Phar Lap
From racecourse to reliquary

by Isa Menzies

The life stories of taxidermied animals held in museum collections are often incorporated into their ‘afterlives’, the term used to describe the post-mortem existence of animals whose biographies extend beyond death. This paper examines one such afterlife: that of the depression-era racehorse Phar Lap. Through the interpretation, and re-interpretation, of his physical remains, Phar Lap’s centrality in Australian narratives of national identity has led to his remains acquiring the status of quasi-religious relics, and the horse himself has achieved a form of secular sainthood.

Delaunay thumbnail

From Parisian workshop to museum repository
Retracing the Australian history of a 1913 Delaunay Belleville motor car

by Laura Breen

Now approaching its centenary, the National Museum of Australia’s 1913 Delaunay Belleville is the oldest motor car in the National Historical Collection, and was one of the first objects purchased by the interim Museum in 1982. The car remains a remarkable source of evidence for the profoundly different attitudes of various collectors towards its aesthetics, functionality and historical authenticity. This article retraces the car’s history and offer new perspectives on how collecting and adapting historic motor cars changed over the 20th century.