William Blandowski self-portrait, 1860
Source: National Gallery of Victoria
Exhibition celebrating William Blandowski opens at Mildura Arts Centre.
This year marks the 150th Anniversary of William Blandowski’s expedition from Melbourne to the Murray River.
To celebrate, Museum Victoria in collaboration with Mildura Arts Centre has created an exhibition, Blandowski’s expedition to the Murray, 1857, showcasing the expedition’s story.
In April 1857, William Blandowski’s exhausted party established their base camp Mondellimin, at a site now known as Chaffey Landing. It was here that Blandowski and his assistant Gerard Krefft formed a fruitful partnership with local Aboriginal people. Based on respect and mutual curiosity, the relationship resulted in an unparalleled collection of mammals, birds and fishes.
The rich array of images and written accounts from Blandowski’s scientific encounter provide a unique picture of life on the river at a moment of profound social and environmental change.
In addition to hosting the exhibition, Mildura Arts Centre has commissioned the production of a short film, Blandowski’s Specimens: a scientific legacy and its legacy. This will be shown as a part of the exhibition and distributed to schools and libraries.
This is also the first time original specimens from Museum Victoria have been exhibited with related images from the Mitchell Library and Haddon Library.
The exhibition coincides with a symposium organised by Royal Society of Victoria, and Latrobe University, to be held at the University’s Mildura Campus from 21-23 September, looking at Blandowski’s scientific and cultural contributions,.
Blandowski’s expedition to the Murray, 1857 is on display at Mildura Arts Centre until 21 November.