Love and skulls: An exhibition loan to the Art Gallery of Ballarat

The exhibition Romancing the skull at the Art Gallery of Ballarat opened to the public on 14 October 2017. Object loans from three of the University’s Cultural Collections (Harry Brookes Allen Museum of Anatomy and Pathology, Rare Books and the Baillieu Library Print Collection) are key features of this edgy and multi-layered show.

The Nuremberg Chronicle from Rare Books, open to the image of the Dance of Death, and the exploded skull model by Tramond & Co. from the Harry Brookes Allen Museum are two of the highlights.

The exhibition also reunites a husband and wife: the artists Will Dyson (1880-1938) and Ruby Lindsay (1887-1919). Dyson was born at Ballarat and Lindsay at nearby Creswick where they were later married. When Ruby Lindsay died from influenza, at the age of just 32, Will Dyson’s biographer said ‘The fire and sting went out of him from this time on.’ The two works by these artists on loan from the Baillieu Library Print Collection convey that their love for each other is as enduring as their imagery.

Romancing the skull is an exhibition both for lovers and for lovers of skulls. These enthralling objects will be on display in Ballarat until 28 January 2018.

Image: Ruby Lindsay, Death, 1907. Baillieu Library Print Collection, University of Melbourne