Regency Ball – Recreating the Regency Period.

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

The Regency Period went for nine years, starting in 1811 when a bill 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 King’s death  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 his official coronation in 1821, he had become a symbol for senseless extravagance and a national joke.

Regency, an era of change

But although the Prince Regent was disliked himself, the actual regency was a great period for literature, …

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Fundraising for Abbey Museum

Santa’s Helpers Fundraising for Museum

“This may be too difficult for you…”  This is often the opening comment by a person who is not sure whether we can wrap a gift for them. Invariably the response is “not too difficult –maybe a challenge”.

In the fortnight leading up to Christmas 2017 volunteers operated the gift wrapping tables outside Target in the Bribie Island shopping centre fundraising for the Abbey Museum. Situated right alongside Santa’s grotto we had a great opportunity to see merchandising in action especially noting which appeared to be the most popular gifts for 2017. Many children lined up to meet Santa and have their photo taken, whether they wanted to or not! Some so tiny they will never remember it…

Fundraising under Wraps

Gift wrapping is a very social occasion and, in the experience of this writer, the vast majority of people are very pleased to offer a donation (in some cases, very generous) to have an onerous task taken off their hands. Most parcels were fairly straight-forward and could be wrapped and decorated with a ribbon or bow in a minute …

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Stained Glass presentation in Abbey Church

Celebrating a Stained Glass Milestone

Invited guests – donors who had supported the program – gathered in the Abbey Church in early December to help celebrate the conclusion of a ten year project of conservation of the stained glass windows in the Church.

Stained Glass Thank You

Director of the Abbey Museum, Edith Cuffe OAM, explained the obstacles which had to be overcome in order for the conservation project to be undertaken, not least of which was the substantial fundraising effort required. The presentation was a ‘thank-you’ and acknowledgement of those who donated or assisted in other ways to raise the funds necessary for the conservation work to take place. Edith introduced guests to Gerry Cummins and Jill Stehn, the conservators who undertook this mammoth task.

Conservator’s stained glass presentation

Gerry’s presentation included a power-point showing before and after photographs of each window as it was subject to the conservator’s attention. He told how the removal of some windows was made very difficult because of the age of the glass and fragility of the …

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Grant to Assist Build of new Joust Arena

Celebrating Festival Funding

There was great cause for celebrations recently at the Abbey Museum when we were advised of the successful applications for not just one but two important funding grants to assist in planning and hosting the Abbey Medieval Festival.

Funding From TEQ

The first, from Tourism and Events Queensland (TEQ) is to support marketing for the Abbey Medieval Festival throughout Queensland and interstate.  TEQ has been a long standing supporter of our Festival and of the region in general and this funding will enable us to:

employ specialised graphic personnel to design engaging graphics and Festival images; employ specialised video personnel to create video clips to promote the Festival online; have a much-needed refresh of the festival website with supporting SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and social media campaigns the funds might also stretch to assist us partially in a new billboard campaign

These funds are vital to help us retain our cutting edge in a busy and competitive tourism environment and to enable us to attract as wide an audience as possible.

Stronger Communities Program Funding

The second, from the …

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Trivia Night Fundraising for stained glass

Trivia ‘Fun’draising at the Abbey Museum

Trivia at the Abbey Museum – it’s here to stay!

Trivia Night at the Abbey Museum has been held regularly for a few years and historically we have always had similar numbers of players attend. Now, our reputation for providing an entertaining evening and fantastic supper has reached a wider audience, making our recent November trivia night the most successful to date! And did we have fun?!

Need more chairs!

It was fantastic to see so many tickets purchased online and twenty-one adults and seven children took advantage of this, so we arranged a couple of tables additional to our usual number to accommodate them.  This was great, however we were in for a surprise and did not anticipate the large number of people who paid at the door.  In fact, we had to find extra tables and chairs to seat them. What a great problem to have!

