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Christmas Card - Leadbeater's Possum, National Museum of Victoria, 1961 Document Reg. No: HT 31122

Christmas Card released by National Museum of Victoria featuring illustration of Leadbeater's Possum by George Browning from Charles Brazenor's book, Mammals of Victoria (1950). The illustration commemorated the re-discovery of the Leadbeater's Possum. The Leadbeater's Possum had been considered extinct for the first half of the twentieth century and the then director of the Museum, Charles Brazenor had spent his entire career in search of the species. However it was a young Museum Assistant, Eric Wilkinson whom finally made the discovery, near Marysville in April 1961.
Sheet off white card folded twice to form greeting card. Printed in gold ink on front with National Museum of Victoria logo and the word 'Greetings.'
Inside printed in green ink with message on left and on right reproduction of George Browning's sketch of Leadbeater's Possum.
Statement Of Significance:
This Christmas Card has many layers of significance. It is a rare example of the National Museum of Victoria's corporate identify in the mid twentieth century, expressly using the interests and expertise of its staff in its dealings with stakeholders. Secondly it is an intriguing ephemeral link to the ongoing fate of Victoria's State Faunal Emblem, Leadbeater's Possum. Charles Brazenor (Curator of Mammals and eventually Museum Director), regardless of the wide acceptance that the species was extinct had spent his life searching for Leadbeater's Possum. Although that honour finally went to one of the Museum's young assistants, Eric Wilkinson and not Brazenor, as Director, his selection of this as the subject for the annual Christmas Card illustrates his sense of celebration. Unfortunately the species today continues to teeter on the brink of extinction. Finally the illustration is a fine example of the work of artist George Browning, whom also worked on the Museum's 1940s Diorama series.
Acquisition Information:
Donation from Eric Wilkinson, 2012
Discipline: History
Dimensions: 240 mm (Height), 335 mm (Width)

More information

Tagged with: natural history, state emblems, christmas cards, mammalogy, natural sciences, mammals, leadbeater
Themes this item is part of: Public Life & Institutions Collection
Primary Classification: MUSEUM HISTORY
Secondary Classification: Corporate Identity
Tertiary Classification: Christmas Cards
Publisher: National Museum of Victoria, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, 1961

Of Christmas Card
Illustrator: Mr George Browning, Victoria, Australia, circa 1950

Browning originally drew this Leadbeater's Possum for Brazenor's Mammals of Victoria which was published in 1950
  1. [Book], Mr George Browning, Mr Charles Brazenor - National Museum of Victoria, The Mammals of Victoria, Brown, Prior, Anderson Pty. Ltd., Melbourne, 1950

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