Visitor Profile August 2018

Alice O'Rourke is the 2018 UK recipient of the International Museums and Collections Award. She is currently studying a Masters of Art History and Curating at the University of Birmingham, and has come to Melbourne for a month-long placement at the University of Melbourne.

Alice O'Rourke and a display at the Grainger Museum exhibiting Percy's memorialisation of his mother, Rose

Alice came by the Grainger Museum this week to talk with curator Dr Heather Gaunt and to experience our unique collection. As part of her placement, she is working with curators and collection managers across all University of Melbourne Cultural Collections, to gain insight into the field and develop her own skills in curation and collection management.

We happily hosted Alice for the afternoon, and asked her a few questions at the end of her visit. Read on to hear her thoughts.

Why did you visit the Grainger Museum today?

I visited the Grainger Museum as I have been asked to contribute to the University Collections blog by writing a post. It was suggested to me that I visit the Grainger Museum and comment on this particular collection due it's unique stance and importance within the university's history.

What was your favourite object and/or display in the Museum?

It is difficult to comment on my favourite object in the museum, as I found the entire collection fascinating. Seeing Percy Grainger's objects under one roof was like a real life instagram account - everything was so personal but so performed. The display I found most intriguing was the one that presented Percy Grainger's relationship to his Mother, Rose Grainger. The objects on display were not only deeply personal but also very evocative and thought-provoking. I couldn't quite decide whether the display was harrowing or heartening, but it certainly made an impression on me.

Was there anything you learnt at the Grainger Museum that surprised you?

If I'm honest, I wasn't sure who Percy Grainger was until I visited the museum. Therefore, I'd say learning about him as a character in history shocked me the most. I find him bizarre, intriguing and totally individual, and the collection and it's history is one that I have not come across in a museum context before.

Many thanks to Alice for taking the time to answer our questions. Alice's blog can be found here. She will also be posting on the University of Melbourne Museums and Collections blog, which can be found here.

We wish Alice all the best for the remainder of her time in Australia, and her future studies back in Birmingham.

More Information

Grainger Museum

03 8344 5270