Alisa Bunbury awarded a National Library of Australia Fellowship in Curatorial Research

Alisa Bunbury, Grimwade Collection Curator at the Ian Potter Museum of Art, has been awarded a National Library of Australia Fellowship in Curatorial Research, which allows her to undertake twelve weeks of focused research accessing the Library’s rich collection of colonial art and textual material.

Alisa’s project is to research the visual imagery depicting Norfolk Island that was created during the various stages of its settlement during the late eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Chanced upon by James Cook in the Resolution in 1774, Norfolk Island was settled as a penal outpost in 1788, only six weeks after Sydney.

Drawings, watercolours, maps, published illustrations and, later, photographs show the difficulties of contact and communication with its steep cliffs and dangerous reef; the clearing of the land for agricultural purposes; the indigenous flora and fauna (some of which is now extinct); and the built environment, including the long-demolished first settlement (1788-1814) and the later penitentiary buildings (1825-55), the ruins of which are now World Heritage listed. This research will complement her research into books collected and bequeathed by Sir Russell Grimwade, now housed in the University of Melbourne’s Special Collections. Alisa will be on leave from her Grimwade position between March and May of this year.

Photograph of Alisa Bunbury

Image: Alisa Bunbury