collection, 1995–2005. Equipment and supporting documentation for the 1997 Spirit of Australia South Pole expedition, 2000 International Trans Antarctic expedition and the 2002 Arctic expedition; Voucher collection of Tasmanian freshwater invertebrates from Australian River Assessment System (AUSRIVAS) sampling program, of unknown value

    Expansion of key partnerships, particularly with the City of Hobart in the delivery of the inaugural summer Friday Nights at TMAG series supported by the council’s cultural initiative, Creative Hobart   

    Expansion of outreach and art education activities delivered through AccessArt and supported by Detached Cultural Foundation including live virtual tours, Make Your Mark: Freedom youth art initiative and the Artist in Residence Program, January 2015

    Expansion of learning programs to include a hands-on program milaythina Makara takila-ti or Country forever in our hearts presented by Tasmanian Aboriginal community members and TMAG staff and the very popular Colonial Hobart Comes Alive

    NAIDOC Week and National Science Week programming and a new partnership with Questacon, The National Science and Technology Centre in the delivery of the Invention Convention at TMAG

    And looking ahead we’ve signed an MOU with the Natural History Museum, Le Havre in conjunction with six other museums around Australia to be part of a touring exhibition throughout 2016 and 2017 of original artworks from Baudin’s expeditions to Australia.

    We have finished the year [with visitor numbers] around 360,000. This is good news as we expected to drop back from the giddy heights of the 475,000 the previous year, but I understand drops of up to 50% are not uncommon in the second year after a reopening.

    I know that TMAG is a much-loved organization and the recent redevelopment has been positively received. We have:

    • Strong collections, 1 million strong, with a unique Tasmanian focus – we tell the stories of Tasmania
    • Lots of programs, and considerable innovation happening
    • Dedicated supporters in Volunteers, Friends, Foundation and TMAGgots
    • Good in-house expertise eg in Conservation, registration, outreach, Aboriginal engagement
    • A wonderful location for our main site, and good collection facilities at Rosny.

    Around the world museums and galleries are changing as we see more programs and events alongside the exhibitions and educational activities, evening openings, collaborations around research, new initiatives for early years, wellness and medical, and increase in collections online. Over the next few years we’ll see increasing use of big data, and gain a better understanding of how museums strengthen communities – giving people a strong sense of identity grounded in history, art and landscape – in this globalised world.

    Within Tasmania we’re seeing a push to increase tourism to 1.5 million visitors, but also initiatives around educational attainment – in all of these areas TMAG can and will play an important role.

    With the first stage of the redevelopment completed now is the time to build on what we’ve achieved and focus on how we bring the museum and art gallery to life everyday. We’re working on our plans for the future and by the end of the year will have a new strategic plan, but what I can tell you today is that we should be:

    • The leading destination to explore the stories of Tasmania
    • A must-do for tourists and popular with locals

    We do this by being:

    • Compelling for adults, families and school students
    • A centre for volunteering, philanthropy and citizen science/humanities
    • The State’s collections content hub, supporting culture, tourism, research and education state-wide

    This year while we plan we’re making a start by using our next exhibitions to build awareness of the role we play in the community. Let me give you some of the highlights:

    We’ve put together the evening events that take place at TMAG, so we can better promote what goes on here, and you can put them in your diary well in advance.

    The Hobart Art Prize has just returned, putting us in the spotlight around contemporary practice in Tasmania.

    A week later on Sat 26 Sept we will be opening Colonial Panoramic Views, a rich display curated by Sue Backhouse

    In mid-December we open Pattern Play, an exhibition that uses the patterns in art and nature to inspire families and young people in their creativity, major show from QAG, with additional material by TMAG which runs until late May next year. We are delighted that the committee of the Friends has committed $15,000 to support the development of new exhibitions about patterns in nature for this show.

    Snapshot photography in mid-March 2016 – documenting the experience of women migrating to Tasmania from 1945 to 1975

    And then in mid-June 2016 our major exhibition, The Tempest, will open to coincide with Dark MOFO.

    Alongside all of this we’ll be completing our plans, building partnerships, promoting ourselves to tourists, increasing our volunteering opportunities and building the case for major investment in our technology – particularly our collections management system – the way we aim to digitise our collections and build a platform that can be shared with the other state organisations to put Tasmania on the map in terms of online access to our unique resources, libraries, archives, museum and galleries.

    It is a lot to do and very exciting, and we’ll need your help to make TMAG truly thrive in this world. A museum is as strong as the community that supports it and, whether your interest is in Tasmania’s art, education, research or history, your support can make a major difference.

