This project began with the gift to Mary Ryllis Clark of a box of files of someone else’s writing. That person was her long time friend, Nina Stanton, one of the foremost director/curators in Australia, who died of throat cancer in 2009. Nina’s papers contain a raw depiction of a painful childhood, a troubled life and finally entry to a world in which she found her passion not only for beautiful objects but a capacity to educate others.
Inspired by the way Edmund de Waal uses the netsuke in the Hare with Amber Eyes as a vehicle to tell the history of a family, Mary uses the images of nearly 100 beautiful objects that include antique furniture, clocks, paintings, silverware, glass and porcelain, not only to make symbolic connections to Nina’s own exploration of her life, but also to introduce the reader to the historic, cultural and social context of the world of the fine and decorative arts in Australia.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Mary Ryllis Clark has written a number of books including In Trust – the first forty years of the National Trust in Victoria 1956-1996; Discover Historic Victoria; Timbertop – Celebrating 50 Years; Loreto in Australia; Christopher Martin: ‘in the middle of the music’ – Memoir & Memories and Perfect Charity with Heather O’Connor and Valerie Krips. She has written the text for more than twenty exhibitions and wrote the ‘Historic Victoria’ column in The Age for thirteen years.
Nina Stanton was Director of The Johnston Collection from 2000-2008 when she resigned due to illness. She began her career in museums in 1980 as Research Assistant at the Performing Arts Museum in Melbourne, formed her own company Nina Stanton & Associates Pty Ltd – Museum Services in 1988, she was Director of the Old Treasury Building in 1995-96 and then Director of the Norfolk Island Museum before returning to Melbourne in 2000. She died on 2 May 2009.
Size: 28 × 23 × 1.5 cm
Publisher: Anchor Books Australia
REVIEW: A TEAR IN THE GLASS REVIEW: MARY RYLLIS CLARK'S MOVING ACCOUNT OF A LIFE LIVED BY STEVEN CARROLL, SYDNEY MORNING HERALD, AUGUST 2018.