Blandowski's expedition to the Murray, 1857

An exhibition celebrating William Blandowski.

Past Event: 15 December 2007 to 10 March 2008

Aboriginal domestic scene from Blandowski’s 'Australien in 142 Photographischen Abbildungen, 1857 Murray/Darling expedition'
Source: Haddon Library, Cambridge University

The 150th Anniversary of William Blandowski's expedition from Melbourne to the Murray River.

In April 1857, William Blandowski's exhausted party established their base camp Mondellimin, at a site that is 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.

Blandowski's expedition to the Murray, 1857 exhibition will also feature the first image of an Australian football game being played by Indigenous people.

Comments (2)

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Rose Adlard 16 February, 2013 12:38
Hello Team Members ! 2 x ???'s 1. Blandowski's Specimen list : do we have a list of extinct species that were named on his list ? 2. Whatever happened to the archaeologist who discovered the 'Moree Lion" in 1969 ? and where is this exhibited? Many thanks Rosie
Discovery Centre 11 June, 2013 11:48

Hello Rose, apologies for the lateness of this reply - it's quite a complex one. The first part, on Blandowski's specimen list, is difficult to answer, as several species have become extinct since Blandowski's fieldwork. Logically his list will denote species that were still extant at that time. Considerable research would be needed to establish the current status of each species recorded, and if this is something you'd like to undertake I suggest you contact us via our Ask the Experts page and we can look further into this for you - it will involve accessing some archival material, so it may take a while to resolve.

The second part of your query about the "Moree Lion" is unrelated to Blandowski from what I can tell - the animal in question was Thylacoleo carnifex, an extinct carnivorous marsupial. The fossilised remains of one individual was discovered in a loam pit near Moree in 1966 according to this website and the research shown here. The specimen is in the Palaeontology Collections of the Australian Museum in Sydney.

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