Recent donation Dawn…’till Dusk shows the potential of collaborative works of art

Special Collections blogger Bianca Arthur-Hull speaks to two contemporary artists.

Rosalind Atkins and eX de Medici, ‘til Dusk...Dawn, 2010-2011, etching and engraving.
Rosalind Atkins and eX de Medici, ‘til Dusk…Dawn, 2010-2011, etching and engraving. Donated by Rosalind Atkins and eX de Medici through the Australian Government’s Cultural Gifts Program, 2020.© the artists, image courtesy The Art Vault.

The University of Melbourne’s Print Collection recently received a new donation through the Cultural Gifts Program: Dawn…’til Dusk, a 2010-2011 diptych by contemporary Australian artists Rosalind Atkins and eX de Medici.

‘til Dusk…Dawn began while both artists were on residence at gallery and arts facility The Art Vault in Mildura, where they have spent many years. When Atkins returned to her home in Melbourne and de Medici to Canberra however, their collaboration continued long-distance. They sent the copper printing plates of ‘til Dusk…Dawn back and forth between their two cities by Australia post and communicated via phone and email. Continue reading “Recent donation Dawn…’till Dusk shows the potential of collaborative works of art”


Sa’di’s Gulistan and the Middle Eastern Manuscript Collection

The Middle Eastern Manuscript Collection of the University of Melbourne was acquired mostly by Professor John Bowman throughout the 1960s, and is made of approximately 190 manuscripts, of both secular and religious texts. Since Bowman’s retirement in the early 1970s, the collection remained largely untouched and unstudied, despite its significance. Throughout the past few years, the collection has been the subject of multiple PhD projects, with the aim of developing greater understandings of the texts as material objects and reconnecting them with their cultural context.

Continue reading “Sa’di’s Gulistan and the Middle Eastern Manuscript Collection”


Les Hirondelles (The swallows) by Felix Bracquemond

Les Hirondelles, or The swallows, is an 1882 print by French artist Felix Bracquemond (1833-1914). Bracquemond is today celebrated for his efforts to revive the printmaking arts, and for pioneering Japonisme in France. This artistic style greatly influenced the Modernist movement with its familiar names from Manet and Van Gogh to the Impressionists.

Felix Bracquemond, Les Hirondelles (The Swallows), 1882, etching.
Felix Bracquemond, Les Hirondelles (The swallows), 1882, etching.

Continue reading “Les Hirondelles (The swallows) by Felix Bracquemond”


On romanticising struggles past and present: Print Collection intern Adelaide Greig speaks about history, the pandemic and the importance of university communities

Albrecht Dürer, Melancholia, 1514, engraving.
Albrecht Dürer, Melancholia, 1514, engraving.

Albrecht Dürer’s Melancholia is arguably one of the most famous prints in the Baillieu Library Print Collection. There have been many interpretations of the engraving—from its complex iconography, potential for allegory and to theories of the four temperaments. One of these interpretations, forwarded by art historians Karl Giehlow and Erwin Panofsky explores the titular theme of melancholy and how it plays into the enduring myth of the artist, where the creative genius exists at the crossroads of inspiration, dedication, and essential mental anguish. Even today, the aggrandising myth of the creative mind persists, and inspiration and a lonesome, isolated existence are often conflated as one. For better or for worse, we tend to romanticise the difficulties our existence.

Continue reading “On romanticising struggles past and present: Print Collection intern Adelaide Greig speaks about history, the pandemic and the importance of university communities”


“Mr. Shuter, Mr Quick, and Mrs Green in the characters of Hardcastle, Tony Lumpkin, and Mrs. Hardcastle”, a mezzotint by Robert Laurie

Robert Laurie after Thomas Parkinson, Mr Shuter, Mr Quick, and Mrs Green in the characters of Hardcastle, Tony Lumpkin & Mrs Hardcastle, mezzotint, 1776.
Robert Laurie after Thomas Parkinson, Mr Shuter, Mr Quick, and Mrs Green in the characters of Hardcastle, Tony Lumpkin & Mrs Hardcastle, mezzotint, 1776.

This charming mezzotint (1776) by Robert Laurie is an engraving of Thomas Parkinson’s painting of the same year, Mr. Shuter, with Mr. Quick, and Mrs. Green, in a scene from She Stoops to Conquer. Parkinson was a known theatrical painter, and Laurie the owner of a successful engravings and publishing business located in Fleet Street, London, an area still associated with the British printing trade. She Stoops to Conquer (1773) is a five-part comedy by Oliver Goldsmith. The scene depicted in Laurie’s mezzotint takes place in the first scene of Act V. After a series of misunderstandings and mistaken identities, the play rollicks towards its conclusion with the union of two happy couples. But, not before the larrikin son Tony Lumpkin has tricked his mother Mrs. Hardcastle into believing she is lost in the countryside, and her husband, Mr. Hardcastle, is in fact a brigand out to rob and kill her.

Continue reading ““Mr. Shuter, Mr Quick, and Mrs Green in the characters of Hardcastle, Tony Lumpkin, and Mrs. Hardcastle”, a mezzotint by Robert Laurie”


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