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HAGSOC Monthly Meeting: Joanna Gilmour: Elegance in exile - a portrait of colonial Australia

Event Information

  • 2 Oct 2012 8:00pm - 9:30pm
  • Neighbourhood Hall, Cook Community Hub, 41 Templeton St, Cook, ACT 2613
  • Cook
  • Australian Capital Territory
Other Information
  • Cost: Free - visitors welcome


Joanna Gilmour:  Elegance in exile - a portrait of colonial Australia



At the monthly meeting of The Heraldry & Genealogy Society of Canberra on Tuesday 2 October 2012 at 8pm at the Neighbourhood Hall, Cook Community Hub, 41 Templeton Street Cook (6251 7004) our guest speaker will be Joanna Gilmour, Curator at the National Portrait Gallery.  Joanna’s topic will be:  Elegance in exile -  a portrait of colonial Australia.


In this talk, Joanna Gilmour will discuss the work of four portrait artists who worked in Australia between 1813 and 1860. Each of them – Richard Read senior, Thomas Bock, Charles Rodius and Thomas Griffiths Wainewright – came to Australia as convicts, but despite this enjoyed successful careers in the colony once they’d done their time, attracting the patronage of governors, gentry and officials alongside that of ex-convict and less illustrious colonists. Joanna will discuss the way in which the artists’ own lives and experiences offer a window onto life in convict-era New South Wales and Van Diemen’s Land; and, by teasing out the stories of their sitters, will demonstrate the value of portraits as vivid historical documents which reveal the complexity, vigour and colour of colonial Australian society and culture.


Joanna Gilmour completed a Master of Letters at the University of Sydney in 1997 and later worked in exhibitions and curatorial roles at the National Trust S.H. Ervin Gallery, Sydney and the Historic Houses Trust of New South Wales. She joined the National Portrait Gallery, Canberra, as Assistant Curator in 2008. Now the Curator at the NPG, Joanna’s particular focus is on women’s history and Australian portraiture of the period from first contact to Federation. Her book on nineteenth century portrait photography, Husbands & Wives, was published in 2010; the exhibition and publication Elegance in exile: portrait drawings from colonial Australia was presented at the National Portrait Gallery from June to August 2012.


There is no charge for attending the monthly meeting and visitors are welcome.


The Heraldry & Genealogy Society of Canberra Inc was founded in 1964 ‘to promote and encourage the study and preservation of family history, genealogy, heraldry and allied subjects, and to assist members and others in research in these areas.’  The Society is run entirely by volunteers, who give generously of their time, expertise and goodwill to provide a service for all members. 


The Secretary

The Heraldry & Genealogy Society of Canberra Inc

GPO Box 585