Lawn at Flemington | State Library of New South Wales

Lawn at Flemington

This image, by Austrian artist Carl Kahler (1856-1906), captures the Lawn at Flemington on Melbourne Cup Day in 1889. It documents the promenade of the race-going colonial elite as well as the ordinary people who congregated to watch the annual running of 'the race that stops the nation'.

Described in The Bulletin as 'a veritable page in the history of Australia', Kahler's race course scene depicts men and women of fashion strolling, side by side, across the lush green lawn. Ladies pose gracefully on garden benches and every person of note is presented in a collection of scrupulously rendered individual portraits which are identified in an accompanying key. Kahler has placed Lord Loch, Governor of Victoria (1884-1889) in the foreground on the left, next to Lady Carrington, while her husband, Lord Carrington, the Governor of NSW (1885-1900), stands just behind with Lady Loch.

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