Treasure Ships: Art in the Age of Spices will take students of all ages on a voyage of discovery into far-ranging areas of learning.

The exhibition offers opportunities to explore through art, the themes of trade and exploration, maritime history, the role of Asian spices in Europe, the development of mapping on a global scale, the integration of Christianity into Asian contexts, and the impact of the ‘Age of Spices’ on Australia.

Students will use historical objects and works of art to develop an understanding of significant explorers, to investigate the positive and negative impacts of exploration from different perspectives, and to identify the motivating factors that led to exploration. Learning support for this exhibition includes:

– Guided and Self Guided Exhibition Visits
– Hands-on Art Workshops
– Teacher Professional Learning Workshop
– An Online Education Resource

Have fun exploring Treasure Ships with our free Treasure Ships app.  Download it before your class visits the exhibition.

Download the Online Education Resource

Take a free tour of the exhibition with one of our Voluntary Gallery Guides, or experience the exhibition independently (exhibition charges apply in both cases).

When: Weekdays during school term
Exhibition entry: $5 per student
Exhibition workshops: $6 per student

Treasure Ships: Art in the Age of Spices
A Cross-curricular Teacher Professional Learning Afternoon

Treasure Ships presents a wonderful opportunity to address a number of areas of the curriculum through engaging with real historical objects and artefacts produced for global markets in the era of the spice trade across the Indian Ocean. This workshop will show you how! Think… journeys, explorers, migration, first contacts with Indigenous Australians, Asian powers, cross-cultural contacts and more.

During this workshop you will:
• Examine the themes and key concepts of the exhibition that include discovery, exploration, maritime history, cause and effect, perspectives, significance and life at sea.
• Look at the way the content of the exhibition addresses a number of curriculum learning areas.
• Discover ways that the cross-curriculum priorities Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and histories and Asia and Australia’s engagement with Asia are covered in this exhibition.
• Participate in a hands-on practical activity, transferrable to the classroom, linking Visual Arts making with other Learning Areas of the curriculum.
• Look closely at the comprehensive Treasure Ships Education Resource and how it can complement classroom learning as well as an exhibition visit.

Where: Art Gallery of WA
When: Friday 11 September 2015
Time: 12-4pm
Cost: $45 (workshop materials and lunch included)


William Light, Malaysia/Australia, 1786–1839. Self-portrait c.1815, Britain. Oil on canvas on board, 83.8 x 61.8 cm. Gift of Standard Chartered Bank Australia Limited to mark its inauguration in South Australia’s 150th Anniversary Year and the Art Gallery of South Australia Foundation 1986. Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide.