BIG WIN: Newcastle Museum Curator David Hampton, City of Newcastle Director of City Wide Services Alissa Jones and Newcastle Museum Director Julie Baird with the MAGNA awards for the 1X4 exhibition. Picture: Supplied
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Newcastle Museum exhibit 1X4 nabs industry’s highest accolade!

An innovative Newcastle Museum social history exhibition has beaten some of the country’s most prestigious institutions to nab the industry’s highest accolade – the National MAGNA.

The museum’s 1X4 exhibition was named the overall winner at the 2021 Museums and Galleries National Awards (MAGNA) held in Canberra this week.

The museum initially took out the Temporary or Travelling Exhibition Level 1 (for project budgets under $20,000) gong before beating out 42 finalists across 16 categories to be named the best show in show!

The exhibition’s website also won the Program Website -Level A award at the Museums Australasia Design Awards 2021,

The plaudits didn’t stop there, either with museum Director Julie Baird named as the Vice President of the National Council for the Australian Museums and Galleries Association Incorporated (AMaGA)

“Newcastle Museum is on the cutting edge of contemporary museum practice, creating insightful and immersive ways to interpret and preserve our city’s fascinating history,” Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said.

“This is one of the most significant cultural awards Newcastle has ever won and is testimony to the skill and creativity of Julie [Baird, Newcastle Museum Director] and her City of Newcastle colleagues.”

(From Left)AMaGA National Council Vice President and Newcastle Museum Director Julie Baird with Ordinary Council Members Cameron Auty, Marika Inago, and Nina Earl and Secretary Craig Middleton. Picture: Supplied

Julie added the exhibition was a massive team effort, conceived and created locally in less than a year amongst the uncertainty of COVID-19.

1X4 is an innovative, collection-rich, social history exhibition and website exploring the multiplicity of narratives each object can tell,” she said.

“It has attracted widespread interest, with three museums already adding it to their touring exhibition program and requests for it through until 2023.

“Major UK institution The Victoria & Albert Museum tweeted about the innovation of the exhibition and local government-funded museums in Canada have been in contact and are interested in creating their own version of the 1X4 concept.”

Newcastle Art Gallery’s On Stillness exhibition was also highly commended by judges in the Temporary or Travelling Exhibition Level 1 category.