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Velvet, Iron, Ashes


24 October 201912 July 2020
Location Victoria Gallery
Entry 5, via La Trobe Street
Accessibility Has wheelchair access

Exhibition temporarily closed

State Library Victoria is temporarily closed until further notice and all Library programs are cancelled or postponed until at least 13 April 2020. Full refunds will be issued and the Library will be in touch with ticket holders over the coming weeks. This does not affect events by Showtime Event Group.

This decision was not taken lightly and is a preventative step to to support the health and wellbeing of staff and volunteers and help stem the spread of COVID-19 in the Victorian community.

For full details on State Library Victoria’s temporary closure please visit our information page.

About the exhibition

Discover surprising connections between extraordinary people, events and icons from Victoria’s history. Follow your own path of exploration on a trail of unexpected, intertwined stories.

Velvet, Iron, Ashes opens up a new way of seeing our history and reveals as never before how our stories intersect. Find out how the armour of infamous bushranger Ned Kelly is connected to cricket’s celebrated Ashes Urn, how fairy floss is connected to Victoria’s Latrobe Valley electricity industry, and why the granddaughter of one of our prime ministers once wore a glittering velvet cloak that symbolised the Murray–Darling irrigation scheme.

Showcasing treasures from the Library’s collection and from other major institutions and private collections, this captivating exhibition will inspire you to make discoveries of your own.

Spend time with our retro-style Map-o-matic – custom-made for Velvet, Iron, Ashes – to create and print your very own personalised tour map of the exhibition.

Velvet, Iron, Ashes is the inaugural exhibition in the new Victoria Gallery endowed by the John and Myriam Wylie Foundation and established as part of the Library’s transformative $88.1 million Vision 2020 redevelopment.

The original Ashes Urn was on exclusive display from 26 November 2019 to 23 February 2020.

Velvet, Iron, Ashes is open 10am-6pm daily.