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Australia- Thespians in the Bush

Date: 12 September 1885
Dimensions:
Overall: 425 x 290 mm, 0.02 kg
Medium: Ink on paper
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Purchased with USA Bicentennial Gift funds
Classification:Ephemera
Object Name: Engraving
Object No: 00019627
Place Manufactured:United States

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    Description
    This clipping features a number of hand coloured wood engraved prints depicting views of the first theatre established at the Ballarat gold diggings in 1852. The article appeared in Frank Leslie's Illustrated newspaper. The gold mining camps were a harsh place to live and the establishment of amusement activities provided relief for the diggers. Theatre tickets were an expensive pastime only really available to the wealthy.
    SignificanceThis newspaper clipping is representative of amusement activities on the Australian gold fields during the 1850s. It signifies the development of mining settlements and the impact of the gold rush on Australian society.
    HistoryIllustrated weekly magazines became increasingly popular in Europe and America during the mid 19th century. They used large eye catching illustrations to accompany articles on politics, war, travel, exploration, fine arts, science and literature. The coverage of the Gold rush was a popular story in America, Australia and England as many people were interested in the adventure, wealth and excitement of gold. Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper was first published in 1855 and continued to print through till 1922. It was the first successful American newspaper publication to combine illustrations and news together.

    Conditions at the gold diggings and camps were harsh and offered little luxuries to their residents. As goldfield settlements developed into towns, public amusements became more diverse and sophisticated. Miners were entertained by touring circuses, theatrical performances and minstrel groups in music halls, tents and hotels. Theatre tickets were an expensive luxury and only really available to those with substantial wealth.

    Additional Titles

    Assigned title: Australia - thespians in "The Bush" - The first theatre in the gold diggings at Ballarat in 1852

    Web title: Australia- Thespians in the Bush

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