Day at the Melbourne Museum #1

Now that Self-stitched September is over you won’t have to put up with crappy outfit photos of me all the time*. But don’t worry, I have some other crappy photos for you under the guise of ‘what I did on the weekend’.

After a lovely brunch enjoying the sunshine with old school friends at Mr Tulk (brunch! Mr Tulk! Can you believe how cool I am?!) I got a horrible hair cut and went to the Melbourne Museum. About two years ago my mum contributed some family photos for a project the museum was doing so she got some free passes. I hadn’t used mine yet but decided I should go and check out an exhibition on textile designer John Rodriquez. Disappointingly, there are only two windows showcasing his work – here are a few shots.

I never wear a suit, but if I had a linen bag like this I would be very tempted. I can imagine some extremely hip 70s lady sending her equally hip husband off on a business trip with his spare suit in a bag like this! (By the way, if anyone wants to check these out, they are in the Melbourne Gallery of the museum).

I had a good wander around the rest of the Melbourne Gallery and would recommend it to anyone, although I suppose some of the exhibits mean more to locals than tourists. One such exhibit was the Biggest Family Album which is the project to which my mum contributed the photos. There are a few albums scattered around the Melbourne Gallery but coincidentally the first one I opened was the one where I found my grandpa…

I flicked to this page and thought ‘those ears look familiar…’

It is picture from when he worked in a hardware shop. He loved telling stories about how he used to try to sell new trade apprentices elbow grease and striped paint (typical grandpa-style jokes). He died earlier this year and I’m not sure whether he even knew he was in this album but he would have been very proud! My mum submitted other photos but I couldn’t find them, some are online though, including this one of me in a hat that I’m thinking of replicating for the Spring racing carnival …

Here are some other random things from the Melbourne Gallery:

a taxidermied version of our coat of arms

a replica of part of Cole’s Book Arcade which was a really famous store which I think closed very early in the 1900s.

It wasn’t just a book shop, it was a huge store with things like a fernery, live monkeys and other eccentric Victorian era attractions. (Seriously though, couldn’t department stores these days really use ferneries?! I might actually start shopping there if they had them!) One story I loved about the founder, Edward Cole, is that he used to hide gold “coins” around Melbourne and whoever found them could use them to buy things at the Book Arcade. Amazing marketing strategy considering this was over 100 years ago.

The Arcade’s legacy lives on in its “funny picture book” which is still available I think, my mum has a copy from when she was little which I used to love to look at, there was a copy of a similar edition on display.
This sign from an old orphanage amused me, although I hate to think of the possibly Dickensian conditions that the babies lived under….

and last but not least, for your viewing pleasure, a display demonstrating old-school multi media entertainment (projections onto walls)

*I bet you got this far and thought phew, no outfit post. But here’s one anyway, sneakily taken in the museum’s forest, just in case you were missing me! I’ll fill you in on the forest in the next post.

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