Lithgow Library welcomes an exhibition of important Colonial art from the State Library of NSW collection

Australian Inspiration is a travelling exhibition from the State Library of NSW that reflects the fascination colonial artists had with the koala and waratah. The exhibition explores how the koala and the waratah were first depicted over 200 years ago, and how they have evolved over time to quickly become national icons.

 “The quality of the State Library travelling exhibitions is exceptional,” said Mayor Stephen Lesslie. “It is wonderful that our community has been selected to host this valuable collection.”

According to Australian Inspiration curator Sarah Morley, “The koala was so unique that early colonists found it difficult to draw – In 1803, Australian artist John William Lewin (1770-1819) was the first person to draw a koala, from a specimen that was brought from Mount Kembla to Sydney.”

The waratah has had a similar fascinating journey that helped establish an Australian national identity and give NSW its state flower. The earliest known drawing dates back to 1794 and it continues to be a source of inspiration for fashion designers, artists and creatives.

“Australian Inspiration will not only tell the evolving story of our national icons, but also showcase the role of the State Library’s extraordinary collections in arts and design,” said Ms Morley.

The exhibition will be held at Lithgow Library Learning Centre from 20 October to 4 November 2017.  Sarah Morley is available for interviews.

For more information contact the Lithgow Library on 63529100


Australia Inspiration Exhibition – John William Lewin, Koala and young, 1803





Terry O’Keefe
Tel: 6352 9100
Fax: 6351 4364