    I’ve already been struck by the joy, enthusiasm and generosity of the Friends, always enjoying learning and new experiences, whilst supporting TMAG. Thank you for making me welcome, and I look forward to talking more with you as each new idea for TMAG take shape.

  • 19 Oct 2015 10:56 PM | Anonymous


    After our first visit to the Theatre Royal sold out quickly, we were able to schedule a second visit for those who missed out. 

    Most of us are familiar with the theatre from the seating in the stalls, the balcony, and even the gods, but not many have seen it from the other side of the stage.

    Our guide Robyn Rheinberger took us first outside, where layers of sandstone, brick and steel reveal the history of the building. Inside is a rabbit warren of dressing rooms, narrow corridors, the green room (which isn't green), the orchestra pit, and finally the stage, with its ancient boards and modern lighting and curtain-raising. 

    A fascinating insight and a great afternoon tea to follow!


  • 08 Oct 2015 8:25 AM | Anonymous


    Thanks to the Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens for hosting a terrific event for the Friends of the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery on a mild October evening.

    RTBG staff members Natalie Tapson and Lorraine Perrins inspired members with their overview of the incredible scientific and conservation work that is done quietly behind the scenes as we enjoy the beauty and tranquillity of the Gardens. 

    Members commented that they had been unaware of the effort that was required and expended on ensuring the long-term survival of Tasmania's rare and endangered native species, and were thrilled and gratified to know that this work was being done by such skilled and passionate professionals at the Gardens.

  • 26 Sep 2015 12:39 PM | Anonymous

    Vice President Christopher Thomas gets proceedings underway

    The Friends of TMAG AGM for 2015 was held on Thursday 24 September at TMAG.

    At the meeting, a special resolution was carried, implementing the proposed updates to the Friends' Constitution. The documentation is being finalised, and a copy of the revised Constitution is available here.

    A new committee (with some familiar faces) was elected. The office bearers are Julie Hawkins, President, Christopher Thomas,  Vice President, Andrew Ross, Secretary and Noel Harper, Treasurer

    We are delighted that Suzy Cooper has agreed to join our committee. Suzy brings experience as a communications professional along with roles as a Hobart City Council Alderman and the TMAGgots to the team. She joins committee members Jean Boughey, David Coleman, Digby Longhurst and Matthew Spencer. 

    After what we understand is a record-breaking six year tenure as President, John Sexton is currently enjoying some overseas travel, but he tells us he will be exercising his option (as provided in the Constitution) to join the Committee as Immediate Past President, to which we look forward.

    Following the formal business of the meeting, TMAG Director Janet Carding gave members a review of TMAG's highlights for the past year and a preview of some exciting forthcoming activities.


  • 30 Aug 2015 11:33 AM | Anonymous

    On a very cold and wet Winter’s afternoon 32 keen members of the Friends of TMAG battled the elements to attend a guided tour of the Theatre Royal.


    We were told how the theatre started its life and the various uses including being used for boxing competitions. Also the dubious ‘goings-on’ in the theatre and the conditions at the time of both what happened in the theatre and its surrounds. The history and the tenuous times that the theatre endured  continue to the present day.

    The technical procedures of how an event is staged and how equipment and props are delivered on stage were of interest.


    Looking back into the auditorium is a magical experience that few had experienced and the difference of the opulence of the auditorium compared to the basic conditions backstage for the cast of productions was commented on.

    The dressing room used by Laurence Olivier and Vivien Leigh was of interest and one member shared her memories of having seen them when they performed at the theatre in 1948.


    A lovely afternoon tea was enjoyed after the tours with much chat about the experience.

  • 28 Aug 2015 4:38 PM | Anonymous

    At the AGM of the Friends of TMAG in September, there will be a motion presented to amend certain parts of the Friends' Constitution. 

    The Constitution hasn't been amended since 1999 and, as you can imagine, there are some aspects that are now somewhat out-of-date. For example, the Constitution (Paragraph 9) allows onloy one method of payment of bills; that is, by cheque. As you will be aware, cheques are becoming an endangered speicies in commercial life, and your Committee needs the freedom to operate financially in other ways.

    Similarly, the Constitution (Paragraph 6) prescribes what the membership fees are, and they similarly haven't changed since 1999. The current Committee isn't proposing a change to annual membership fees, but rather the constitutional ability to change them should there be a reason to do so.

