As a history teacher I love museums. I loved them before I became a history teacher in my mid 50s but now they hold more relevance. The Burke Museum is a rich walk through. It covers lots of local history but much more that has national significance.
To me the high point was the shop alley. They have set up what looks like an alleyway of shop fronts as a way of displaying relevant historical artifacts. So there is a haberdashery shop that has lots of historical elements of the clothes and other material making arts. There is a saddler with the artifacts connected with working on leather and horse related activities. There is a wonderful pharmacy with amazing collections of jars and potions connected with seeking wellness of fixing disease. The area is beautifully laid out and it was a great idea for grouping that artifacts. The picture below is in a furniture maker’s display and it has many of the design details of a rocking chair I have that belonged to my grandmother
Another part of the museum that engaged me was the Chinese section. I don’t think we celebrate their contribution to our nation enough. In this display there are some wonderful artifacts displaying their cultural distinctiveness and the contribution they have made.
The building in which all this is housed is a pure delight – sandstone, plastered walls, high ornate ceilings, a sense of permanence. For a nation that has a relatively short history since European takeover high quality museums like this are a delight and to have them anchored in the parts of the country where the events took place is truly special. Their website link is below.