A Curious Establishment: James Bray and His Museum of Curios
With Peter Hobbins
A long-forgotten institution in late-colonial Sydney, James Bray’s Museum of Curios was indeed a curious place. While its accumulated ‘native’ artefacts, colonial relics and natural history specimens were all for sale, they also represented the owner’s endless quest for knowledge and recognition. Sharing insights into James Bray’s quirky, complex and ultimately tragic life, this talk also returns his museum to its rightful place in Sydney’s rich urban history.
Peter Hobbins is the 2016 Merewether Fellow at the State Library of New South Wales. As a historian of science, technology and medicine at the University of Sydney, he is the author of a forthcoming book on Sydney’s Quarantine Station and another which explores the place of snakes in colonial Australia.