Browse Exhibits (6 total)

Grainger Photographed: Public Facades and Intimate Spaces


The Grainger Museum collection includes approximately 15,000 photographs made up of a wide range of photographic technologies and representing a vast array of photographic styles. The majority of images in the collection are of people including many fine portraits. This web exhibition is drawn from a temporary exhibition held at the Grainger Museum between September 2017 and March 2018. The selection and grouping of images, and stories they generate,  are one curator’s choice. This rich repository has many more stories yet to tell.


Exhibition curated by Brian Allison

Experiments in Freedom: Grainger's Free Music


This online exhibition explores key areas of Percy Grainger's Free Music, including his experiments with traditional instruments to make new sounds, his transformation of everyday objects into experimental music machines, his documentation of the experimental process, and contemporary reconstructions of Grainger's ideas. The online exhibition is based on a 2016 Grainger Museum exhibition project entitled Experiments in Freedom


Synthesizers: sound of the future



Presented by Grainger Museum and Melbourne Electronic Sound Studio, Ltd (MESS)

The Grainger Museum was at the heart of electronic music experimentation in Melbourne in the 1960s and early ’70s, when University of Melbourne composer and teacher Keith Humble, recently returned from a decade of cutting-edge musical experimentation in Paris, transformed the Museum into the ‘Grainger Centre’: an electronic experimentation studio for students and composers.

Humble equipped the Grainger Centre with the latest analogue synthesizers made by the experimental music company, Electronic Music Studios, Ltd, (EMS), London. The powerful, but compact and modestly priced EMS VCS1 and VCS3, and the extraordinary Synthi 100, were developed by the small EMS team as a way of bringing electronic synthesis of sounds into the reach of musicians outside of large commercial studios and radio stations. These cutting-edge analogue synthesizers from EMS allowed local composers to create entirely new sounds to incorporate into their experimental music and processes. For a brief period of less than a decade, the Grainger Museum resonated with this ‘sound of the future’...


Exhibition curated by Heather Gaunt, Curator, Grainger Museum

Thanks to the following key contributors:

John Cary, David Chesworth, David Collins, Les Craythorn, Agnes Dodds, Robin Fox, Keith Whitman, James Gardner, Alan Gaunt, Graeme Kerrs, Charles McInnes, Kristoffer Paulsen, Byron J. Scullin, John Whiteoak,Liquid Architecture

Objects of Fame: Nellie Melba and Percy Grainger


Presented by Grainger Museum and Arts Centre Melbourne

This online exhibition accompanies the exhibition at the Grainger Museum 
'Objects of Fame: Nellie Melba and Percy Grainger'

Melbourne produced two international stars of classical music – Nellie Melba and Percy Grainger – in the decades surrounding Federation. Each conquered the world’s great stages, enjoyed royal approbation and public fascination. The musical talents of Melba and Grainger, who had both family and professional connections, were matched only by the fame they engendered. Stampeding their way into popular consciousness as early media-assisted celebrities, they created rich
intellectual and material legacies. Objects of Fame showcases these two extraordinary Australians, drawing on objects from Arts Centre Melbourne’s Australian Performing Arts Collection, and the Grainger Museum.


How it plays: innovations in percussion online


How it plays is a collaborative exhibition and performance project, involving the Grainger Museum, Federation Handbells (Museums Victoria/Creative Victoria), Speak Percussion, the Faculty of Fine Arts and Music, and Melbourne School of Design. 

This exhibition shines a light on selected innovations in percussion, focussing on Melbourne, over a period of 140 years. It brings together a range of percussion instruments that have been created, composed for, and played by radical musicians, who have sought to change the way we can all hear, and play, music. Starting with Percy Grainger’s ground-breaking compositional experiments in ‘tuneful percussion’ in the first half of the twentieth century, How it plays then explores the work of the first truly innovative Australian percussion group, APE, in the 1970s, who experimented on Percy Grainger’s own instruments in the Grainger Museum as they evolved their practice. Jumping to the twenty-first century, the exhibition explores the musical and social phenomenon of the Federation Handbells, which engages acoustic and artistic innovation to bring the playing of bells to a wide range of communities. It concludes with an immersion in the sonic and artistic adventures in sound and performance of Melbourne organisation, Speak Percussion, an international leader in the field of experimental and new music.

The exhibition is on display at the Grainger Museum from 8 May 2019 to June 2020.

Making the Museum: 1920s to 1960s

PG & EG outside Museum Dec 1938_01.TIF

This online exhibition explores the creation of the Grainger Museum from the 1920s through to the 1960s, through four themes: the architecture and design of the Museum, the creation of the Archive, selections from the domestic objects collection and costumes collection, and video from the Museum dating from 1967. The online exhibition reflects a display in the Grainger Museum, installed from 2017-2020, and includes links to student research and creative responses to the Collections and themes.

For further information, see Grainger Museum Extended History.