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Posts Tagged ‘Kellee Uhr

Labassa Mansion

Labassa Mansion

Riding Jacket, National Trust (Victoria) Costume Collection

Riding Jacket, National Trust (Victoria) Costume Collection

The second week of my mentorship at the National Trust (Victoria) took of where I left it – in amongst archive boxes and garment racks filled with historic undergarments at the home of the Trust’s Costume Collection, Labassa Mansion.

My mentor, Lizzie Anya-Petrivna and I had been in contact since my last week discussing the real possibility of this mentorship (and the research undertaken) becoming an exhibition. This meant that we were really focused on getting a shortlist together of garments that would fit a series of curatorial themes that we had been playing with via email since July. Day one and day two was all about sorting collection items into these themes and pulling items into ‘yes, no, maybe’ groups. This process also evidenced the extent undergarments in the Trust’s collection, something that we had thought may be one of the largest in the country.

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The first thing that strikes me on arrival at National Trust of Australia (Victoria) is the incredibly beautiful terraces it housed in – Tasma Terrace. Situated just behind Victoria Parliament and in front of a sculpture by Susan Hewitt and Penelope Lee, commemorating the 100th anniversary of female suffrage in Victoria, Tasma, as it is affectionately known sets the tone of an exciting week of historical houses and collections.

The collections team at the Trust are three passionate individuals and my mentor, Lizzie Anya-Petrivna is a joy from our first face to face introduction. A short orientation and introduction and we are off to be immersed in the Costume Collection for the rest of the day.

The Trust’s costume collection is stored primarily at Labassa Mansion, one of the 23 historic venues that the Trust manages. It is here where I will spend the majority of my first week.  Labassa is one of Australia’s most outstanding 19th century mansions. Hidden in a cul-de-sac in North Caulfield, Labassa’s striking Romantic facade and opulent interiors reflect high-Victorian era grandeur. My initial introduction to the collection does not disappoint – it is a relatively large collection and tells the fashion history of Melbourne and Victoria. The strengths of the collection are in the locally made and worn costumes, dating from 1850-1970. The collection provides insight into patterns of consumption, emigration, trade, and social change. We unpack racks and solander boxes filled with items, each one with a little story from Lizzie. This hands-on introduction to the collection is a great experience and builds confidence straight away. Read the rest of this entry »

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