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Capturing Nature First Night
First Night: An evening of Victorian-inspired demonstrations, taxidermy and cocktails Image: Henry Barnes
Australian Museum

Join us for an exclusive preview of Capturing Nature: Early Photography at the Australian Museum 1857 –1893 and encounter the curious as you roam the exhibition after dark.

In Capturing Nature we travel back to a time when photography was revolutionising science, art and society. With rich, silvery, large-format prints, period cameras and some of the original skeletons and taxidermied animals featured in the photographs, this exhibition brings to life the story of one of humankind’s greatest inventions and a Victorian obsession with immortality.

With curious encounters including:

  • A demonstration of the collodion wet plate process, a photographic medium developed in the 1850s, by award-winning photographer Adrian Cook
  • Vanessa Finney, Capturing Nature curator and Head of Archives at the Australian Museum, telling the stories behind the fascinating glass plate images and opening a window into the Museum’s secret past as she launches the exhibition book
  • Understand the delicate art of taxidermy with presentations by the Museum’s Life Science team
  • Expert guides showing guests through the exhibition and on-hand to share the peculiar stories of the sometimes-bizarre creatures captured in the exhibition. The subjects vary from a large sunfish and the flipper of a sperm whale to a gorilla and the delicate bones of a flamingo.

Plus, an Archie Rose bar and a complimentary gin cocktail on arrival, blended specially for First Night by Archie Rose mixologists, and live music.


Additional information

Advance bookings essential.

Cash-only tickets available at the door, subject to availability.

Event recommended for ages 15+.

Run of events

6.30pm: Complimentary welcome drink and refreshments (bar open until 7.50pm)

6.45pm: Book launch and talk from curator Vanessa Finney

7–8pm: Expert guides, demonstrations of taxidermy and wet plate photography