Spotlight: Outlawed! Rebels, Revolutionaries and Bushrangers

In 2004, right on the tail end of the last bout of Ned Kelly mania, the National Museum of Australia put together an exhibition looking at outlaws from around the world. Jo Duke, curator, did an amazing job of assembling a formidable collection of items that covered everything from Robin Hood to Pancho Villa. The exhibition was fascinating and had an enormous amount of unique historical items, many of which I would love to see again in a similar showcase. In all the exhibitions that I’ve been to at the museum this is by far one of my favourites and not just for the obvious reasons. I had the good fortune to attend when it was housed at Melbourne Museum and below are some of the photographs I still have from my visit.

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Ben Hall’s pocket colt revolver with initials carved into the grip (National Library of Australia)
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At top is the Tranter revolving rifle used by Johnny Gilbert when he was shot dead at Binalong (John Pickup); at bottom is Constable Bright’s Calisher and Terry carbine used to shoot Gilbert (National Museum of Australia)
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Sam Neill’s Captain Starlight costume from Robbery Under Arms (Performing Arts Collection of South Australia)
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Joe Byrne’s armour (Private Collection)
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Ned Kelly’s colt revolving carbine (Private Collection)
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Death mask of Andrew George Scott alias Captain Moonlite (Historic Houses Trust of NSW)
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Death mask of Thomas Rogan (Historic Houses Trust of NSW)
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Death mask of Ned Kelly (School of Anatomy, University of Melbourne)
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Death mask of Dan Morgan (School of Anatomy, University of Melbourne)
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An iconic silhouette

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