Gregorian Peace at the Abbey Museum

Gregorian Chanting – take a breather this Advent

Close your eyes and be transported back to the Middle Ages where monks in hooded robes chant their divine offices in the candle lit sanctuary of a Church.  This is not a scene from centuries past, but instead the Abbey Museum of Art and Archaeology in Caboolture, brings the past to you in the form of Gregorian Chanting!

Traditionally, Gregorian chants were sung by choirs of in churches or by religious orders in their chapels.  Named for Pope Gregory I (Pope 590 – 604), chanting has been part of Christian religious services since the very early days of the Catholic Church. The ambiance is magically re-created in the candlelit Abbey Church with ‘Schola Cantorum’ of Brisbane each Christams. The Gregorian Christmas chanting which signifies the beginning of Advent and the onset of what some might call the ‘silly season’ instead brings a piece of peace to your heart and soul, a much sought after reprieve from our busy lives.

A Christmas Tradition

The Medieval Christmas event has been a well-loved event …

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Young Woman with a Stylus

Wax Tablets Roman Style

Wax Tablets….. the Roman Way!

What was your favourite excuse for not handing in your homework? Did the dog ever eat it?  Perhaps your kids have come up with some creative reasons as to why assignments were overdue! I seem to recall ‘the wind blew it away’ or ‘a glass of juice spilled on it’.  We have all heard a few good ones but in ancient Rome,  students had an even better excuse! Their homework had melted by the sun! (Sometimes assisted by holding their wax tablets close to their body).  Now that’s a good one!

Wax tablets and stylus was the means of writing at that time. Paper did not become readily and cheaply available in Europe until the Middle Ages. So, it was necessary to have an effective means for keeping lists, general correspondence and legal documents.  The wax tablet was used as the everyday notebook for thousands of years, although there is increasing evidence that ink was used on thin sheets of wood also.  A number of these have been found at Vindolanda, a Roman Army …

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Cuneiform text

From Clay Tablets to Digital Tablets

The Reed Stylus and Clay Tablet

From clay tablets to digital tablets.  Today texting, typing, writing, memes, … there are so  many ways in which we communicate with others;  technology has opened a veritable Pandora’s box of possibilities. Communications have become shorter and more frequent, full of the expectation of an immediate response.  The result is our modern world seems to travel at break-neck speed.  It is hard to imagine what it was like at the beginning of recorded time when humankind first put pen to paper… well, actually not paper — or pen for that matter — but a reed stylus to clay tablet.

Clay Tablet with Cuneiform

As you may be aware, one of the earliest forms of writing is called Cuneiform. Cuneiform is thought to have been first developed by the Sumerians of ancient Mesopotamia c 3500 – 3000 BC. Mesopotamian scribes recorded everything from daily events such as trade records and sales dockets to astronomical happenings and political events. I was surprised to learn that some tablets inscribed with cuneiform were written in several different languages …

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The art of Pemberley –

A Picnic at Pemberley 2017 

Each year in September the Abbey Museum holds a boutique event celebrating the uniqueness of the Regency Era.  And this year, guests to ‘A Picnic at Pemberley’ will have a very rare opportunity to view some of the Art of Pemberley – paintings from the Abbey Museum collection – which will be on display for one day only!

The purpose of the Picnic at Pemberley is to raise funds to build an Art Gallery so that the wonderful artwork and paintings that form part of the Abbey Museum’s collection can be displayed for everyone to enjoy. The Abbey Museum’s Mission statement includes ‘changing people’s lives for the better, through the stories created from our collection‘. This exquisite event ‘A Picnic at Pemberley’  is one such story, and  immerses guests into the world of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice.

You may not have known that the Abbey Museum has a number of stunning artworks including water colours from the Royal Academy, precious Icons and even Old Masters  paintings. One of these very special paintings was on display …

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picnic

A Picnic at Pemberley – Recreating the Regency Period.

The Regency Period – a great artistic era or a bad royal joke?

The Regency Period was a  period of nine years, starting in 1811 when a bill was passed declaring that King George III was too unfit to rule, naming his 48-year-old son, the future King George IV, as Prince Regent. While the actual regency only lasted until the death of the King in 1820, the entire Regency Era is generally thought to be from the 1780’s until George IV’s death in 1830. However, the bill was made with reluctance as the Prince Regent was extremely unpopular. He was discouraged from making decisions regarding official governing business and war, so he instead spent all the money from the treasury on things such as balls, fashion, food, and pageants!  People did not view him as the ‘Great King’ they originally had hoped he would be, and by the time of his official coronation in 1821, he had become a symbol for senseless extravagance and a national joke.

