Early hand-painted, single-sided exhibition label for the National Museum of Victoria, circa 1880.
It is covered in glass, has a painted green frame and dates from the period when the museum was located at Parkville on the University of Melbourne campus, under the direction of Sir Frederick McCoy.

Physical Description

Rectangular sign, single-sided with black handpainted on beige card, green painted wooden frame, glazed. handpainted upper case letter on beige card.


The labels in the Historic Exhibition Labels Collection illustrate the changing styles in didactic interpretation, aesthetics and approaches to audience engagement throughout the history of Museums Victoria. From the earliest days of the National Museum of Victoria in the mid 1800s through the various incarnations of the Applied Sciences collection through to the amalgamation of all the branches into Museums Victoria, the labels chart a course through the changes in audience needs and desires in Victoria and across the museums' various sites. There are beautiful examples of hand written nineteenth century labels, some examples of extremely long didactic panels from the early twentieth century, and rare and unusual fonts in the mid twentieth century. The collection also illustrates the transition from hand-written labels to the use of typewriters, then lettera set and ultimately printed labels, culminating in the large format digital print room being introduced at Melbourne Museum in 2000.

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