This lecture unpacks the Macquarie collector’s chest. Now in the State Library of NSW collection, this cabinet of curiosities was produced around 1818 in Newcastle on Awabakal land for Governor Lachlan Macquarie, as a material celebration of the natural wealth and nascent manufactures of colonial New South Wales. The lecture places the chest in dialogue with its 21st century reincarnation, the Newcastle chest 2010, commissioned by the Newcastle Art Gallery in commemoration of the bicentenary of Macquarie’s governorship. Featuring the work of Australian artists Philip Wolfhagen, Louise Weaver, Maria Fernanda Cardoso, Esme Timbery (Bidjigal), Lionel Bawden and Scott Mitchell, this contemporary counterpart extols the bewitching wonder of the original chest, while challenging the destructive forces of colonialism that shaped its production.
Molly Duggins is a lecturer in Australian art in the Department of Art History and Theory at the National Art School in Sydney. She has been awarded fellowships at the State Library of NSW (2011) and the Yale Centre for British Art (2012). Her research interests are anchored in 19th century visual culture, particularly in that of the British Empire with a focus on Australasia. Dr Duggins has presented a number of engaging lectures for the Art Gallery Society including Impressionism and Indigenous culture as part of the Global Impressions: Arthur Streeton and worldwide impressionism lecture series and From body to spirit: death in the Middle Ages in our Art Appreciation 2021 online lecture series.
Book now until Friday 1 July for instant online access. Lectures will be available for viewing online at your own pace until Wednesday 6 July (access instructions will be provided upon booking).
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