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Glorious Days: Australia 1913

Glorious Days: Australia 1913 was on show at the National Museum of Australia in Canberra from 7 March to 13 October 2013. 


Visitors were invited to step back in time to Glorious Days: Australia 1913 and immerse themselves in a time of tremendous optimism, when Australians took pride in their distinctive culture, high standard of living and sporting prowess.

Rollerskater Nellie Donegan

In the year 1913 Australians saw their new nation as progressive and free to make its own future in the world.

The new capital, Canberra, was the expression of a national dream and the year culminated in the arrival in Sydney Harbour of Australia's own navy.

1913 has been described as a 'hinge year', when people embraced the modern world of automobiles, aeroplanes, rollerskating and cinema, although attitudes and prejudices from the past persisted.

Glorious Days featured beautiful artworks, costume, music and newsreel footage from Australia a century ago.

The exhibition offered visitors the opportunity to look back 100 years, and ask themselves: how much has changed, and what has stayed the same?

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Image credit: (above) rollerskater Nellie Donegan, 1913. Mitchell Library, State Library of New South Wales, P1/486. Colourised image: National Museum of Australia.