On May 21, around 60 Members enjoyed a visit to the Allport Library and Museum of Fine Arts. The Allport, as it is usually known, is one of those places that we all know about but keep forgetting to visit – or at least that is what a number of our Members said to us on the night. So for many people this was a very welcome chance to catch up with one of the lesser-known glories of Hobart’s cultural scene.
After refreshments and then a welcome from Friends’ President John Sexton, we heard from the Allport’s Curator Caitlin Sutton who gave us an illustrated talk about the Allport family and the story behind their bequest to the people of Tasmania, a bequest made up of fine and rare books, colonial works of art and early nineteenth century furniture, silver, glass and fine china.
We were then privileged to hear from artist Lauren Black who spoke to us about the current temporary exhibition at the Allport, Memento Mori: Art, Medicine and the Body. Lauren Black’s work explores both Western and Eastern medical traditions, and her explanation, again accompanied by illustrations, was fascinating.
After the talks, Members had the opportunity to wander through both the permanent exhibition and the temporary Memento Mori exhibition. Several Members commented upon both contrasts and parallels they found between the two very different exhibitions, and many also mentioned how much they enjoyed the chance to have an informed guide to this delightful museum and gallery.