Bundaberg Post Office: Then (1891) & Now

Although the artist of A view of the new Post Office & School of Arts, Bourbong St. Bundaberg from Barolin St., Augt. 1st 1891, Queensland 1891 (illustrated) is unknown — like the artists of many images of nineteenth century Queensland — the watercolour quite possibly by an architectural draftsman, is significant in showcasing the growing…

The Shahnameh: Persian miniatures

The Gallery has acquired ten miniature paintings from a volume of the Shahnameh, or ‘Book of Kings’, by the Persian poet Abu’l Qasim Firdausi (935–1020CE), the epic poem captures the lives and stories of the ancient Iranian kings, from the creation of the world to the Arab conquest of Iran in 642.1 The Shahnameh —…

Memories of homeland

In Hafiz in diaspora (illustrated) Amin Taasha has used sheets from a book of poetry by Hafiz (Persia c.1315–90) to render symbols and motifs from his own life and the history and mythology of Afghanistan and Central Asia. These include illustrations of the Gandharan Buddhist–style imagery that Bamiyan was known for; ammunition and weaponry of…

Step back in time to Brisbane’s pioneering days

This watercolour (illustrated) is a preparatory sketch for the oil painting Slab cottage, Bowen Hills 1894 (illustrated). Isaac Walter Jenner (1836-1902) was interested in the picturesque subject rather than Brisbane’s impressive commercial and public buildings that were already embellishing Queen Street, the main thoroughfare of the city of Brisbane (illustrated). ‘Sketch for ‘Slab cottage, Bowen…

The horse: Companion & muse

The horse has been a integral part of human history for millennia, prized both for their agility, speed and endurance, or strength needed to pull a plow or a carriage full of people. However improved transportation options towards the end of the 1800s, especially the construction of railways, and the development of new mechanical innovations…

Step back to an earlier time when Brisbane was named after a river

The Brisbane River and Moreton Bay have continually shaped south-east Queensland’s history. From the time of the First Australians for the Turrbal and Jagarra people, the river, known as Maiwar, has been a meeting place, a highway and a source of food. A critical conduit for early settlement and subsequent industry and development, the winding…