Silver & Gold: Unique Australian Objects 1830 – 1910

16th June - 26th August

Ipswich Art Gallery

The Ipswich Art Gallery is delighted to present a National Gallery of Australia Exhibition.

Silver & Gold: unique Australian objects 1830–1910 showcases exceptional nineteenth and early twentieth century Australian silver and gold objects drawn from the National Gallery of Australia’s significant collection of colonial decorative arts and design. The theme of this exhibition is celebration, with objects marking significant personal, community and professional achievements and milestones, or displays of prosperity and artistic accomplishment.

The exhibition includes objects made by silversmiths who worked across the country, including Alexander Dick, David Barclay, Henry Steiner, William Edwards, Edward Fischer, John J Cohen and Jochim Matthias Wendt. These silversmiths worked in a range of historical revival and contemporary styles.

While British and European aesthetics and traditions pervade the early silverware created in Australia, local styles emerged as a national consciousness developed and became more pronounced towards Federation. Many of the objects reflect the nationalist fervour of the late nineteenth century, embodying the ideas of nation-building through honouring the individual worker achieving excellence, the heroic sportsman and celebrating Australia’s unique flora and fauna.

Silver & Gold reveals the exceptional skills of Australia’s earliest professional craft practitioners and their compelling narratives of Australian social and commercial history.

This exhibition is supported by the National Collecting Institutions Touring and Outreach Program, an Australian Government program aiming to improve access to the national collections for all Australians.

Image: Henry Steiner Pendant/brooch and pair of ear pendants set, in fitted case c.1870
18 carat gold, seed pearls, diamonds. National Gallery of Australia, Canberra. Purchased 2012

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