A new podcast series brought to you by State Library of NSW, Create NSW and Essex Street Media. Series 1 of Portrait Detective dives into the collections of the State Library to discover the stories behind iconic portraits from 1817 to 1865. Join Margot Riley and Cassie Gilmartin as they journey back in time to discuss each portrait's significance and how they can help you learn more about your own photographs in your family history collection. For more, visit portraitdetective.com.au
Hosts: Cassie Gilmartin and Margot Riley
Producer: Daniel Butler
Created by: Cassie Gilmartin and Margot Riley in partnership with State Library of NSW and Create NSW
We acknowledge the Traditional Owners of the Country on which this podcast was recorded, the Gadigal people of the Eora nation, and recognise their continuing connection to land, waters and culture. We pay our respects to their Elders past, present and emerging.
Parramatta’s fashionable lady, 1865
Was Governor Bligh’s colonial regime brought to its knees by a fracas over his daughter’s undergarments? And how does this relate to a photograph of a fashionably dressed young woman taken in Parramatta in 1865? All will be revealed as Margot Riley and Cassie Gilmartin discuss the industrial advances of the 1860s and the huge impact these had on women’s fashion. Series finale.
Sydney’s accidental celebrity: Dunbar survivor James Johnson, 1857
James Johnson, the only survivor of the 1857 Dunbar shipwreck, was so fascinating to Sydneysiders that he was chased down the city’s streets. It was a tough time for this shy young man from Ireland who simply loved the sea. Margot and Cassie discuss the portrait that made him instantly recognisable, and discover how James ended his days in the colony.
Two sisters, the mutiny and a happy snap from 1857
Who were the Nobbs sisters? And what is their link to the famous mutiny on the Bounty? Margot Riley and Cassie Gilmartin delve into the history behind this early ‘happy snap’ to see what we can learn about 19th-century life on Pitcairn and Norfolk Islands and the evidence revealed by the sisters’ clothing.
The rare family portrait from 1854
Amid the chaos and change of a tumultuous decade in Australian history, George Walker Johnson and his family pose for an extremely poignant portrait. Margot Riley and Cassie Gilmartin discuss the story behind this rare daguerreotype and what we can glean from our own family photographs.
View the image Margot and Cassie discuss at https://www.portraitdetective.com.au/podcast
The selfie that’s 184 years old
In 1837, a genteel young woman named Mary Ellen Betts decides to paint a self-portrait. Who was she, what can we learn from this painting, and why is it so significant to our understanding of life in the early 1800s?
Convicts, colonials and the mysterious green umbrella
An iconic watercolour drawing from 1817 by artist Edward Close records a unique view of a street scene in colonial Sydney, showing the clothing that early settlers would have seen and worn in daily life. Margot Riley and Cassie Gilmartin discuss the significance of this portrait and solve the puzzle of the green silk umbrella.
Australian history from a different perspective
Another wonderful podcast series from the State Library NSW. I have really enjoyed the duos banter as well as learning about Australian history from the perspective of the person in each photograph.