Following four major themes, Captain Cook and the Art of Memorabilia examines the figure of James Cook and his role in the history of Australia from First Nations and colonial perspectives.
The exhibition begins with the story of Cook's first voyage, during which he recorded and charted the east coast of Australia and Tasmania.
The exhibition then turns its attention to the idea of memorabilia: objects that are collected because they are connected with a person or event that is thought to be remarkable and worthy of remembrance; memorable; mementoes of the past; souvenirs; relics.
'Memorabilia' uniquely encompasses Cook both as a person and an event that has evolved in relation to Australia.
Personal items belonging to Cook are joined by photographs of commemorative events, children's games, medallions, theatre broadsides and even crochets of 'Cook's cottage' in Melbourne.
The third theme explores images of Cook that have at once proliferated and established a set of character traits that persisted well into the 20th century.
These historical works are situated alongside contemporary responses by Ben Quilty and First Nations artists Gordon Bennett, Christian Thompson and Sandra Saunders to interrogate what Cook means today.
The final, fourth intersection with Cook, considers the visualisation of sovereignty through coins, medallions, photography and film by First Nations artists Darren Siwes, James Tylor, Ali Gumillya Baker and Daniel Boyd. They speak to history through their own perspectives and allow us all to reconsider Captain Cook.
Included in the exhibition is the HMS Resolution table, c.1810, a significant piece of English Regency memorabilia that contains a piece of oak from the ship and an inscription to James Cook's achievements set amongst exotic timbers from the lands visited by Cook. Acquired by David Roche in 2004, it is usually seen on display at the National Library of Australia in Canberra.
Displayed for the first time at the Foundation, the table is joined by 29 items generously lent by the National Library of Australia as well as numerous works of art from other important public, private and university collections in Australia.
Opening Hours: Tuesday to Saturday 10 AM - 4 PM. No booking required.
Guided Tours: Tuesday, Thursday & Saturday 11:15am.
Entry: $15 adult. $12 concession. Children under 12 free.