    Another area that the Committee feels needs amendment relates to our connections with our sister organisations, the Foundation and the TMAGots. The Friends are the senior of the three, in terms of their formation date, but where there were clear inter-connections between us and each of the other two in previous times, we now see a situation where the three organisations have become quite independent of each other, and the links between the Friends and the Foundation that are referred to in our Constitution (Paragraphs 2 and 5) no longer seem appropriate, particularly as the TMAGots have never had any such constitutional connection to the Friends. The Committee is proposing that those historical and restrictive links be severed by the removal of all reference to the Foundation in the Constitution.

    There is no proposal to alter the basic meanings, values and purposes of the Friends as established in the Constitution; all the amendments we are proposing are either to reflect current practice, to ease restrictions (particularly in financial matters), to remove historical anomalies and/or to amend minor wording issues. The changes do not in any way affect the fundamental principles, values and intent of the Friends of TMAG, and they affect only five of the 35 paragraphs in the Constitution.

    The amendments can be viewed in the document available for download below. The sections to be removed are shown as being struck out, with the proposed replacements indicated with highlighting (track changes for those familiar with word processing parlance).

    If any member has any queries about the proposed amendments, please get in touch with us by emailing friends@tmag.tas.gov.au or by speaking directly with a member of your Committee. 

    FTMAG Constiution 2015 with proposed ammendments.pdf


  • 16 Aug 2015 10:06 AM | Anonymous

    Friends of TMAG members are warmly invited to attend this special book launch, to be performed by TMAG Director Janet Carding. The launch will take place in the midst of the exhibition featuring the book's subject, Patrick's stunning work When My Heart Stops Beating (2011)

    Patrick will read from the book, which is limited to just 100 individually signed and numbered copies. 

    The launch will also be one of the final opportunities to enjoy the wonderful exhibition Things I Once Knew: The Art of Patrick Hall, which closes on 30 August 2015.

    2.00pm Saturday 22 August 2015

    Venue: Argyle Gallery 3, Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery

    Numbers for the launch are limited; please RSVP by Friday, 21 August on (03) 6165 7001(03) 6165 7001(03) 6165 7001(03) 6165 7001 or tmagmail@tmag.tas.gov.au



    Secure your copy

    If you'd like to secure your copy of this limited edition publication, the Museum shop is taking pre-orders (with payment)  and members will receive their 10% discount.

    The RRP is $235.00. Contact the shop directly, via the above phone number, more more details.

  • 03 Aug 2015 12:33 PM | Anonymous

    Our website and online payments system is fully operational and we are asking members to visit the website and make use of the online payments system.

    This will help to reduce the substantial workload borne by your committee to manually administer membership renewals and other transactions and communications, and will save the association significant amounts of money currently spent on postage. These funds can then be used for our fundamental purpose - supporting the work of TMAG. 

    To assist members, we have prepared detailed, step-by step instructions on how to log on, setup or reset passwords, and make online payments. 

    Read the instructions

  • 20 Jul 2015 2:21 PM | Anonymous

    Our Members’ event for July was an illustrated talk by Zoe Rimmer entitled Indigenous Culture, Here and Overseas.

    Zoe Rimmer is TMAG’s Acting Senior Curator Indigenous Culture and her very informative and beautifully illustrated talk was appreciated by around 50 Members.


    After an acknowledgment of the traditional owners of the land where TMAG now stands, Friends’ President John Sexton welcomed Members to a talk which, as he said, was in many ways overdue: it had been some time since the Friends had heard of the latest developments at TMAG in Indigenous Culture.


    Guest speaker Zoe Rimmer told Members of her trip to North America and Europe last year on a Churchill Fellowship. She had visited a number of museums in several countries where items of great importance to Tasmanian indigenous culture were held, including several items that were, to the best of her knowledge, unique.

    She also reported on her recent discussions in London and Paris regarding the latest round of repatriation talks with several major museums. She was able to report on the success of some of these talks with several museums, but also reported that there was a need for further discussion with some others. Overall, however, Members were left with the impression that considerable advances had been made in matters of repatriation, and that more success could be expected in the future.


  • 07 Jul 2015 12:38 PM | Anonymous

    We're delighted to advise that payments for Friends of TMAG memberships, renewals, events and donations can now be made directly online on our website using Paypal.

    You can use your credit card or funds directly from your bank account. Next time you are on the website and need to make a payment, you'll see 'Pay Online' as an option. Click on that and the system will step you through the process - it's very easy and secure.

    Of course, you can still make payment by our other methods too - cheiques and direct deposit into our account. And the good people at the TMAG shop can accept cash payments for membership renewals and donations - just pop in and take your membership renewal form with you.

    Find out more about using Paypal

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