Museum: The Macleays, Their Collections and the Search for Order
When the first British visitors arrived on Australia's shores at the end of the eighteenth century, it was not only the potential of its space that tantalised them, but the extraordinary living things that they found there. Every European collector worth his salt desired a kangaroo, a parakeet, a waratah, and ship after ship sailed north loaded with Australia's remarkable natural history specimens. In 1826, the most serious collector to make his own trip to the antipodes arrived - his name was Alexander Macleay, and over 70 years he and his family accumulated an unbelievably rich and diverse collection of specimens from Australia itself and beyond. Museum throws open the doors of a historically rich and rare collection, stunningly captured in the images of Robyn Stacey. It reclaims the stories of those specimens, and those obsessions, revealing another chapter of Australia's own very particular, passionate and unique history.
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