Gregorian Chant

Medieval Christmas – an evening of Gregorian Chant

A mystical Christmas evening where the ancient sound of Latin melodies are just the beginning of your Yuletide experience. Allow your  spirit to travel back to yesteryear, lulled by the eerie sounds of ‘Schola Cantorum’s lonely Gregorian chant.  Be entranced by the magical dusk-light flickering through the stained glass windows highlighting the quaint surroundings of the Abbey Church.  Arrive around 5.45pm to allow time to visit the museum and view the collection of medieval manuscripts on display in the manuscript gallery. Don’t miss an opportunity to visit the museum shoppe to browse the wonderful array of  unique gifts and souvenirs for those ‘difficult-to-pick’ Christmas gifts. The chant begins at the Church at 6.30pm,  followed by a medieval themed supper of traditional Christmas food and gingerbread at the Abbey Hall.  (Parking at the rear of the museum).  This event has limited numbers and sells out quickly, so book your tickets below.

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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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Her Breath Smelt of Mint and Myrrh – Floor Talk

THE ABBEY MUSEUM OF ART AND ARCHAEOLOGY PRESENTS:

Her Breath Smelt of Mint and Myrrh

How do the modern standards of beauty compare to those of the Middle Ages? Does your daily beauty routine measure up? Join the Abbey Museum of Art and Archaeology for a myth-busting and sweet-smelling Floor Talk that explores the perfumes, scented cosmetics, mouthwashes and hygiene products of the Middle Ages.

The Abbey Museum’s own Education Manager, Mr Damien Fegan not only busts the myth that the people of the Middle Ages smelt terrible and all had rotten teeth, but presents the argument that the beauty products of the Middle Ages aren’t actually that far removed from those of modern times! In fact: did you know that there is not a single beauty product on the market today that did not have a Middle Ages equivalent?

We’ve had minty breath for hundreds of years!

DATE: Saturday 5th August

TIME: 2.00pm Start

PLACE: Abbey Museum Hall at the Abbey Museum of Art and Archaeology

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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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Abbey Museum Joust

Horsing Around – a great Joust

One of the favourite activities at the Medieval Festival is the jousting tournament. What is not to love about knights in armour, galloping steeds dressed in the colours of their riders, lances and cheering crowds? If you cannot get enough of this spectacle, or you are a volunteer and cannot get to see it at the festival itself, fear not! For the first time this year a Friday afternoon joust will take place at the festival jousting arena commencing at 1.30pm.

You will be able to see all ten jousters participating in this premier event of the festival – taking approximately one hour. We plan to show off eight Australian jousters and two internationals (including a French Knight). Limited seating is available and tickets must be pre-purchased online; no tickets will be available for purchase on that day or at the event.

Food and drinks will be available for purchase throughout the afternoon. Book online now!

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To Hell and Back – Floor Talk

THE ABBEY MUSEUM OF ART AND ARCHAEOLOGY PRESENTS:

To hell and back again in the Anatolian Bronze Age

Get ready to travel back in time! Imagine that the year is 1200BC; the Late Bronze Age civilisations of the Mediterranean world are collapsing! What is causing this collapse? An invasion from Europe? Famine? Climate Catastrophes? Civil Wars? A Zombie Outbreak!? All these and more (yes, even the zombies!) have all been cited as responsible for this extreme cultural uproar!

Join the Abbey Museum of Art and Archaeology and guest speaker Mr. Andrew Fairbairn, and explore the rise and fall of cultures from the civilisational collapse that heralded the end of the Early Bronze Age world including that of the Hittite Empire, based in the highlands of central Turkey.

Guest Lecturer, Mr Andrew Fairbairn, is not only an esteemed archaeobotanist, but is an Associate Professor and Australian Research Council Future Fellow in Archaeology at The University of Queensland. Mr Fairbairn is a co-director of the Boncuklu excavation project in Turkey and is currently researching the development …

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Tell Halaf and the Cradle Of Civilization Floor Talk + Special Artefact Display

Tell Halaf and the Cradle Of Civilization

It was while travelling through Syria trying to find the best route for the proposed Baghdad railways that a bizarre tale of stone statues in the form of human-animal hybrids came to the ears of Max von Oppenheim, attaché to the German embassy in Cairo and scholar in his own right. Oppenheim, a keen amateur archaeologist was intrigued by these rumours and started to investigate the site which would become famous as Tell Halaf.

In this talk, retired archaeologist, Vera Windau Heath, will take us on a journey back to the cradle of civilization and the remarkable story of the people who built this intriguing city. Vera will also share her personal experience of visiting and excavating this historic site and the secrets it continues to reveal to archaeologists.

Join us for afternoon tea following the talk as well!

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Vlad Dracula, the Infamous Impaler – Floor Talk

THE ABBEY MUSEUM OF ART AND ARCHAEOLOGY PRESENTS:

Vlad Dracula, the Infamous Impaler

There is so much myth, mystery and controversy surrounding the life of Vlad Dracula, also known as Vlad Tepes. Was he a Hero or a Villain?

Join the Abbey Museum of Art and Archaeology with guest lecturer, esteemed author and amateur historian, Jodie Lane and delve into the turbulent life of Vlad Dracula. Decide for yourself who Vlad Dracula really was as the man, the myths and the legends of the Infamous Impaler are unraveled and explored! Ms Lane will not only be sharing some of the history that inspired her latest novel: “Transylvanian Knight” but will explore some of the “Vlad” character, as seen through the eyes of the time-travelling heroine.

Ms Jodie Lane is a Brisbane based author who has combined her love of travel and adventure with delightful stories about the past. She has studied a variety of modern history topics at the University of Queensland, written numerous novellas and will have her books available, on the 25th of February, for purchase, signed by Jodie herself.

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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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Abbey Museum Celebrates 30 Years

Thirty years ago on a warm Saturday afternoon in late June a group of friends, members of the Abbey Community, builders and museum staff gathered with over 100 invited guests  to hear the Abbey Museum declared officially open. It was a moving moment: the culmination of more than six years of research, design and fund raising.

There were times when it seemed that the modest design for the gallery would run out of funds and remain an empty shell. Despite the nightmares, remarkably money always came just in time to pay the bills. The Museum team became incredibly inventive in attracting funds and in-kind gifts of materials. At one stage the deputy director of the Queensland Museum (itself nearing completion) remarked to Michael Strong that there were more members of his staff working as volunteers at the Abbey Museum than there were at South Brisbane! Most of the case designs were done with the help of David Bligh and Robert Allen, two senior design artists at the Queensland Museum, and they relished the task of designing a museum without strictures …

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