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These online puzzles are inspired by the Library’s collections. You can choose the number of pieces to increase the level of difficulty and the challenge.
Detail of the Mitchell Library
In 2017–18 Wendy Sharpe, one of Australia’s leading contemporary artists, completed her residency at the Library as part of the Drawing in the Library program. Wendy's 12-month residency coincided with the landmark transformation of the Library's historic Mitchell Building, which saw the opening of beautiful new galleries and a state-of-the-art learning centre in October 2018. She produced a series of drawings and photographs documenting behind-the-scenes activity around both the public and rarely seen areas of the Library including: interiors and exteriors of the historic building, activities of readers, visitors and staff, as well as the changes taking shape. Read about Wendy Sharpe residency at the Library.
View the catalogue record for Front of the Library, artist book, 2017-2018 by Wendy Sharp.
Panoramic view of Sydney Harbour
Arthur Streeton’s high-toned, rapidly sketched paintings were startlingly innovative for conservative Sydney in the 1890s. His was an avant-garde vision, which had seemingly abandoned the conventions of 19th century painting. Standing near Curraghbeena Park in Mosman, Streeton looks across Cremorne Point to Garden Island on the left, the Royal Botanic Garden in the centre, and Circular Quay to the right.
The painting was commissioned in 1894 by Emily Bowden-Smith for her husband, Admiral Bowden-Smith, Commander of the Australian Fleet, as a memento of their time in Sydney. She displayed it at a soiree she gave at Admiralty House on 7 December 1894 — the Telegraph reported the next day that this was ‘a living, speaking picture, full of that fire which is so peculiarly Australian …’
View the catalogue record for Panoramic view of Sydney Harbour and the city skyline, 1894 / painted by Arthur Streeton
Picnic at Mrs Macquarie's Chair
A reproduction of this scene is captioned "Anniversary Regatta 1850 - View by Mrs. Macquarie's Chair (from an old Engraving)", based on an unknown source. " The inaugural Anniversary (or Foundation Day, as it was first known) Regatta on Sydney Harbour took place on 26 January 1837 to commemorate the landing of the First Fleet. The regatta continues to this day ...
The artist of this colourful record of the 1850s is not known, although John Black Henderson, a Sydney artist and surveyor, produced a separately issued lithograph based on the painting about 1870.
View the catalogue record for Picnic at Mrs Macquarie's Chair, 1855? / oil painting by unknown artist
Archival print of Picnic at Mrs Macquarie's Chair available for purchase in the online Library Shop.
Fairy Bower, Manly, 1956
Born in 1910, Sydney artist Alan Grieve studied at the Julian Ashton School and East Sydney Technical College.
Situated between Manly’s South Steyne and Shelly Beach lies the romantic sounding Fairy Bower. Named by landowner Charles Hemington in 1858, the Bower was intended to be a picnic and refreshment area for visitors to Manly. The Sydney Morning Herald recommended it in 1859 as ‘beautifully situated, near the ocean beach’.
Grieve lived locally, producing coastal scenes of Middle Harbour and the Northern Beaches. Not much has changed at Fairy Bower from what Grieve observed in 1956. A popular cafe continues to serve refreshments in the same building, and locals and visitors alike enjoy the swimming and walking the position offers.
View the catalogue record for Fairy Bower, Manly, 1956 / Alan Grieve
Archival print of Fairy Bower, Manly, 1956 available for purchase in the online Library Shop.
A Country Girl, poster detail
First performed in London in 1902, A Country Girl premiered in Sydney late the following year and enjoyed a long season.
'A Country Girl owes its fame to the gaiety of its music, to the bustle and movement of a first act that is presented with an effect of incredible rapidity, and to the force of contrast between the pastoral charm of the opening tableau and the architectural magnificence and dazzling colour of the second.'Sydney Morning Herald, 1903
View catalogue record for A Country Girl – Series 17: J C Williamson (firm) - poster books, 1887-1909
Archival print of the A Country Girl poster available for purchase in the online Library Shop.
Peter Pan, poster detail
One of Tittell Brune's most loved performances was as the lead in Peter Pan:
"...with Tittell Brune as Peter Pan, supported by a carefully selected coterie of American, English and Australian artists. It is a play to be seen again and again with unalloyed pleasure."The Theatre, 1 September 1908
This performance inspired the formation of the Peter Pan Club by her Sydney fans, its object no less than 'to make everybody happy'. Tittell Brune remained the president of the club while in London, providing recorded addresses to play at club gatherings.
View the catalogue record for Peter Pan – Series 17: J C Williamson (firm) - poster books, 1887-1909
Archival print of the Peter Pan poster available for purchase in the online Library Shop.
Humpty Dumpty, poster detail
Bert Gilbert was one of the stars of this performance in his role as King Sollum. An English actor, Gilbert came from a long line of theatre performers. In Australia he mostly had comic roles in pantomimes, including the lavish 1909 production of Jack and Jill.
View the catalogue record for Humpty Dumpty, poster detail – Series 17: J C Williamson (firm) - poster books, 1887-1909
Archival print of the Humpty Dumpty available for purchase in the online Library Shop.
The Girl of the Golden West, poster detail
The principals of this story are residents of a mining camp in the Sierra Nevada Mountains around 1850:
"...when the great gold fever was raging with a violence that drove representatives of every class of society to the Pacific Coast, and there set them searching for the hidden wealth of the hills."The Girl of the Golden West brochure, c.1908
View the catalogue record for The Girl of the Golden West – Series 17: J C Williamson (firm) - poster books, 1887-1909
Archival print of The Girl of the Golden West poster available for purchase in the online Library Shop.