Heritage of the Markham car collection: Estrangement with the West Australian motoring community
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The Markham car collection heritage was entrusted with the Western Australia Museum in 1969. Subsequent events caused estrangement between the state’s motoring community and the museum, and forty-five years later still engender anger in motoring enthusiasts in Western Australia. Recollections of what actually happened are inconsistent; this paper investigates what happened and what went wrong. A qualitative research approach using interviews, archival records, car club magazines and newspaper clippings was employed. The interviews were conducted with selected representatives from the motoring community and the Markham brothers. The paper concludes with discussion on the lessons learnt from this controversial incident for the Markham family, motoring community and cultural institutions. Questions about trust and ethics with donors and depositors, including the role of cultural institutions as custodians of national heritage are posed.
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