National recognition for TMAG

Bill Bleathman with the 2013 MAGNA award

The Premier and Minister for the Arts, Lara Giddings, said she was delighted to hear that the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery (TMAG) had taken out a top national award for its redevelopment.

TMAG Director, Bill Bleathman, travelled to Canberra to accept the overall national award at the Museums and Galleries National Awards (MAGNA) ceremony this evening.

TMAG’s suite of 12 new exhibitions won the Permanent Exhibitions category, and the museum rose through all individual category winners to take out the National Award for the most outstanding museum program development.

The national MAGNA judges praised the results unequivocally, saying that “the new TMAG exhibitions have reached a level of integrated ‘story telling’ for Tasmanians and other visitors that is unsurpassed in the institution’s long history”.

Ms Giddings said the honour was a testament to the dedication of the great many people who have worked on the $30 million Stage 1 redevelopment.

“The awards recognise excellence and celebrate the highest achievers in Australia’s museums sector, and I am thrilled that TMAG’s impressive new exhibitions have gained peak recognition in the country,” Ms Giddings said.

“More than 150,000 people have already visited the redeveloped museum to see these exhibitions since reopening, and I am sure that many more will come to enjoy them in the months and years ahead.

“I congratulate all the curators, designers and staff, and I urge all Tasmanians to visit TMAG to explore one of Australia’s best museum experiences right here in their own backyard.”

The Bond Store

Mr Bleathman said being recognised by the MAGNAs was a great honour.

“It’s wonderful to be applauded by our peers in the museums sector for the work we have put into our new exhibitions,” Mr Bleathman said.

“With 2 000 square metres of new public and exhibition space, including new content on all three floors of the historic Bond Store, the redevelopment has allowed us to tell more Tasmanian stories than ever before.

“Our aim was to re-introduce, reinterpret and highlight as much of TMAG’s collection as possible, and listening to the positive feedback we’re receiving from both visitors and the arts and cultural heritage community, I believe we have certainly achieved our goal.

“The redevelopment team has invested more than four years in developing and designing our new exhibitions, and this award is a fantastic acknowledgement of their efforts.”