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Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Newcastle Museum to blend old with new

Newcastle Museum’s latest exhibition is expected to blend the old, with the new, challenging the way you think.

Showcasing an array of historic objects, like most museums, 1×4 will have visitors hearing the stories of the objects in a new way – on their device.

Rather than labels on a wall, the secrets of 1X4 will be revealed via a mobile phone or tablet by visiting 1×4.com.au.

Those wanting to delve deeper, can use headphones for an audio tour.

The 1×4 exhibition was conceived by Newcastle Museum as a way of highlighting the role of curators and historians in shaping how we perceive the significance of things.

Newcastle Museum director Julie Baird said visitors would be presented with four diverse “stories” for each object, reflecting a range of different but valid perspectives that can be used to interpret the displays.

Ms Baird said the radical concept could change the way museums create exhibitions and had already attracted state-wide and international interest.

Jewelled French corded lace dress at Newcastle Museum’s 1×4 exhibition.

“By using their own phones, visitors can read or listen to each object’s stories plus listen to its accompanying song, in an accessible and COVID Safe way,” she said.

“So when you come, don’t forget to bring your mobile or device.

1X4 breaks the power that museums have when they choose what to collect and how to interpret. 

“An object as simple as a child’s dress can tell of the Baby Boom generation, the symbolism of the colour pink, an individual’s childhood or the science of the Nylon revolution. 

“The exhibition begins as many conversations as it concludes, allowing visitors to enjoy deeper engagement and a more philosophical view on rare, beautiful and ordinary objects.

“We are hoping visitors leave the show and go home to explore the links, songs and stories more after the have visited in person.

“While 1×4 is currently on exhibition at Newcastle Museum it will also travel to other local government-funded museums in NSW.

“The approach is considered so ground-breaking that local government funded museums in Canada have been in contact and are interested in creating their own version of the 1X4 concept.”

1×4 will go from today (Saturday 19 December) to Monday 31 May.

The free exhibition is open Tuesday to Sunday, 10am – 5pm, and Mondays during NSW public and school holidays.

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