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Events in Art and Archaeology

Mask, Moche-culture
Mask, Moche-culture
Gold and the Incas: Lost Worlds of Peru
CANBERRA  •  National Gallery of Australia Web Site  •  6 December 2013 - 21 April 2014
A loan exhibition from the Museum of Gold in Lima, Peru, this 90-piece collection of Inca gold artifacts features goblets, masks, jewelry, weapons, instruments and ritual knives and other objects used for shamanic and burial rituals produced by Inca goldsmiths between 400 B.C. and 600 A.D. Video clips and a special stereoscopic laser display aim to provide additional insight into the mysticism of the Inca.

Besides exhibits from the era of the Incas, the exhibition shows a large number of gold objects from different cultures, which were annexed peacefully or forcefully by the Incas during their period of glory.

This empire extended over almost 5,000 kilometres (from north to south), along the Andes and the Pacific coast and Quetchua was the official language in the Inca empire

Cuzco was the political, religious and cultural centre of the gift of the gods without material value. For the spanish empire. Not only the ruler resided in the large town, but there was also the main shrine, the sun temple and the main place for education. During the arrival of the first Spaniards in Peru, up to 200,000 people should have lived in Cuzco.

For the Inca, gold was the symbol of the sun, of beauty and a conquerors, however, gold meant only wealth – a historical misunderstanding, which finally led to the destruction of the giant Inca empire.

National Gallery of Australia Website

Contact: National Gallery of Australia
Parkes Place, Parkes
Canberra ACT 2600
Tel: (61) 2 6240 6411

Thilly Weissenborn:&nbsp;<EM>Balineesch dansmeisj in rust</EM> (A dancing-girl of Bali, resting) c 1925 (detail)National Gallery of Australia, CanberraPurchased 2007
Thilly Weissenborn: Balineesch dansmeisj in rust
(A dancing-girl of Bali, resting) c 1925 (detail)
National Gallery of Australia, Canberra
Purchased 2007
Garden of the East: Photography in Indonesia 1850s–1940s
CANBERRA  •  National Gallery of Australia  •  21 February - 22 June 2014

In 1852, at the age of eighteen, Walter B Woodbury left behind his engineering apprenticeship in Manchester to try his luck halfway around the world in Australia’s Victorian goldfields. On arrival, he realised the easy pickings were gone and he took a variety of jobs, soon changing from a rather sheltered British ‘new chum’ into a seasoned colonial.

Not long after, in Melbourne, recalling his boyhood experiments with cameras, Woodbury invested his meagre remaining funds in a camera. This time, however, his impulsiveness paid off. Woodbury rapidly became expert in the new process of wet-plate photography on glass, and he went onto to make the earliest photographic panorama in Australia.

By 1854, Woodbury had a studio in Beechworth, and in 1855 he teamed up with young James Page from Kent. In 1857, finding there were too many competing studios in Victoria, the partners in Woodbury & Page set off for Java, their first stop on a planned business circuit of exotic ports.

A year later, on 15 June 1858, Woodbury triumphantly reported, ‘we each of us 7 or 800 pound richer’. He persuaded his brothers Henry and Albert to join him. In 1863, Woodbury returned home, newly married to his beautiful Dutch-Indonesian wife, Marie Sophie. His fine home and studio in Jakarta remained as the headquarters of the firm until 1908 under various successors, including brothers Henry and then Albert from the 1860s to 1880s.

Woodbury’s career from the 1860s was chiefly as an inventor. His super fine-quality photomechanical process, the woodburytype, was patented in 1864 and showcased in his own 1875 deluxe travel book Treasure spots of the world. Woodbury’s various inventions and ventures were ultimately not lucrative and he died in ill health aged fifty-one. Henry and Albert similarly returned home rich but did not hang onto their tropical fortunes. In its decades of operation, Woodbury & Page, however, maintained the brand. The firm’s distinctive rich-toned, detailed prints survive today as the major archive of Jakarta and nineteenth-century colonial Indonesia.

