Author(s): Mary Ryllis Clark
Inspired by the way Edmund de Waal uses the netsuke in the Hare with Amber Eyes as a vehicle to tell the history of a family, Mary Ryllis Clark uses nearly 100 beautiful objects, chosen by her friend Nina Stanton, not only to make symbolic connections to Nina¿s own exploration of her life, but also to introduce the reader to the historic, cultural and social context of the world of the fine and decorative arts in Australia. These often acute observations make a fitting legacy for the life and work of Nina Stanton.This book offers autobiographical insights into the life, experiences and deep feelings of Nina Stanton. Nina was a trail-blazer. She graduated successfully from the inaugural year of the first-ever Museum Studies course in Victoria. Her consulting business was among the first in Australia to offer specialised services for museums and she punctuated her career in Melbourne with employment in Queensland, New South Wales and Norfolk Island. Hers was a life in which a great deal had been accomplished. This book reflects the professional heart and central passion of her life: the care and interpretation of objects in a collection.Nina selected objects that triggered memories of different times in her life, including antique furniture, clocks, paintings, silverware, glass and porcelain. Through them she tells her story which Mary shapes into an introduction to the fine and decorative arts. It is a story about choices and redemption, using the objects as a bridge to self knowledge and general knowledge.This book will introduce the reader to the little-known world of the fine and decorative arts in Australia and will be a valuable contribution to our understanding of the world of the curator and the place of objects in the history of Australia.