On the night there were thirteen teams (over seventy people) vying for Trivia supremacy. Competition and rivalry was keen, and nobody wanted to be outdone! Fortunately there was plenty of supper …

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Abbey Museum Stained Glass

An Impressive Achievement

The Abbey Church is a very special place, not least because its beautiful stained glass windows. The windows are a large and significant collection dating from the 14th to the 20th century. Some of the most famous are those consisting of fragments originally from Winchester Cathedral’s Lady Chapel.

One of the problems associated with items of such a venerable age is the need for conservation and repair. In 2004 leading glass conservators Gerry Cummins and Jill Stehn of Eumundi examined the stained glass collection and compiled an inventory of the conservation requirements and the cost involved. This amounted to a substantial sum and Museum staff set about finding means of raising the necessary funds.

Fundraising for stained glass conservation

Conservation of individual windows was undertaken as funds become available; through donations and various fundraising efforts. The Abbey Museum Friends undertook the task of raising the funds required specifically for the Winchester Windows. From 2009 to 2012 we held “Walk for Winchester” where participants were sponsored to complete a ‘pilgrimage’ from Sylvan Beach on Bribie Island to the …

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Caddles light up a night of Trivia at the Abbey

Trivia at the Abbey

It was a dark and stormy night with lightning flashing, thunder grumbling and rain pelting down, but …it was the advertised night for the famous event Trivia at the Abbey and not even the wrath of mother nature could stop the show.

Trivia Question: who stole the Light??

Come preparation time we discovered there was no power anywhere around the Abbey – Museum, Church, Hall or Community. Ever resourceful, our Museum CEO suggested using the candles and candelabra from the annual medieval banquets – hooray, lights for each table. Five teams of intrepid trivia buffs had to search even harder to find answers to questions covering a wide range of topics; this was made more difficult by the loudness of the rain pelting on the roof and the softness of the questioner’s voice.

It was encouraging to have some new faces join the fun; hopefully they were not put off by the medieval style and will return for our next 21st century style event. Despite all the obstacles everyone enjoyed the night and we made another addition to the fund …

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Fashion plate of 1807 April London Dress Detail from the Abbey Museum Collection

Fashion Plates and the “Women’s Weekly” of the 1800’s

Fashion Plates one of the Abbey Museum’s Hidden Treasures

At the Abbey Museum we have recently started moving our reserve collection into a new storage facility. As part of this much needed process we are also undertaking conservation and storage needs assessment of each object. This might sound like a long and boring exercise. At times it is indeed laborious, but at other times it can be very exciting. I get to see and work with some of the amazing artefacts that are not currently on display. My latest task was to go through and check the catalogue numbers on a series of historical fashion plates.

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This Roman Glass Bangle is on display at the Abbey Museum of Art and Archaeology

Roman Times and Kids

In order to feel that I’ve given you something worthwhile to read and to go away with,  I had to share  something that I know.

So what DO I know about Roman times and kids?

Hmmmm.

Not much at all.

In fact, what I did come up with was all the stuff I could think about that I didn’t know much about, and then there was all the things that  I really really didn’t know anything at all about Roman times and kids.

The Abbey Museum has a display case and more with Roman artefacts.  I’ve found this  pic. of a little bit of the display.

Hmmmm.

What to do?

So here’s a list of all the things I really don’t know about Roman times and kids.

 What I don’t know about Roman times and kids

I don’t know:

Anything much at all about kids in Roman times What did Roman kids eat? What …

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Welcome to the Abbey Museum Blog!

 

The best kept secret of south-east Queensland is finally being found-out!  The Abbey Museum of Art and Archaeology has one of THE most significant collections in Australia.

The lovely gardens, the shady trees begging for a picnic blanket, the clear air, the oft-present sunshine, the open spaces, belie the jewels within the walls of our unassuming facade.  Quietly, quietly the wealth reveals itself to all those who look.

The Abbey Museum is not just about dusty ornaments.

The unexpected treasures you will discover as you browse around will delight you.

Stained glass dating from the end of the 11th century;  Art Work collections – a story in itself that you will hear about in posts to come; Artefacts galore from all the ends of the earth; Over 500,00 years of man-kind’s history of living life on earth.

Whether your interest is a specific era of history, whether you are focused on archaeology, whether you are seeking an overview of …

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