By Research Associate Dr Baige Zylstra
Reading through the minute books of the WA Museum Committee reveals many interesting facts about early collecting practices in WA. Founded in 1895, the Museum Committee was not only responsible for the development of the State’s museum collection, but also the early art collection. The first artwork they acquired for the collection was a copy of Rembrandt’s An old woman. Around the same time they also purchased copies of Greek and Roman statues, which were exhibited in the gallery for many years. These decisions are documented in the committee minutes on 4 September 1895, reproduced here courtesy of the State Records Office. The statues can be seen in photographs of the gallery taken by E.L.Mitchell in 1913, held in the collection of the State Library of Western Australia.
CTW Research Associate Dr Baige Zylstra has been documenting the development of Western Australia’s major public collecting institutions.