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P1223 Botanical drawing, 'Eugenia ventenatii (Large leaved water gum/ Drooping Myrtle)', watercolour, paper / canvas made by Agard Hagman, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, 1887. Click to enlarge.

Botanical illustration of ‘ Eugenia ventenatii (Large leaved water gum/ Drooping Myrtle)’ by Agard Hagman

Made
This is a watercolour of a botanical drawing depicting one of the native plants of Australia, Eugenia ventenatii (the large leaved water gum or Drooping Myrtle), known as a plant food. It is one of 98 watercolours 'drawn from life' by Agard Hagman and commissioned by the Museum between 1886 and 1889. Hagman worked in Sydney between 1885 and 1891. He was actually a civil engineer who arrived in Australia from Sweden in 1885 on board the ship 'Sorata' and returned to Sweden in 1891. The Sands Sydney Directory notes him working at Tattersall's Chambers, in Hunter Street in 1888. Apparently Hagman produced both engineering and botanical drawings for the Museum while he was in Sydney. His botanical illustrations were displayed at the Melbourne and Adelaide International Exhibitions.

The first curator of the Museum was the botanist, Joseph Maiden, who later became Director of the Royal Botanic Gardens. In 1887 Australia's natural resources were little explored. A major focus for the Museum during its early years was the collection of Australian plants and the investigation of their potential for commercial purposes.

This watercolour was one of many illustrations included in an extensive display of Australian timbers in the Timber Courts at the Museum in the late nineteenth century. When the Museum opened in 1893, the whole first floor was given over to the vegetable kingdom. Subjects included timber, food, drugs, oil and many others. The Museum did not limit itself to just exhibitions and advice, it actively promoted the commercial potential of Australian plants, particularly Eucalypts and Wattles. The display of Australian timbers included drawings, jars filled with leaves and seeds, sections through tree trunks, examples of raw and polished timbers and furniture and fittings made from different timbers.

A note in the 'New South Wales Catalogue of Exhibitions' stated that: 'Each drawing is 3 ft. 3 in by 2 ft 2 in., and is framed and glazed. Scale, three times natural size. In each case the fullest information (in large bold type) is affixed to the drawings themselves. In all cases the drawings have been made from fresh flowering or fruiting specimens, under the immediate supervision of the Curator, who certifies to their botanical correctness'.

'Yesterday's Tomorrows: Powerhouse Museum and its precursors 1880-2005', Graeme Davison and Kimberley Webber, Powerhouse Publishing, Sydney, 2005.

Summary

Object No.

P1223

Object Statement

Botanical drawing, 'Eugenia ventenatii (Large leaved water gum/ Drooping Myrtle)', watercolour, paper / canvas made by Agard Hagman, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, 1887

Physical Description

Watercolour painting in scale 3 to 1. The drawing shows a branch with foliage, flowers and seed nuts.

Printed above the illustration 'Timber Food'. Printed underneath 'Scale 3 to 1, Myrataceae / Eugenia Ventenatii, Benth. / Large leaved water gum / Drooping Myrtle, N.S.W. & Q.

Marks

Artist's name in lower left corner, in black 'Ag. Hagman ad nat'
Artist's signature near end of branch, handwritten in black 'Hgn'

Dimensions

Height

995 mm

Width

665 mm

Production

Notes

Agard Hagman was commissioned by the Museum to paint a series of botanical illustrations of economic plants in the 1880s. Hagman was civil engineer who came to Australia from Sweden in 1885 onboard the ship 'Sorata'. He returned to Sweden in 1891. He is registered as working at Tattersall's Chambers, Hunter Street in the Sands Directory, 1888. Hagman provided both engineering and botanical drawings to the Museum.

History

Notes

Economic botany was an important focus in the early years of the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences. Hagman's drawing were used in displays such as the Timber Courts. The drawings accompanied samples of raw and polished Australian timbers alongside jars filled with seeds and leaves, sections through tree trunks and furniture and fittings made from different timbers.

This species is now called 'Waterhousia floribunda' or the Weeping Lilly Pilly.

Source

Credit Line

Purchased 1887

Acquisition Date

28 November 1887

Cite this Object

Harvard

Botanical illustration of ' Eugenia ventenatii (Large leaved water gum/ Drooping Myrtle)' by Agard Hagman 2020, Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, accessed 16 January 2021, <https://ma.as/320463>

Wikipedia

{{cite web |url=https://ma.as/320463 |title=Botanical illustration of ' Eugenia ventenatii (Large leaved water gum/ Drooping Myrtle)' by Agard Hagman |author=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences |access-date=16 January 2021 |publisher=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, Australia}}

Incomplete

This object record is currently incomplete. Other information may exist in a non-digital form. The Museum continues to update and add new research to collection records.