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Queensland to a T

Home > Brisbane > Cultural Events | Libraries | Exhibitions | Fun Things To Do | Libraries
by Marina Marangos (subscribe)
Event: -
And the T stands for Tea Towels
The Big Pineapple
The Big Pineapple

Not the most expected subject matter for an exhibition but that is exactly what you will find when you visit "Queensland to a T" at the State Library. A whole collection of the most amazing tea towels on display featuring the Glenn R. Cooke Souvenir Textile Collection, this is a unique look into Queensland's culture and identity through the medium of the humble tea towel.
Gold Coast Hinterland
Gold Coast Hinterland

This collection, which numbers about 1500 items, shows so much of Queensland's most iconic locations with many depicting the Gold Coast and the Great Barrier Reef as well as some very well-known tourist attractions. There was a time when travel for tourism saw the beginnings of merchandising of the areas visited. Souvenirs which tourists could buy as gifts to take home. The tea towel represented one such gift that not only signified, in pictorial form, the place the tourist had visited but also had a practical purpose to it which added to its attraction.
The Antartica Expedition
The Antartica Expedition

What for me was fascinating was the way tea towels also took up lesser-known subjects like the Antarctica Expedition Tea Towel of 1992 to 1993 and the Oil fields of Queensland.
Queensland's Oil Fields
Queensland's Oil Fields

Steam Engines
Steam Engines

How about this one which had me baffled :
Augatelle meat ant country
Australia meat ant

Of course, a large number of them are devoted to the many wonderful recipes that come from kitchens. Flo's (I think this must be Mrs Bielke Peterson) pumpkin scone recipe features as well as some other lesser-known ones but equally delicious.
Flo's pumpkin scones
Flo's pumpkin scones

This was a clear favourite all those years ago. Perhaps our culinary tastes have moved on from that recipe.
Crayfish recipe
Crayfish recipe

Finally but by no means least this was a fascinating subject matter for a tea towel
Labour Premiers
Labour Premiers
How many of them do we remember without the help of this very apposite tea towel? This is a delightful exhibition. It actually forms a valuable historical account of the state, its events and places as well as being a reflection of what was important to its people at the time. This is a free exhibition which is on the second floor of the State Library. There are curator led talks about the exhibition which would be a good idea as the curator will share with you many stories which relate to the many tea towels exhibited.

For more information and to book your curator visit, go to here. The exhibition is on until January 22nd 2023.
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Why? Great exhibition with unusual theme
When: Now until Jan 2023
Phone: (07) 3840 7666
Where: Stanley Place, South Brisbane Queensland 4101, Australia
Cost: Free
Your Comment
This is amazing. wish I was up there to see it. My mum, who is now in her nineties, still has many of the tea towels I bought for here when I was traveling. Some are very well worn now.
by Gayle Beveridge-Marien (score: 4|10118) 43 days ago
I remember the Flo's scones recipe T Towel at a unique time of Qld's political history.
by Gillian Ching (score: 3|5778) 43 days ago
Great piece of nostalgia Marina. Collecting tea towels was almost as popular as collecting spoons. Remember them?
by Neil Follett (score: 3|4476) 43 days ago
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