Defending the North: Queensland in the Pacific War

Spearritt, Peter, Helmrich, Michele and Searle, Ross Defending the North: Queensland in the Pacific War. St Lucia, QLD, Australia: University Art Museum, The University of Queensland, 2005.

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Name Description MIMEType Size Downloads
Author Spearritt, Peter
Helmrich, Michele
Searle, Ross
Title Defending the North: Queensland in the Pacific War
Place of Publication St Lucia, QLD, Australia
Publisher University Art Museum, The University of Queensland
Publication year 2005
Sub-type Other
Open Access Status
ISBN 9781864998191
Language eng
Total number of pages 20
Subjects 2103 Historical Studies
Formatted Abstract/Summary
Catalogue of an exhibition at the University Art Museum, The University of Queensland 12 August - 13 November 2005. Touring venues, 2005-2007: Artspace Mackay, Mackay; Perc Tucker Regional Gallery, Townsville; Tweed River Art Gallery, Murwillumbah; Broken Hill Regional Art Gallery, Broken Hill; Rockhampton Art Gallery, Rockhampton; Maitland Regional Art Gallery, Maitland.

This exhibition, co-curated by Michele Helmrich (UQ Art Museum) and Peter Spearritt (UQ) marked the fiftieth anniversary of the end of the war in the Pacific. At the same time the Australian War Memorial had a traveling exhibition called ‘Australia Under Attack’ but that exhibition had only a modest amount of Queensland content.

Defending the North was novel in two ways: it traced the rapid rise of American forces located in a number of major centres, from Brisbane and Townsville to Gatton and the Atherton Tablelands, and it examined the evidence for the likelihood of a Japanese invasion of Australia from their bases in New Guinea. It concluded, based on the latest research from both US and Australian military historians, that the prospect of invasion, orchestrated by both Prime Minister Curtin and General Macarthur, was more about propaganda than genuine strategic prediction.

The exhibition drew on the resources of a number of major repositories, including the Australian War Memorial, the State Library of Queensland, major art galleries and regional museums throughout Queensland. It was accompanied by a 16pp catalogue and Helmrich and Spearritt wrote an article for the Griffith Review on the main themes of the exhibition. The exhibition drew financial support from the federal government’s Visions programme, enabling it to travel to Townsville and the Tweed Valley and in each case local materials were lent. It attracted over 30,000 visitors, including High School groups.
Keyword History - Queensland
Pacific Area
Original Creative Works - Textual work
Q-Index Code AX
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Non-UQ

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Created: Mon, 29 Mar 2010, 16:11:10 EST by Andrew Heath on behalf of Faculty of Arts