16 December 2016 – 30 April 2017
All of us still find ourselves occasionally with little metal things in our pockets called coins. Back when these objects were more popular in Australia the gorgeous surface designs were the product of a remarkable artist designer called Stuart Devlin.
There is till the end of April a rich homage to the artistry of Devlin housed in the gallery of the Royal Australian Mint. Celebrating the creativity of a master is always a challenge. The curators have focused on coins, medals, coats of arms and maces but have included table ware and other expressions of his skills.
The main web page is below with some sample pics.
Biography page for Stuart Devlin
I went recently to the 50th Anniversary Open Day of the Royal Australian Mint. It was great. Popular – big time! The parking was well managed and using nearby green fields and week day car parks they accommodated the thousands that poured through.
There was the live music, fairy floss, face painting and Lions club sausage sizzle side of it. Inside they took you on a walk through tour of the manufacturing floor. Upstairs the viewing windows, touch screens, wall displays and theatre video were all finished and engaging. The collectors shop had a long queue and there were even baloon sculptors in the foyer. I loved it and there was something special about walking through the manufacturing area that I have observed lots of times over the years from the viewing windows upstairs.
The Mint in Canberra turns 50. Time for a celebration. The best celebration is a face lift. The exhibition galleries and the window viewing areas over the manufacturing plant are all being redone but are not finished and when I was there they could not get the introduction video to start. The great thing I liked was a model of the building and panels of history in sequence around the base.
I have included some of the panels and pics of the model complete with cars of the era below.
We all use coins every day. Meters, coffee and other uses that do not go on cards, call for coins. Australian coins are manufactured in Canberra at the Mint.
The public gallery at the Mint is a treat. One side is a set of floor to ceiling glass panes overlooking parts of the manufacturing process including a robot that bows to people up in the gallery.
The educational aspects of the space areas are well laid out with samples of coins from the time when Europeans arrived up to the present. There are trial run coins and misprint coins. There are lots of explanations of the processes of design and production for coins.
The experience is expanded by a short film in a small theatre and at present there is a delightful picture book exhibition set in 1913 using cartoons and enlarged page reproductions. The exhibition is titled Shilling’s Year – a coins eye view of the year 1913. There is a unique shop selling the remarkable range of coin collection products available from The Mint. Coffee is available near the entrance.
Further information about the Mint is on their website: http://www.ramint.gov.au/