A great period of change

But although the Prince Regent was a disliked person …

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Antique, Vintage or Just Plain Old?

One Man’s Trash is Another Man’s Treasure

Indeed this statement is so true! Have you ever heard the stories of the families that had a special item at home that they were absolutely SURE would make them an overnight millionaire because it belonged to great-grandmother Betty who said it was a special antique family heirloom?

Well great-grandmother Betty had told grandmother Mary, who told her daughter Amy, who then told her niece Natalie it was special and had been in the family for generations. Natalie then took it to be appraised and discovered (to her horror) that it was indeed in their family for generations, but was worth absolutely nothing apart from the knowledge it was special.

So how do you know that your old family antiques are actually antiques and not just… old?

What is an Antique?

Today everything seems to be called an antique!

Generally speaking, an antique is any work of art, piece …

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society

The Jane Austen Society of Australia

About Jane Austen Society of Australia, Brisbane

A regional group of the Jane Austen Society of Australia (JASA), situated in Sydney, this organisation is the largest literary society in Australia. There are currently 120 members of JASA Brisbane. The  members are admirers of Jane Austen’s works primarily, but are also interested in her life and the era in which she lived.

JASA began in May 2002 in the format of a book club with eight members. In order to accommodate their rapidly increasing membership and the numbers of international and interstate guest speakers that were available, they soon found that they had to change the format to that of a book society. Meetings generally consist of an address from a guest speaker followed by a series of short presentations and activities ranging from formal to informal. Everyone is encouraged to participate, but it is not compulsory. Each meeting is allotted a theme by the committee. Themes can be quite specific relating to the books or more broad, relating to the author’s life, family, social position or to aspects …

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Vikings – Common Myths and Misconceptions!

Who were the Vikings?

With the Abbey Museum of Art and Archaeology’s  Viking Family Fun Week fast approaching, I started thinking about which costume ideas my kids would find most appealing. Of course, me being a stickler for period accuracy, I decided to head to the internet to find out more about the Vikings and how they lived..

For over three centuries, the shout of ‘Vikings!’ struck fear in the hearts of men, women and children. But the seafaring Norsemen (who we call Vikings) were so much more than just raiders and savages. They were excellent farmers and through using their sailing skills they established elaborate trade routes and settled in many of the lands they plundered.

 

True or False?

1. Vikings Spent all their time Raiding

False! It seems a bit crazy, but while the Vikings did raid (it was an excellent source of income) most of the Vikings were farmers! They herded cattle, goats, sheep and pigs, and planted barley, rye, oats and …

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A Picnic at Pemberley 2017

Let’s Get Raffling!

One would have to admit that a raffle is such an exciting option, particularly when it something you desperately want, such as that Regency tea-set!

There are some absolutely gorgeous Regency themed goodies out there that we all want to get our hands on, but ‘Oh the cost of such finery’! It really makes you wonder whether bread and butter staples for the next 3 months really is the greatest idea.. Fortunately, The Abbey Museum of Art and Archaeology is hosting their annual Picnic at Pemberley event, on Saturday the 3rd of September 2017! There are many stunning Regency items up for grabs for as little as a $2.00 ticket in a glorious raffle of Regency themed finery!

You can buy your raffle tickets online before the event, or on the day! The Raffle will be drawn at the Picnic at Pemberley event, and winners will be notified by email if they are not present.

A Regency inspired table …

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hamper

Picnic Hampers at Pemberley

The perfect accompainment to the Picnic at Pemberley;

A delicious pre-made Picnic Hamper!

We all love the amazing treats served for afternoon-tea at our Pemberley event, but this year you can  indulge in a true “Picnic” at Pemberley. Why not treat yourself to a hamper full of Regency inspired food, that is packed and ready for your culinary delight?  Whether you choose to be seated on a rug, or at one of the tables to enjoy your lunch, we are sure you will appreciate feasting on the treats inside your hamper, while absorbing the Regency atmosphere created throughout the grounds of the stunning Abbey Church and Museum. Picnic Hampers can be ordered online at a cost of $25, and can be picked up when our gates open on the day, at 11:30am.

Hampers will include a range of Regency inspired goodies such as:

Red or White Wine, and Regency Cordial for Children.

Chelsea Bun or Gluten free cake.

Quiche …

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