26 October 2010
Percy Grainger Museum reopened
The Grainger Museum in Melbourne has reopened following a period of major works to preserve the historic building and upgrade its facilities for visitors, staff and the collection. From Sunday 17 October, visitors have again been able to tour the extensive collection that documents the life and times and interests of Percy Grainger, including a new suite of exhibits but together by the Museum's curators.
Now part of the University of Melbourne Library, the Grainger Museum is the only purpose-built autobiographical museum in Australia. Grainger's thoughts of establishing an autobiographical museum began in the early 1920s, initially in response to the sudden death of his mother Rose. In a letter to his friend Balfour Gardiner, dated 3 May 1922, Grainger mentioned the idea for the first time: 'All very intimate letters or notes should be deposited in an Australian Grainger Museum, preferably in birth-town Melbourne'.
The museum was built in two stages in the 1930s and opened for the first time in 1938. It has been open to the general public on a regular basis from the 1960s. In 2003 the building was closed and the collection relocated to offsite storage for the duration of the building conservation works funded by the University of Melbourne, the University Library and several generous gifts and bequests.
The Grainger Museum is open from Tuesday to Friday and on Sundays (1pm to 4:30pm). On Thursday 28 October, Professor Chalon Ragsdale of the University of Arkansas will present a free public lecture, 'Percy Grainger: In his own words' at 5.30pm in the Leigh Scott Room, first floor, Baillieu Library.
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