National Gallery of Australia Website

Contact: National Gallery of Australia
Parkes Place, Parkes
Canberra ACT 2600

Tel: (61) 2 6240 6411

Tarascan, Tzintzuntzan, Michoacán, West Mexico<EM>Chacmool</EM> (1200-1400) <!-- (view 1) -->stone78.7 x 119.6 x 45.0 cmNational Gallery of Victoria, MelbournePresented anonymously, 1980PC181-1980
Tarascan, Tzintzuntzan, Michoacán, West Mexico
Chacmool (1200-1400)
78.7 x 119.6 x 45.0 cm
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
Presented anonymously, 1980
The Ancient World: Mesoamerica
MELBOURNE  •  National Gallery of Victoria International  •  1 January 2010 - 31 December 2014
The pre-hispanic civilisation of Mesoamerica stands with Egypt and Mesopotamia as one of the world’s great early civilisations. For over three thousand years, a number of cultures flourished and produced extraordinary works, many depicting the human world and the natural forces that shape its affairs. Most of the stunning Mesoamerican ceramic, shell and stone objects that are on display were created to accompany the honoured dead to the afterlife.

National Gallery of Victoria International Website

Contact: NGV International
180 St Kilda Road

Tel: (61) 3 86 20 22 22

Events in Pop Culture and Cinema

Photo: James MorganCourtesy Australian Museum
Photo: James Morgan
Courtesy Australian Museum
Tyrannosaurs – Meet the Family
SYDNEY  •  Australian Museum  •  23 November 2013 - 27 July 2014

With over 10 life-sized dinosaur specimens on display, including one of the oldest tyrannosaurs, Guanlong wucaii, Tyrannosaurs – Meet the Family is designed to provide a snapshot of dinosaur life and show how this group became the world’s top predators with their massive skulls, powerful jaws and bone-crunching teeth.

Current scientific research is causing the world’s most popular dinosaur, Tyrannosaurus rex (T. rex), to be re-evaluated. Though one of the first tyrannosaurs to be discovered, T. rex – the swift, flesh-eating apex predator – was actually the last in a long dinosaur dynasty that appeared 165 million years ago and perished 100 million years later.

During the past five years, paleontologists have discovered T. rex’s smaller ancestors. One of these, Guanlong wucaii, is among the most primitive tyrannosaurs known, hunting 90 million years before T. rex. Discoveries like these are changing the story of the evolution of tyrannosaurs, and this fossil helps make the case that feathers originated in dinosaurs before they became used for flight in birds. In small, flightless dinosaurs like Guanlong wucaii, feathers may have evolved as an essential piece of equipment for staying warm. The latest dinosaur finds by Chinese palaeontologist Xing Xu and his team were discovered together in Northwestern China preserved in layers of shale, mudstone and volcanic ash. Shedding light on what life was like 160 million years ago for this group of dinosaurs, these discoveries have cemented the evolutionary link between dinosaurs and birds. Even with mass extinction events 65 million years ago, some dinosaurs survived and continued to evolve into the modern birds we live with today.

With a name meaning ‘crown dragon’, Guanlong wucaii lived 160 million years ago in the late Jurassic period, its eponymous spectacular head crest running along its snout from nostril to eye socket. Fragile, hollow and made from fused nasal bones, the crest may have been used to attract a mate.

Not a typical tyrannosaur, Guanlong wucaii had long arms and three-fingered hands for grabbing and ripping. But the shape of its teeth, skull and pelvis all link it to the tyrannosaur group. The diminutive dinosaur stood 1.1 metres tall at the hip, and measured 3 metres in length.

Dr Meng Qingin, Director of Beijing Museum of Natural History said, “This is an incredible discovery with tremendous new information on the evolution of the tyrannosaurs. Similar in appearance to ornamental features seen in birds like cassowaries and hornbills, the crest on Guanlong wucaii may have been used for display.”

Continuing he said, “It was generally accepted that birds were descended from dinosaurs. People had found many dinosaurs that shared striking similarities with early birds, yet a few things didn't quite fit. The time sequence didn't seem to be correct, for instance. Most of these bird-like dinosaurs were from the Cretaceous, from 145 million to 65 million years ago, but the earliest known bird, Archaeopteryx, was much older - from the Jurassic, 200 million to 145 million years ago. Also, if birds were descended from dinosaurs, you would predict that their dinosaur ancestors should have feathers or feather-like structures. These fossil finds now link these two theories.”

Australian Museum Website

Contact: Australian Museum
6 College St Sydney,
NSW 2010 Australia
Tel: (61) 2 93 20 60 00

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