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19 April 2006

An exhibition that captures the powerful and conflicting emotions of British emigration to Australia in the 19th century opens at the National Museum of Australia this Friday.

Exiles and Emigrants: Epic Journeys to Australia in the Victorian Era tells the emotional stories of the greatest diaspora in Western history. It is the first time art and objects produced in the reign of Queen Victoria have been used to tell the story of the unprecedented exodus of almost 15 million people from Britain between 1837 and 1901.

This is the last opportunity to see this exhibition of 55 paintings and 20 fascinating objects.

WHAT: Exiles and Emigrants media preview

WHEN: 11am, Friday, 21 April 2006

WHERE: Temporary gallery, National Museum

Curator Patricia Tryon Macdonald will be available for interview at the preview.

A highlight of the exhibition is Ford Madox Brown's masterpiece, The Last of England, lent by the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery outside of Britain for the first time. The evocative objects on show include a quilt made on a voyage to South Australia, a seashell engraved with an image of the emigrant ship SS Great Britain, and letters sent at the time.

Exiles and Emigrants: Epic Journeys to Australia in the Victorian Era is a National Gallery of Victoria touring exhibition on show in the National Museum of Australia's Temporary Exhibition Gallery from 21 April to 4 June.

Entry is $8 adult, $6 concession, $3 child, $18 family. This exhibition has been generously supported by Tattersall's. Qantas is the support sponsor.

For interviews, images and more information please contact Leanda Kitchen on 02 6208 5338, 0438 620 710 or

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