South Australian Museum

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The South Australian Museum situated on Adelaide's cultural boulevard, North Terrace
The water feature 14 Pieces by Angela and Hossein Valamanesh, in front of the South Australian Museum, is based on the forms of ichthyosaur vertebrae.[1]
The Mortlock Library, part of the State Library of South Australia, forms the west side of the courtyard at the front of the South Australian Museum

The South Australian Museum is a natural history museum and research institution in Adelaide, South Australia, founded in 1856.[2] It occupies a complex of buildings on North Terrace in the cultural precinct of the Adelaide Parklands.

History[edit]

The South Australian Institute, incorporating a public library and a museum, was established in 1847[3] in the rented premises of the Library and Mechanics' Institute in King William Street whilst waiting construction of the Institute building on the corner of North Terrace and Kintore Avenue.[4] Frederick George Waterhouse offered his services as curator of the South Australian Institute Museum in June 1859 in an honorary capacity. When the Institute building was completed, the Board appointed him as the first curator, a position he held until his retirement in February 1882. He was succeeded by Wilhelm Haacke, who in January 1883 recommended the South Australian Institute Museum be renamed the South Australian Museum, and the position of Curator be changed to Director. Wilhelm was appointed the first of eleven Directors of the South Australian Institute Museum.[5]

In 1939, Haacke’s recommendation was finally realised; legislation was passed that gave the South Australian Museum autonomy from the Art Gallery and Library, and the South Australian Institute Museum was officially renamed the South Australian Museum.[5]

The Museum[edit]

The current Director, appointed in December 2013, is Brian Oldman.[6]

The museum contains the largest collection of Australian Aboriginal cultural artefacts in the world.[5] The artefact collection is currently being digitised, with the aim of eventually making the catalogue available for on-line access, especially to Aboriginal communities around Australia..[7][8]

Permanent galleries include:

  • Australian Aboriginal Cultures Gallery
  • South Australian Biodiversity Gallery
  • World Mammals Gallery
  • Mawson Gallery
  • Megafauna Gallery
  • Minerals and Meteorites Gallery
  • Fossils Gallery
  • Opal Fossils Gallery
  • Pacific Cultures Gallery
  • Ancient Egyptian Room

The Waterhouse Natural Science Art Prize, the richest prize for natural science art in Australia and named for the museum's first curator, has been awarded annually since 2003. [9][10]

Gallery[edit]

Opal fossils at the South Australian Museum[edit]

Opal1
Precious opal replacing calcite of bivalve shells,
from Coober Pedy 
Ichthyosaur
Precious opal replacing Ichthyosaur backbone 
Addyman 1
Display panel for the opalised Addyman Plesiosaur fossil from Andamooka 
Addyman 2
Display of the opalised Addyman Plesiosaur fossil from Andamooka 
Addyman 3
Rear view of the opalised Addyman Plesiosaur fossil from Andamooka 

See also[edit]

References and notes[edit]

  1. ^ Jude Elton, HistorySA: Adelaidia > Things > 14 Pieces Accessed 19 March 2014.
  2. ^ 'A Brief History of the South Australian Museum,' http://www.samuseum.sa.gov.au/about/history, retrieved 21/05/2012
  3. ^ South Australian Institute South Australian Advertiser 27 October 1863 p.4 accessed 5 March 2011
  4. ^ The Institute building was officially opened on 29 January 1861 and is still in use as part of the State Library of South Australia.
  5. ^ a b c A Potted History, South Australian Museum, 2004. Retrieved on 2009-03-03.
  6. ^ SA Museum > Media > media releases > South Australian Museum Board Announces New Director, 03 December 2013 Accessed 3 March 2014.
  7. ^ SA Museum > Explore > Image Galleries > Australian Aboriginal Collections Digitisation Project Accessed 3 March 2014.
  8. ^ SA Museum's Aboriginal artefact collection to become available electronicallyABC News, 19 August 2013. Accessed 3 March 2014.
  9. ^ Annual Report of the South Australian Museum Board, 2003-2004 Retrieved 10 August 2011.
  10. ^ The Waterhouse Natural History Art Prize Retrieved 10 August 2011.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 34°55′15″S 138°36′11″E / 34.920783°S 138.603017°E / -34.920783; 138.603017