Shaping Tasmania: a journey in 100 objects

Shaping Tasmania is an online exhibition and gallery trail of 100 objects, with the first 99 drawn from Tasmania's State Collection, selected from the objects on display throughout the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery. These objects explore significant events and movements that have helped create the Tasmania we know today.

The Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery's collecting brief is one of the most diverse in Australia, spanning art, decorative art, history, the sciences and indigenous cultures. The collection is home to more than 800,000 items, so the objects and their stories come from around the state, across disciplines, and through the ages.

Chosen to showcase 'our place' across the decades of Tasmania (or Van Diemen's Land, or lutruwita), the objects tell a story that is sometimes surprising, sometimes irreverent, and often contentious – but always interesting. And, most importantly, the 100th object could be from you, reflecting a story that you believe has helped shape Tasmania. Most importantly the project asks what you believe is important in shaping this island home.

Visitors are invited to contribute to Shaping Tasmania through a partnership with the ABC, both via radio and online, where a companion website encourages commentary and submission of visitors' own imagery of culturally significant objects. In recognition of the real value of community participation, the 100th object in the Shaping Tasmania project will be chosen from those nominated by the public from outside the State Collection, and displayed in a feature case in the TMAG foyer.

What is significant?

The 99 TMAG objects have been chosen against the following broad criteria.

  • Objects that are significant in describing Tasmania in some way – for example its history and biogeography.
  • Objects that showcase a movement, highlight a significant person, define a period, are 'firsts' or represent changes in Tasmania over time.
  • Objects that we might want to be remembered (or forgotten!) for… those that represent our creativity and inventiveness.

Consideration has been given to objects and stories from around the state and across TMAG's diverse collections.


This project is a partnership program between the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery and ABC Local Radio and ABC Online, which has recorded the audio and created a companion website for public participation. On this companion site, visitors are able to upload images of their own objects that they feel have been significant in shaping Tasmania, as well as nominate an object for the 100th item on display in the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery.

ABC HobartABC North

The logo for this project has been produced by Chris Morgan, a student from the Tasmanian School of Art, University of Tasmania. The Design unit from TMAG partnered with the Tasmanian School of Art to deliver a course component for third year Bachelor Visual Communication students, using the Shaping Tasmania project as a real world example for graphic identity development.