Home' The Canberra Times : Chronicle 6.9 Contents THE CHRONICLE, Tuesday, September 6 2011 - 16
Mitchell Bedding & Furniture
New director makes big plans
New ACT Museums and Galleries director Shane Breynard.
Picture: Elesa Lee
to raise profile
NEW ACT Museums and Galleries
director Shane Breynard's first goal is
to raise the profile of the organisation,
which incorporates Canberra Museum
and Gallery, Lanyon Homestead, Cal-
thorpes' House and Mugga Mugga
"I want to broaden the audiences
that come through here," he said.
"In a nutshell I want the collections
that are here and the exhibitions that
are put on and the way our historic
places are run to be the most useful
tool they can be for our community."
Mr Breynard takes over from long-
standing director Peter Haynes, who is
now curator at the University of
Mr Breynard has lived in Canberra
since he was five and he studied at the
Canberra School of Art.
"I had always enjoyed museums and
galleries here," he said.
He achieved Master of Arts and
Honours degrees and then moved to
London for four years to work further
in his chosen field. After his time
overseas Mr Breynard moved back to
Canberra and worked in ArtsACT for
about eight years.
He then moved to the Chief Minis-
ter's office as an advisor on arts and
heritage. After helping the new Chief
Minister Katy Gallagher through the
transition, the opportunity at ACT
Museums and Galleries came up and
Mr Breynard jumped at the oppor-
He said quite a few people didn't
actually know the museum and historic
houses existed. "There's a strong
following and people expect quality
exhibition and programs, which they
get. But there's a surprising number of
people who just don't know about it,"
he said. "It's seen as a somewhat shy
institution and it doesn't blow its
trumpet that loudly."
Mr Breynard hopes to change that;
he plans to signpost the museum to
show current and future exhibitions
and promote the museum.
Mr Breynard said the historic hou-
ses, many of which were donated to
ACT Museums and Galleries, are an
important part of the collection.
"I see the historical houses really as
a part of the collection in a way. They
happen to be sites and houses, but
really they're artefacts," he said.
He said the cottages and homestead
provide interesting stories from Can-
"I see part of my job as connecting
people's contemporary experience in
Canberra with those stories," Mr
"I also want it to be a place where
people can come to learn about the
issues of the day as well as connect
with the past."
Mr Breynard hopes to add to the
gallery's collections and wants to see
more significant pieces for the public
"One of the things I'm interested to
do is a bit of a stocktake here and
actually say 'where are the gaps in the
collection?'" he said.
"We certainly have some strong
pieces and some quite rare pieces, but
I don't believe we have aggressively
enough looked at where the gaps are
and what gaps we need to fill.
"I'd like the place to be much better
known by more Canberrans, and to be
known as a place where people can
come to learn about, think about, be
stimulated around the issues of the day
that are important for Canberra."
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