One of Australia’s largest butterfly collections unveiled at QVMAG

Butterfly Brilliance Art Gallery at Royal Park


Media release issued Friday 22 October 2021   

A collection of more than 12,000 butterflies will be unveiled this weekend as part of a four-week pop-up exhibition at the Art Gallery at Royal Park.

Through 50 years of research, Trevor Lambkin and Ian Knight have built an extensive collection of more than 12,000 butterflies from across Australia, Southeast Asia and Oceania.

In 2020 the Lambkin-Knight collection was donated to QVMAG for conservation and this extensive collection will make its public debut this month.

Visitors are invited to explore Australia's fifth-largest butterfly collection through Butterfly Brilliance with a new showcase of specimens from the collection rotating weekly.

A fundraising appeal will be live alongside the Butterfly Brilliance exhibition, both online through the QVMAG website and in person at the Art Gallery at Royal Park, supporting the ongoing conservation of this significant collection, and to further support vital butterfly research in Tasmania.

City of Launceston Mayor Albert van Zetten said the exhibition offers an up-close look at a collection of intriguing butterfly species from around the globe. "Collections such as the Lambkin-Knight butterfly collection are invaluable when it comes to supporting future generations of researchers," Mayor van Zetten said.

"To have the fifth largest private butterfly collection in Australia join the QVMAG collection is a fantastic outcome for research communities across Tasmania.

"I encourage everyone to make the most of this free four-week exhibition to explore such a fascinating collection."

QVMAG Natural Sciences Curator David Maynard said the Lambkin-Knight butterfly collection donation is a historic moment for the institution.

"The Lambkin-Knight butterfly collection is nationally significant in that it is a window on which species live where and when over the past 50 years," Mr Maynard said.

"We can use the collection to understand how the warming climate and other impacts have changed butterfly distributions which, in turn, helps us understand how plants and other animals are being affected.

"The Butterfly Brilliance fundraising drive will ensure that QVMAG can properly house this important collection so that the public can view the collection, and to make it safely accessible to researchers now and into the future.

A range of public programs will be on offer to complement the pop-up exhibition, including a series of floor talks, entomology pinning workshops, and a children’s butterfly parade.

Butterfly Brilliance is on display for a limited time from Saturday 23 October to Sunday 21 November 2021 at the Art Gallery at Royal Park (2 Wellington Street, Launceston).