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Touring exhibitions

The museum toured our diverse range of object, interactive and banner exhibits to 82 venues and reached more than 1.15M visitors in Australia and overseas this year. This reporting period was a year of transition for exhibitions, with long-running exhibition tours concluding and work commencing on the development of Sea Monsters – Prehistoric ocean predators, a future touring exhibition.

The Art of Science: Baudin’s voyagers 1800–1804 closed this year, having been on tour since 2016. The exhibition travelled to the Australian Capital Territory, New South Wales, South Australia, Tasmania and Western Australia. Total visitation was 152,470. War at Sea: the Navy in World War I ended its four-year tour at the Queensland Maritime Museum in Brisbane soon after Remembrance Day, attracting 7,840 visitors between July and early November 2018. Since 2015 the exhibition has toured to Newcastle, Wagga Wagga, Fremantle, Geraldton, Albany, Geelong, Hobart, Jervis Bay and Brisbane. Undiscovered: Photographic Works by Michael Cook attracted nearly 17,000 visitors at the Western Plains Cultural Centre in Dubbo, NSW.

Our outdoor exhibition Container: The box that changed the world commenced its tour in Wollongong and attracted more than 41,000 visitors over the busy summer period. The exhibition then headed inland to Wagga Wagga and Narrabri. Touring this exhibition has been a learning experience for museum staff and those at host venues. We worked with council staff at each location to identify a suitable location for the six shipping containers that house the exhibition. The criteria included flat, level ground clear of trees and street furniture, bathed in sunlight and likely to attract significant numbers of passing pedestrians who would be enticed to enter the exhibition and learn fascinating facts about international container shipping.

We leased our interactive exhibition Voyage to the Deep to Flying Fish, an industry-leading exhibition management team that specialises in touring exhibitions worldwide. Leasing the exhibition enables the museum to capitalise on the intellectual property that it has developed, generate revenue and most importantly share our work with an international audience. The exhibition attracted a phenomenal 270,000 visitors in a 10-day period in April, when it was displayed at the Sharjah Children’s Book Fair in the United Arab Emirates. We took a different approach with Horrible Histories® Pirates – the exhibition, which we sold to the Royal Naval Museum in Portsmouth, UK. Two of our team travelled to Portsmouth to install the exhibition.

In June 2019 key members of the exhibition team travelled to Otago Museum in Dunedin, New Zealand, to begin installing the exhibition James Cameron: Challenging the Deep. Exhibition staff have worked with marketing and digital teams to design and produce new promotional and marketing material to promote our touring exhibitions to potential host venues.

The Art of Science: Baudin’s voyagers 1800–1804
Western Australian Maritime Museum, 12 September–12 February 2019

Container: the box that changed the world
Wollongong Council, 20 October 2018–20 January 2019
Wagga Wagga Council, 2 February–5 May 2019
Narrabri Council, 18 May–29 July 2019

HMAS AE1 revealed
Curtin University, 21 October–2 December 2018 and 10 January–10 March 2019

Horrible Histories® Pirates – the exhibition
Western Australian Maritime Museum, 24 March–12 August 2018

Kay Cottee, Solo: endurance and the sea
Jervis Bay, December 2018–May 2019

Little shipmates
Lake Macquarie Art Gallery, 6 April–5 July 2019

Undiscovered: Photographic works by Michael Cook
Western Plains Cultural Centre, Dubbo, 18 August–28 October 2018

Voyage to the Deep
Newcastle Museum, 7 July–21 October 2018

War at Sea: The Navy in WWI
Queensland Maritime Museum, Brisbane, 30 June–12 November 2018

International venues

Escape from Pompeii: the untold Roman rescue in conjunction with Expona
Musée de la Romanité, Nîmes, France, 6 April–6 October 2019

Horrible Histories® Pirates – the exhibition
Royal Navy Museum, Portsmouth, UK, 12 April–30 June 2018

Voyage to the Deep
Sharjah Children’s Reading Festival, Sharjah, UAE, 17–28 April 2019

Banner exhibitions

The museum has continued to tour banner exhibitions, enabling us to share the maritime story with Australians visiting local libraries, trade shows, historical societies, naval bases and clubs throughout the nation. Select exhibits have also been displayed at museums and community clubs overseas. Guardians of Sunda Strait, which toured the USA, was the most popular banner display, with more than 195,000 visitors. The panel display Submerged: Stories of Australia’s shipwrecks, developed with members of the Australian Maritime Museums Council, was seen by 99,654 people in six states this year, and Shackleton: Escape from Antarctica continued to tour throughout Australia, attracting 47,492 visitors.

About the Australian National Maritime Museum
3 venues in Australia

The Australian and US Defence Relationship
1 venue in the USA

Clash of the Carriers/the Battle of the Coral Sea (banner display and film)
3 venues in Australia and 4 in the USA

Dark Victory – Operation Jaywick (banner display and virtual reality experience)
7 venues in Australia

Guardians of Sunda Strait (banner display and film)
7 venues in Australia and 5 in the USA

Nawi Indigenous Watercraft
4 venues in Australia

Shackleton: Escape from Antarctica
15 venues in Australia

Submerged: Stories of Australia’s Shipwrecks
45 venues in Australia

War and Peace in the Pacific
6 venues in Australia