Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Bring In Your Memorabilia Day

They came alone, in pairs and in groups, some nervous and others unsure if their questions could be answered, but also proud of their family-member’s contribution during times of war. Gently, they carried softly yellowing photographs, medals hanging from a rainbow of ribbons and hand-written letters, postcards and diaries from fathers, uncles and grand-fathers, barely legible through the passage of time.

These personal treasures and their caretakers made their way to MGA last Saturday for a very special event: four experts from the Australian War Memorial in Canberra had come to visit for Bring In Your Memorabilia Day.

For four hours Kate Dethridge, Curator of Photographs; Dianne Rutherford, Acting Curator, Military Heraldry & Technology; Helen Butler, Conservator, Paper & Photographs and Dr Karl James, Historian provided advice to over 140 visitors.

The age, origin and significance of the treasures were common queries with some visitors having only recently discovered photographs that had been hidden away. For many, their items were in need of care and they left armed with tips and suggestions to ensure their preservation for future generations. Some came away with a sense of relief, their queries answered, others with yet more questions.

MGA would like to extend its thanks to Kate, Dianne, Helen and Karl for their time and expertise, the Australian War Memorial and also the Department of Veterans’ Affairs Commemorations Program for their generous funding and support of the day.

Whilst there is just six weeks remaining to see Icon & archive: photography & the World Wars there are plenty more events to come, check out our events calendar for more details.

Kate Dethridge & Dr Karl James provide advice to gallery visitors
© Monash Gallery of Art 2010 photo: Stephanie Richter

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