Percy Aldridge Grainger (1882-1961) was an internationally renowned Australian-American composer and pianist. His extraordinarily full life also included pioneering work as a folk music collector and arranger, educator, social and musical commentator, clothing designer and Free Music inventor. He was a skilled linguist and became known, in addition to his musical accomplishments, for his forthright opinions on many subjects.
Percy Grainger preserved the evidence of his creative life - his archive, personal library and many of his possessions - in his Museum or 'Past-hoard-house' on the campus of the University of Melbourne, the city of his birth. When the Museum opened on 13 December 1938, it contained an intensely personal and largely unedited collection reflective of Grainger's interests across time, place, disciplines, cultures and musical styles.
Several years later, Grainger encapsulated his collecting tastes and principles in an observation that 'Most museums, most cultural endeavours, suffer from being subjected to TOO MUCH TASTE... TOO MUCH SELECTION, TOO MUCH SPECIALISATION! What we want … is ALL-SIDEDNESS, side-lights, cross-references.' The Grainger collection has continued to grow in ways consistent with its founder's legacy and, 75 years on, it is this 'all-sidedness' that is celebrated here in an eclectic selection of objects, each of which has a story to tell.
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