Visitors invited to celebrate SA Maritime Museum’s 30th birthday with sparkling and cake

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The South Australian Maritime Museum celebrates its anniversary this weekend, marking 30 years since it opened in 1986 as a new state museum in a precious collection of refurbished heritage buildings. One of the goals for the new museum was to bring visitors to South Australia’s first heritage precinct and preserve and interpret its history.

Since that time more than 2,340,000 people have visited the Maritime Museum. The Maritime Museum is heir to the collection of the Port Adelaide Institute and that collection started 140 years ago, in October 1876. It is now the oldest nautical collection in Australia and includes national treasures. The Museum will mark the 30th and 140th anniversaries with their most ambitious and most successful exhibition to date. The Art of Science: Baudin’s Voyagers 1800-1804 closes on Sunday 11 December before heading on tour to Launceston, Hobart, Sydney, Canberra and Fremantle.

The Art of Science: Baudin’s Voyagers 1800 -1804 exhibition displays exquisite illustrations by French artists made during Nicholas Baudin’s exploration of Australia.

Funded by Napoleon Bonaparte, Baudin’s expedition agenda was to discover and study natural sciences. The exhibition showcases original sketches and paintings created by Baudin’s artists Charles- Alexandre Lesueur and Nicolas-Martin Petit during the voyage of 1800-1804. Lesueur and Petit created their paintings and drawings on the shores and off the coasts of Australia and captured some of the first European views of Australian animals, landscapes and some of the first portraits of Aboriginal people.

The exhibition highlights the aesthetic beauty and detail of the art works but also emphasises that these were the scientific photographs of the era.
SA Maritime Museum is inviting visitors to join them from 3.30 pm on Sunday 11 December for an anniversary cake and a glass of French sparkling to toast the anniversaries and wish bon voyage to Baudin’s Voyagers.


Open daily from 10am – 5pm, The Art of Science: Baudin’s Voyagers 1800 -1804 will run until 11 December before commencing a national tour.