Launch of Miegunyah: The Bequests of Russell and Mab Grimwade

December 15 / 173

Authors John Poynter and Benjamin Thomas
Authors John Poynter and Benjamin Thomas

Earlier this month former Governor of Victoria and Chancellor of the University Alex Chernov launched a new book from Melbourne University Publishing that extensively documents the important philanthropic contributions to the University of Russell and Mab Grimwade.

Miegunyah: The Bequests of Russell and Mab Grimwade, was written by Emeritus Professor John Poynter and Dr Benjamin Thomas with contributions by the Chancellor Elizabeth Alexander, Professor Jaynie Anderson and Sir Andrew Grimwade.

The Grimwade bequests have opened up extraordinary opportunities for scholarship and the arts at the University of Melbourne, enabling an exciting range of initiatives. 

Through the Miegunyah Distinguished Visiting Fellows program, Australia has benefited from the visits of more than a hundred international academics, and the University’s cultural collections have been enriched by the treasures of the Grimwades’ collections of art, rare books and Australiana.

Russell Grimwade’s passion for chemistry, appreciation of art and sense of obligation to preserve the past has driven the development of the Grimwade Centre for Cultural Materials Conservation. Russell’s first major benefaction to the University was to Biochemistry, but he had a wider vision: to fund the ‘birth of an antipodean Clarendon Press’ at Melbourne University Press. The distinguished Miegunyah imprint has realised his ambition and this book is the most recent volume in that series.

John Poynter was Ernest Scott Professor of History at the University of Melbourne from 1966-75 and Deputy Vice-Chancellor from 1975-90. He spends his time in retirement writing history, biography and sardonic verse. Among his previous books are Mr Felton’s Bequests and the biography of Russell Grimwade, the first book published by the Miegunyah Press.

Benjamin Thomas is Rusden Curator of Cultural Collections at Trinity College and a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Australian Institute of Art History. He has previously co-authored Visions of Colonial Grandeur: John Twycross at the Melbourne International Exhibitions, published by Museum Victoria.

Story by Simon Purtell


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