Monochrome image of Cluny Macpherson crouched down along side the Macpherson's pet dog, Ponto. Cluny was the father of Hope Macpherson, the first female curator at the National Museum of Victoria (now Museum Victoria). Hope along with Isobel Bennett, Susan Ingham and Mary Gillham were the first women to visit the Antarctic in their December 1959 expedition.
Description of Content
Image of man wearing pin striped shirt and tie crouched down along side black dog in sitting position, on grassed area with shrubbery, then a timber paling fence and partial view of building on other side of fence in the background.
The Hope (Macpherson) Black Collection is a significant addition to Museum Victoria's working lives collection, it reveals the journey of a woman from depression era Melbourne and illustrates the power of education. It also reveals the often discriminatory policies in place in Victoria before the equal opportunity developments of the late 20th century. In balance though it also exposes the somewhat free expression possible for empowered women in this period. Hope Macpherson clearly states that in her day to day work she never felt discrimination and believes she was given great opportunity to pursue her career and aspirations. However, on analysis her role was often shaped by her gender and its perceived strengths and weaknesses; she was dissuaded from applying to become a taxidermist as it was 'an unsuitable job for a woman', although part of the first group of female scientists allowed to travel to Macquarie Island they were not permitted to camp on land with the male crew for fear of inciting passions. And finally after a distinguished career she was forced to resign her tenure as Australia's first female Curator when she married late in life, as a consequence of the Marriage bar.
Donation from Hope Black (nee Macpherson), April 2011
Cluny Macpherson with Ponto (hand written in pencil).
Type of item
107 mm (Length), 63 mm (Width)