Skip to content
Curtin University
John Curtin Prime Ministerial Library
Curtin University Library

History of the exhibition John Curtin, A man of peace, A time of war

John Curtin, A man of peace, A time of war was developed in conjunction with the National Archives of Australia and formed part of the JCPML public program of social and political history. The opening of the exhibition in Canberra in 1995 was timed to commemorate the 50th anniversary of John Curtin's death.

Following its Canberra season, the exhibition travelled to various venues around Australia before coming to Perth to form the first major exhibition of the JCPML in 1998. The exhibition was on display in the Wesfarmers Gallery, Building 200A, Curtin University of Technology,from 20 April 1998 until mid 2000.

An online version of the exhibition is now available.

A view of the exhibition

John Curtin, A man of peace, A time of war briefly summarised Curtin's life story, then focused on the achievements and challenges of his period as wartime Prime Minister from 1941 to 1945. It explored the complexities of Curtin's story and interpreted a range of views on his role in Australian history. This dynamic, engaging and accessible exhibition brought to life the story of Australia during World War II.

Visitors enjoying the exhibition

The final section of the exhibition analysed Curtin's status today. A range of prominent Australians, including past and present politicians, journalists, academics and performers, provided brief written comments on their views of John Curtin. Visitors to the exhibition were given the opportunity to write down their own views of our wartime Prime Minister.

The exhibition featured documents, photographs, sound recordings and moving footage drawn mainly from the collections of the National Archives of Australia and the JCPML.