|Exhibition Banner, National Museum of Australia|
A new exhibition celebrating Australia in 1913 is open to the public at the National Museum of Australia.
It is titled Glorious Days - Australia 1913.
The year 1913 was a fascinating and important time for Australians, although the events of the following year have tended to cast a retrospective shadow over it.In places as far apart as Antarctica, Papua and Great Britain, Australian ambitions were high; the new navy was a source of national pride; the arts flourished and the motor car and movies were having their first impacts.The political landscape and the lives of working men and women were rapidly changing, and the foundation stone for the new capital was laid.
Most importantly, the exhibition seeks to correct one of the most persistent myths in Australian history - that Australia's sense of national unity, even Australia's birth, was on the beaches of Anzac Cove on 25th April 1915. As Andrew Sayers, Museum Director, writes:
"Like all myths, it has an element of truth ... but Australians in 1913 would have seen things very differently - there was a strong sense of Australian confidence in that year and there are many events and achievements ... that are evidence of a definable national experience.",
|Souvenir photograph from Victor Trumpers testimonial match, 1913. National Museum of Australia|
"The popular myth is that Australia came of age amid the carnage of World War I. But years before Gallipoli, this young nation was internationally admired for its progressive policies, sporting dash and bold optimism."
For Ross McMullin's full article from the Sydney Morning Herald click here.As Australia approaches the coming Centenary of Anzac, this exhibition is a telling reminder of how Australia was before the war and a future that was lost on the battlefields of the First World War.
The exhibition website also includes access to a series of informative lectures exploring what was happening in Australia 100 years ago, inspired by our Glorious Days: Australia 1913 exhibition.These include audio and transcript from each lecture in this series:
- '"Adulation, fame and money": Sport and celebrity in 1913' with historian Dr Guy Hansen on 8 October 2013
- 'Women in White Australia' with historian Professor Rae Frances on 24 September 2013
- 'Leisure time: 1913' with historian Professor Jill Julius Matthews on 27 August 2013 - audio and transcript
- '"Gone to Navy": Defending Australia' with historians Dr Peter Stanley and Dr David Stevens on 30 July 2013 - audio and transcript
- 'The state of photography 1913' with historian Helen Ennis on 5 June 2013 - audio and transcript
- 'Australians in Antarctica 1913' with environmental historian Professor Tom Griffiths on 28 May 2013 - audio and transcript
- 'Australian art and artists in 1913' with National Museum Director Andrew Sayers on 30 April 2013 - audio and transcript
- 'Surveyors at the snowline: Surveying the ACT–NSW border 1910–15' with Canberra historian Matthew Higgins on 12 April 2013 - audio and transcript
- '1913: Australia's place in the world?' with historian Dr Nicholas Brown on 26 March 2013 - audio and transcript
For more information on the exhibition, click here
|Australian actress Louise Carbasse, about 1913. Photograph by Rudolph Buchner. Dickson Galleries, State Library of New South Wales PI/304.|
The exhibition also has a richly illustrated book revealing life in Australia in 1913, from the experiences of ordinary Australians, to the emerging place of this new nation in the world.
Seventeen fascinating essays look at the political landscape, the fashions, the music, the art and the events that defined the year.
Andrew Sayers, Director of the National Museum of Australia, writes:
"This book is an in-depth look at life in Australia a century ago. Readers will get a real sense of how we have changed – but equally, how we are still grappling with the same ideas and issues as our ancestors of that fascinating period."
If you can get to Canberra, catch this important exhibition or you can order the book from the National Museum of Australia.
Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee