The social life of things: UQ centenary exhibition

Young, Diana (2010) The social life of things: UQ centenary exhibition. St Lucia, QLD, Australia, The University of Queensland Anthropology Museum.

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Name Description MIMEType Size Downloads
Author Young, Diana
Title The social life of things: UQ centenary exhibition
Place of publication St Lucia, QLD, Australia
Publisher The University of Queensland Anthropology Museum
Publication date 2010-04-18
Total pages 1 curated exhibition
Language eng
Subject Curated or Produced Substantial Public Exhibition/Event - Exhibition/Event
Formatted Abstract/Summary
This exhibition that celebrates the centenary of the University of Queensland takes its inspiration from a highly influential collection of essays called ‘the Social Life of Things’. Things have pathways through the world. As they move they are re-contextualised and their meaning changes. The eclectic things in this exhibition from staff and post-graduates in the School of Social Science and treasures from the Anthropology Museum Collection are all presented through the lens of these ideas. The more humble an object the more everyday life it has. Supermarket trolleys, cars, canoes, letters and money all have hectic social lives. Land, buildings and trees tend also to have busy social lives.

The show includes surveying equipment used by explorer Augustus Gregory connected to the Leichardt expedition. The wine stopper made from a tree that was initialed by William Landsborough, later Surveyor General of Queensland, is next to his surveying equipment. There is a fluted wooden shield excavated when the Archerfield airport runway was made in Brisbane and a painting by Judy Watson inspired by the shield and its discovery.

Things used or collected by a soldier recently serving in Iraq include ‘Iraq’s Most Wanted’ playing cards. Recently rediscovered original letters written by two famous early anthropologists, Margaret Mead and Phyllis Karberry to Caroline Tennant- Kelly will be on public display for the first time. There is part of a cache of Chinese coins some 1000 years old, buried by Chinese miners during a gold rush in Maytown in the 1870s and uncovered again in 1998 and a recent donation to the Museum, a snow leopard trim from the jacket of a Tibetan man who is now living in Brisbane.Fragments of china from William Effey’s famous Brisbane Rowes Café excavated in a Dutton Park rubbish dump are alongside items from Effey’s Collection now in the Anthropology Museum Collection - shell inlaid canoe prows made by unknown artists in the Solomon Islands over a century ago.Other works in the show include large bark paintings by Arnhem Land Indigenous artists David Malangi and Joe Djembangu , 2500 year old shells from a midden in Arnhem Land, a 2500 year old shell adze and a beaded curtain by Western Desert artist Nyukana Baker and much more including the well known TV character Sooty.
Keyword Cultural exhibition
UQ centenary exhibition
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes Duration of exhibition: 18 April – 1 October 2010. Exhibition details:

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Created: Wed, 29 Oct 2014, 18:07:24 EST by Mary-Anne Marrington on behalf of School of Social Science