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The Macleays, their Collections and the Search for Order


  • Date Published: January 2008
  • availability: Out of stock in print form with no current plan to reprint
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9780521874533

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About the Authors
  • 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.

    • Extraordinary images by photographer Robyn Stacey
    • Unique combination of these images with stories and scientific notes
    • A chance to see collections as you've never seen them before - this book gives you behind-the-scenes access to the millions of objects held by the Macleay. This stunning interpretation opens the world of early scientific investigation in colonial Australia through the most human and accessible of its many possible stories
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'The photographs in Robyn Stacey and Ashley Hay's Museum vividly illustrate the stunning beauty of Macleay's insect collections… Robyn Stacey and Ashley Hay provide a detailed and readable account of the Macleay family, their passions and their collections. The text has been kept comparatively brief to allow generous space for the extraordinary images that follow it. It will whet its readers' appetites, leaving them eager to know more about the culture of natural history that shaped the Macleays and their collections.' The Times Literary Supplement

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    Product details

    • Date Published: January 2008
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9780521874533
    • length: 196 pages
    • dimensions: 345 x 259 x 19 mm
    • weight: 1.7kg
    • contains: 100 colour illus.
    • availability: Out of stock in print form with no current plan to reprint
  • Table of Contents

    1. Invertebrates
    2. Acknowledgements, 1. Essays Ashley Hay (In the Beginning, In the Old World, In the New World, William John Macleay, In the Museum)
    2. Plates Robyn Stacey (Entomology, Expedition, Exotics, Education)
    3. Collection Notes Macleay Museum

  • Authors

    Robyn Stacey, University of Western Sydney
    Robyn Stacey is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Communication, Design and Media at the University of Western Sydney. She is one of Australia's most acclaimed photographers and has exhibited her photographic work in numerous solo and group exhibitions in Australia and internationally since the mid-1980s to high critical acclaim. Her work is represented in the National Gallery of Australia, all state galleries in Australia and Art Bank, as well as in university and private collections, both here and abroad.

    Ashley Hay
    Ashley Hay has written two books of narrative non-fiction, The Secret: The Strange Marriage of Annabella Milbanke and Lord Byron (Duffy and Snellgrove, 2000), and Gum: The Story of Eucalypts and Their Champions (Duffy and Snellgrove, 2002). She has also published essays and short fiction and works for The Bulletin.

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