Velvet, Iron, Ashes

A research guide providing options for further research into the themes and personalities featured in our Velvet, Iron, Ashes exhibition.

Your Librarian

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Andrew McConville
Contact me via our online reference service citing my name and the title of this guide
Subjects: Literature


Velvet, Iron, Ashes is the inaugural exhibition in our new Victoria Gallery. The exhibition runs until 12 July 2020. The Ashes urn was a key feature of the exhibition and was on display until 23 February 2020. It is no longer on display. It has now returned to the Marylebone Cricket Club, Lords, London.

The exhibition highlights some surprising connections between Ned Kelly's armour, cricket's famed Ashes urn, the Latrobe Valley electricity industry, the Victorian centenary celebrations and the notable Clarke family.

Victoria Gallery

Made possible by an $8 million gift from the John and Myriam Wylie Foundation, this new world-class gallery will enable the Library to put the best of Victoria’s great treasures on public display.

The Victoria Gallery was formerly known as the  La Trobe Gallery and was built at the same time as the Redmond Barry Reading Room (originally McCoy Hall) in 1892. The design is in keeping with McArthur Gallery (1874) on the southern side of the Redmond Barry Reading room.

The McArthur Gallery has been refurbished as the combined Herald and Weekly Times Newspapers and Helen Macpherson Smith Trust Family History Reading Rooms  which opened in September 2018.

The Victoria Gallery was originally occupied as an exhibition space by the National Gallery of Victoria until NGV moved to their current location in St Kilda Road in 1968.  It was then used by the Museum, housing their ethnographic collection. 

It was refitted for the Australian Manuscripts staff and collection material in 2003 and reopened as Victoria Gallery on 24 October 2019.


Velvert Iron Ashes

Victoria Gallery

State Library Victoria
10am to 6pm
24 October 2019 - 12 July 2020

About the curator

Carolyn Fraser is Lead Curator at State Library Victoria.

She has published widely on social history topics, with a particular focus on the history of craft practices.

Carolyn has a BA (Hons) from the University of Melbourne and an MA and MPhil from Columbia University, New York.