Melbourne History Workshop Practicum (2021-)

As part of their coursework program at the University of Melbourne, PhD students undertake core and elective subjects in their first year of candidature. From 2021 Melbourne History Workshop has offered students a practicum as an elective subject in this program (ARTS90030). Projects may be cognate with their PhD topics, or something completely different!

In 2021, two students undertook projects with the Melbourne History Workshop Group.

  • Thea Gardiner is a PhD student in History exploring ‘The Paradoxical Life of Portia Geach (1873–1959)’. Thea conducted research for the Bridget McDonnell Gallery in Carlton North, home to a large collection of original Australian artworks. Each artwork purchased by the Gallery is thoroughly documented prior to being place in a catalogue or exhibited. One such work – Charles Conder’s watercolour The Pond c.1893, purchased by the Gallery in 2020—was the subject of this project. The aim was to complete an ‘object biography’ of The Pond to assist the Gallery in properly cataloguing the work. This included establishing when the work was exhibited and sold, whether reviews appeared for the exhibition or work, the original title, and where and when it was painted. 
  • Hohi Ikeda (Grimwade Centre for Cultural Materials Conservation) investigated historical and scientific aspects of Keith Haring’s Collingwood mural (1984), exploring how the mural, which was exhibiting obvious signs of deterioration in the mid 90s, was re-evaluated and re-investigated by conservators, curators and other stakeholders. The mural is listed in the Victorian Heritage Register.
Keith Haring mural in Collingwood (source: VHD website)

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