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Australian Art Exhibitions Museum art gallery exhibiton design NGV National Gallery of Victoria Balenciaga exhibition 1992 masterpieces of Fashion

National Gallery of Victoria

10 September - 26 November 1992

This exhibition, drawn from the Balenciaga Archive and Curated by Robyn Healy, Senior Curator of Fashion and Textiles, NGV with Madame Marie-Andre Jouve, Head of the Balenciaga Archive, presented a survey of the major fashion highlights designed by the great Couturier Cristobal Balenciaga (1865-1972).

Remembered as a master of black, Balenciaga, more than any other couturier, altered the silhouette of fashion. In the 1930’s he designed suits with nipped in waists and rounded hips and ball-gowns with extremely wide skirts (both designs presented before Dior's New Look of the 1940s) and in the 1950s, he moved away from the close fit of the New Look , which most designers were emulating, and created soft, unshaped suit jackets.

In 1968 Balenciaga closed his business rather than see it compromised in a fashion era he did not respect and retired to Spain. The House of Balenciaga was re-launched in 1987, re-packaging the classic Cristobal Balenciaga looks for the modern woman, with Nicolas Ghesquiére as its Chief Designer.

Australian Art Exhibitions Museum art gallery exhibiton design NGV National Gallery of Victoria Hatches Matches and Dispatches exhibition 1988

National Gallery of Victoria

25 November 1987 -  31 January 1988

Curated by Rowena Clark, Senior Curator of Costumes and Textiles, NGV, this exhibition of over 140 christening, bridal and mourning fashions drew mainly from the NGV’s collection, with the addition of a small selection of highly significant items from international and Australian lenders.

The highlight of the exhibition for most visitors was Diana, Princess of Wales' wedding dress. After her wedding, the ivory silk taffeta and antique lace gown designed by David and Elizabeth Emanuel, with its 7.62 meter train, and veil made from 139-meters of tulle and decorated with sequins and 10,000 hand embroidered pearls; was displayed at Althorp House, Northampton, on a wax figure made by Madame Tussaud's, London.



Egyptian Art from the National Museum of Antiquities in Leiden, the Netherlands


Hokkaido Museum,

Sapporo, Japan

Oct 1997 - Nov 1998

Auckland Museum

Dec 1997 - Feb 1998


Western Australian Museum

Feb - April 1998

Museum & Art Gallery of N.T

May - June 1998

Australia Museum, Sydney

July - October 1998

National Wool Museum, Geelong

Nov 1998 - Feb 1999

Queensland Museum

Feb - May 1999

The Director's Vision for exhibitions at the WA Museum, was to develop major exhibitions for the WA Museum and then on sell them to other Australian institutions. Since there had not been an Egyptian exhibition in Australia for over 10 years, I worked with Dr Moya Smith, Head of Anthropology and Archaeology, WA Museum, and located a superb Egyptian exhibition in Japan. It was drawn from the renowned collection of the National Museum of Antiquities in Leiden and arranged by the Tokyo Shimbum and Mitsukoshi Ltd.

A mutual friend in Amsterdam was able to introduced me via email to Dr Hans Schneider, Senior Egyptian Anthropologist and the exhibitions Curator and after consulting with colleagues at Museums around Australia to confirm there was interest in hosting an Egyptian show, and after many phone conversations with Dr Schneider, we arranged to meet in Japan at the exhibitions installation in Tokyo. After a long formal meeting with the exhibition's Japanese organisers, I negotiated to bring the exhibition to Australia at the end of the current Japanese tour. I quickly secured five sequential venues in Australia, beginning the tour in Western Australia in February 1998. However, given the closing date in Japan and our opening in Australia, I would either have to pay to store the exhibition, or secure two other Australasian venues who would take the exhibition with less than 12 months notice. I managed to secure a short season at the Hokkaido Museum in Sapporo, Japan and the Auckland Museum.

I negotiated and managed the exhibitions tour - including the installation and pack up in Japan and New Zealand and at five Australian venues. I arranged and managed all freight, customs, insurance, couriers and VIPs, and designed the exhibition catalogue, merchandise, exhibition layout and the display furniture that toured to all the Australian venues.

Australian Art Exhibitions Museum art gallery exhibiton design WA Museum Western Australian Museum Ancient Lives Greeks, Romans & Etruscans exhibiton catalogue cover

The exhibition was very well attended, and acknowledged as a financial success by each venue in the tour. The Australian Museum saw a 51% increase in visitor numbers, a very high 72% conversion rate of general Museum visitors purchasing tickets to see Pharaohs; they attracted a larger proportion of Art Gallery of NSW visitors than in any previous years and exceeded their goals in building a new audience and attracting lapsed, past Museum visitors. 

While touring with Pharaohs, I became  friends with many of the staff from the National Museum of Antiquities, which led to the organisation of a subsequent exhibition Ancient Lives: Greeks, Romans and Etruscans coming to Australia in late 1999 and touring to four of the same venues.

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