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Craig Barker and Matt Poll

Object Matters

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Join Dr Craig Barker as he and a guest discuss one item in detail from our collections of art, archaeology, natural history, science and culture.

Latest episodes

Past episodes

29 Mar 2021

In this special episode of Object Matters, Dr Craig Barker is joined by Toni Hurley, teacher, educator, historian, one-time president of the History Teachers Association and known to generations of school students as a co-author of the Antiquity series of textbooks. Toni is also the grand-daughter of renowned Australian photographer Frank Hurley (1885-1962).

Listen online and find images, links and further background for each episode. 

4 Mar 2021

In this episode of Object Matters Dr Craig Barker is joined by Chris Jones, the Chau Chak Wing Museum's Collection Manager, Documentation. They discuss an oil painting by Walter Armiger Bowring (1887-1971) in the museum's art collection titled Cellist.

Listen online and find images, links and further background for each episode. 

 

23 Feb 2021

Dr Shuxia Chen, Curator of the China Gallery at the Chau Chak Wing Museum, joins Dr Craig Barker to welcome the Year of the Ox with two artworks from the collection.

Listen online and find images, links and further background for each episode. 

 

3 Feb 2021

Artist, author and archaeologist Diana Wood Conroyand and Dr Craig Barker discuss a fragment of Pompeian wall painting, her own archealogical work in Paphos, Cyprus, and the concept of the artist in both ancient and modern cultures. 

Listen online and find images, links and further background for each episode.

28 Jan 2021

In this episode of Object Matters Dr Craig Barker is joined by the Chau Chak Wing Museum’s former Conservator Alayne Alvis to discuss the function of conservation and the role of a conservator in the process of collection management and exhibitions. The object the pair discuss is a Neo Assyrian carved ivory plaque of a female figure that Alayne has worked very closely with.

Listen online and find images, links and further background for each episode.

 

2 Dec 2020

In this episode, Dr Craig Barker is joined by Candace Richards, Assistant Curator of the Nicholson Collection. Together they discuss a ‘Promesse de mandat territorial'; a French bank note issued in 1796, two years before the Napoleonic campaign in Egypt.

Listen online and find images, links and further background for each episode. 

19 Nov 2020

Director David Ellis joins Dr Craig Barker to discuss his love of mineralogy and the remarkable history of a mineral from deep in the earth’s past, and its journey from Broken Hill to the Chau Chak Wing Museum.
 

Listen online and find images, links and further background for each episode.

8 Oct 2020

In this episode, Dr Craig Barker is joined by Dr Jude Philp, anthropologist and Senior Curator of the Macleay Collections. Together they discuss a jar of partially dissected bird and small mammal brains, each individually wrapped in muslin or gauze.

Listen online and find images, links and further background for each episode.

2 Sept 2020

Our guest this episode is Matt Poll, Curator of Indigenous Heritage at the Chau Chak Wing Museum, who selects a stone axe to illustrate the deep time history of Sydney.

Listen online and find images, links and further background for each episode.

5 Aug 2020

Senior Curator of the University Art Collection, Dr Ann Stephen introduces us to Dr John Joseph Wardell Power (1881-1943), painter, author, medical doctor and philanthropist. In this episode, Ann introduces his life and work by focusing on a single painting, Femme à L’ombrelle (c. 1926), in the Chau Chak Wing Museum collection.

Listen online and find images, links and further background for each episode.

1 Jul 2020

In this episode, art historian Dr Ann Elias joins Craig Barker to discuss the image of a scallop opening its valves. The gaze of the scallop captured the attentions of artists, philosophers and marine biologists. Science, philosophy, art and dreams are all on the table in this deep dive into an underwater lantern slide.

 

Listen online and find images, links and further background for each episode.

 

3 Jun 2020

Dr Paul Donnelly speaks to Dr Craig Barker about Greek ceramic vessels and their journey from ancient Athens to the Nicholson Collection in Australia, via World War Two Paris.

Listen online and find images, links and further background for each episode.

5 May 2020

Dr Craig Barker was an archaeology student when he first encountered the captivating painting of Caterina Cornaro, Queen of Cyprus, in his professor’s office. He talks about her life and how this portrait of the Queen made its way to Sydney. 

Listen online and find images, links and further background for each episode.

Host

Dr Craig Barker

Head, Public Engagement, Chau Chak Wing Museum