Chinese Screen that belonged to Arthur Calwell #2010-0286
Red silk embroidered Chinese screen, in gold painted wood frame (with cardboard backing). Mandarin ideogram translated as ‘Longevity’.
This screen is part of a collection of objects that belonged to Arthur Calwell, Australia’s first Minister for Immigration (1945-49) that were donated to the museum by his daughter, Dr Mary Elizabeth Calwell.
This screen is said to have been a gift from Mr and Mrs C.T. Tsiang. Mr Tsiang was a former Ambassador of the Republic of China to Indonesia, who also taught Mandarin at Point Cook and was apparently the first person to broadcast in Mandarin on Radio Australia. In the 1940s Calwell learned some Mandarin in order to better communicate with the Australian Chinese community.