The Benalla Costume and Pioneer Museum was founded in 1967 and is accredited through the
Museum Accreditation Program (Vic).
It is the only public costume museum of its kind in Victoria and the combined museum has won awards for excellence.
It is managed entirely by volunteer members of the Benalla & District Historical Society Inc. and is a splendid example of how the skills of an enthusiastic and talented group can produce excellence.
The costume museum (a "must-see" for the feminine folk) is an excellent display of apparel worn in times past. I have to say that even a dumb male such as myself could appreciate some of the intricate work that had gone into the making of some of these garments.
Definitely worth a look while you're in Benalla.
P.S. Photography is not allowed in the costume section, I was granted special permission for the shots enclosed here.
The Museum is centrally located on the bank of Lake Benalla adjacent to the Ceramic Mural,
and opposite the Art Gallery and Botanical Gardens.
The Museum specialises in costume and local history, including much of the NED KELLY STORY, Australia's most notorious criminal. As Benalla is in the heart of Kelly Country, the KELLY STORY is given considerable emphasis. Here you will find a transportable prison cell in which Ned was once imprisoned, and it contains authentic memorabilia including Ned's bloodstained sash (which he wore at the siege at Glenrowan) and his bridle as well as other items. You can also read many letters and documents about the gang and Ned's family, and see an excellent 12 minute video.
The Historical Society also has a 'Research Room' in the Museum in which early Benalla newspapers, books, documents, and pictures are stored. The Research Room is open to the public for research purposes on Wednesdays from 12.30 to 3.30pm throughout the year for those who may wish to explore the annals of Benalla's History.
The costume collection dates from 1770 to the present, and is shown in regularly changing exhibitions of dressed models, with appropriate accessories and decor to suit the theme of the exhibition
Benalla's busy commercial centre begins at the eastern bank of Lake Benalla, mainly centred along the thoroughfare of Bridge Street and neighbouring Nunn Street. Historic buildings in the town centre include the Commercial Hotel (built in 1860), the town hall (1882) and the National Bank.
In 1974, the Broken River, which the town lies on, was dammed, creating an attractive and wide waterway known as Lake Benalla. Swimming and boating activities are popular on the lake which is surrounded by parkland and walking tracks.
The lakeside is very user friendly and locals can be seen jogging and riding around the pathways.
21 Bridge Street West, Benalla, 3672, Australia
Good for: Couples
48 Bridge Street West
Good for: Families
48-50 Bridge Street West, Benalla, VI 3672
Good for: Families
The striking modern building set over the waters was completed in 1975 and houses a fine eclectic body of work that attracts around 80,000 visitors annually.
It's well laid out and the works are well displayed.
(If you're wondering why the colour is strange in the photo it's because my camera was on the wrong settings.)
Fondest memory: It features many 19th century landscapes by various well known Australian (or new Australian) artists who were coming to terms with the different natural light and natural flora and fauna of Australia. Many of these come from the private Ledger Collection.
Overall, the gallery includes a selection of modern and contemporary art in a variety of media, which includes painting, prints, works on paper, textiles, ceramics and sculpture.
On display is a tapestry of Sidney Nolan’s ‘Glenrowan’, from his Ned Kelly series. Following the 2002 bushfires, artist Rick Amor was commissioned to create a work which responded to the blackened landscape. The result, ‘The Arc - aftermath of bushfires in the North East’ is a record of the tragedy of the fires, and an affirmation of nature’s powers of regeneration. It's a thought provoking work shall we say.
I pulled up and couldn't help but notice this significant bit of sculpture sitting beside the museum and the water. As you cross the bridge it is definitely a standout.
Fondest memory: The ceramic mural is a work of community. While Judy Lorraine was appointed as artist-in-residence the whole project was supported by the three levels of government. David N. Moore was project co-ordinator, not to be confused with David W. Moore as Education Officer during the planning stages. For over 20 years David W. and Judy remained committed to the mural and contributors included many significant artists, over 1,000 students and many volunteers.
It was officially opened in 2010 by local mayor, Bill Hill.
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