Discover stories behind the latest exhibitions, fascinating explorations into maritime science and archaeology, and the surprising details of what happens inside (and outside) a modern working museum.

stephengapps

Stephen Gapps

Stephen is a Curator at the Australian National Maritime Museum. In 2014 he developed the War at Sea - The Navy in WWI exhibition. He was previously responsible for the collection areas of Environment and Industry. In 2015 Stephen developed a display showcasing Australian and Indonesian maritime connections. He has research interests in early colonial Australian history, Pirates and Vikings.

Mrs Cook's Valentine's Day

14 Feb 2013

On Valentine’s Day in 1779 Captain James Cook was killed in the Hawaiian Islands. Ironically perhaps, his death was the beginning of a long love affair with Cook by generations of people in the Western world who revered the great navigator. It was also the beginning of 56 long years for his wife Elizabeth Cook, without the love of her life.

Read more

Commerce exhibition redevelopment

16 Aug 2012

During the coming months the permanent exhibition Commerce – The working sea is being removed from display and a new temporary exhibition space developed. The Commerce gallery is the only long term display that has not significantly changed since it was installed at the opening of the museum in 1991.

Read more

Canoes light up on the harbour

23 May 2012

Across the country – at Blackwattle Bay in Sydney, on the Murray River and on the north and south coast of New South Wales – nawi (canoes in the Sydney language) are under construction.

Read more

Nawi news: Display of historic images

03 Apr 2012

From Wednesday 4 April the full exhibition of Nawi – Exploring Australia’s Indigenous Watercraft will be opened for viewing in the lead up to the conference on indigenous watercraft in late May.

Read more

Object of the month

24 Nov 2011

December is an interesting month for discussion of water conservation and regulation in Australia. At the museum, AQUA: A Journey into the World of Water* opens on 3December with a multisensory experience that promotes a message about the provision of safe drinking water.

Read more

What’s in a ship painting?

25 May 2010

Ship portraits can be rather tedious to some. They usually only convey something of interest to those who know particular details about the ship’s construction.

Read more
John Louis

To sheath or not to sheath?

04 Mar 2010

In 1987 the Australian National Maritime Museum acquired a pearling lugger from Broome. The John Louis was built in 1957 and operated for 30 years in the pearling industry in north-western Australia. 

Read more

A musket barrel made of copper?

08 Feb 2010

The Museum has several items from the 1629 wreck of the Batavia on display in the Navigators gallery. One is labelled as a musket barrel. However it is made of thin copper sheeting. Either the Dutch were very brave souls to fire such a thing, or there is more to this ‘musket barrel’ than meets the eye! 

Read more

Admiral Pâris’ amazing encyclopedia

07 Jan 2010

It may seem unlikely that a naval officer who fought in the Crimean War and who led the introduction of steam engines and ironclad warships into the French Navy would possess a delicate painterly hand. It also seems unlikely such a man would favour rustic scenes of Malyasian dock workers or Indian fishing boats and their crews. 

Read more