Exhibition

Lustre

Pearling & Australia

Lustre: Pearling and Australia traces the fascinating heritage of pearling across the north of Australia, from Shark Bay to the Torres Strait Islands.

Explore the gritty human story of pearling, weaving together intersecting strands of Aboriginal, Asian and European histories to reveal insights into one of Australia’s oldest industries.

  • Coming 18 February 2017

    From a 2,000-year-old natural pearl found in a Kimberley rockshelter to modern lustrous pearl jewellery, Lustre: Pearling and Australia traces the fascinating heritage of pearling across the north of Australia, from Shark Bay to the Torres Strait Islands.

    The exhibition delves into the gritty human story of pearling, weaving together intersecting strands of Aboriginal, Asian and European histories to reveal insights into one of Australia’s oldest industries.

    Discover the intriguing stories behind northern Australia's unique pearling tradition. Immerse yourself in the qualities of the shell itself, its evolution and habitat, and the people who have collected and harvested these treasures from Saltwater Country.


    Image: Cultured pearls have renewed the pearl’s significance. Cygnet Bay Pearls.

    TICKET INFORMATION

    Open daily, 9.30am–5pm, from 18 February to 13 August 2017. 

    Included in the FREE galleries ticket.

    See our Admissions page for full price information and to book your tickets. Our Plan Your Visit page has everything you need to know about a trip to the museum.

    Become a Maritime Museum Member and receive FREE or discounted entry to all our events and exhibitions, as well as many other benefits.

    After you visit the exhibition be sure to take a close look at the museum’s beautifully restored pearling lugger John Louis. Moored at our harbourside heritage wharves John Louis was one of the last sail-rigged working craft built in Australia. 


    Developed and designed by Western Australian Museum and Nyamba Buru Yawuru.

    Western Australian Museum logo   

    Exhibition sponsors

    • Cygnet Bay Pearls
    • Singapore Airlines Cargo

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    Strickland Bay, King Sound. Image: Sarah Yu. Over millennia people have valued pearls as symbols of prosperity, power and beauty. The development of cultured pearls renewed the pearl’s significance. Image: Cygnet Bay Pearls. Carved Pearlshell, Aalingoong by Aubrey Tigan. The crew of a pearl lugger in Broome, c. 1900. The culturally diverse pearling community turned Broome into a cosmopolitan town. Image: National Archives of Australia, K1349 WA00272[A]. Be sure to also check out the beautifully restored pearling lugger John Louis permanently moored at the museum wharves. Image: ANMM.