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New England Regional Art Museum | Dante Gabriel Rossetti and the Wombat

2018 Packsaddle Lecture Series: The Howard Hinton Lecture

“The wombat is a joy,” wrote D. G. Rossetti to his brother from Cheyne Walk in 1869, “a joy, a triumph, a delight, a madness.”
What were the origins of this curious but longstanding shared preoccupation among the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood and their friends in London, so distant from the wombat’s natural habitat? And what does this vignette tell us about the strangely Janus-like interaction between the Imperial capital and the Australian colonies through that most revolutionary decade of the nineteenth century?
Angus Trumble has been Director of the National Portrait Gallery in Canberra since 2014. He was previously Senior Curator of Paintings and Sculpture at the Yale Center for British Art in New Haven, Connecticut (2003−14), and, before that, Curator of European Art at the Art Gallery of South Australia in Adelaide (1996−2001). He is the author of Love and Death: Art in the Age of Queen Victoria (2002); A Brief History of the Smile (2004); The Finger: A Handbook (2010), and Edwardian Opulence: British Art at the Dawn of the Twentieth Century (2013). In November 2015, he was elected a Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities.
The Packsaddle Lecture Series invites leading guest speakers to explore aspects of Australian and international artistic practices and history. These informative and entertaining talks provide the community with an opportunity to explore themes and ideas related to some of our key collection areas. The annual lecture series includes the Howard Hinton Lecture on art history, the Chandler Coventry Lecture on contemporary art and the F.T. Wimble Lecture on printing history and art.
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