The Lanney Pillar

The Late Roger Scholes and Professor Greg Lehman 

Who was William Lanney?

The Lanney Pillar is an installation designed to encourage conversation. It was commissioned in 2021 as part of the City of Hobart’s Crowther Reinterpretation project in response to the statue of WL Crowther in Franklin Square.

By exhibiting The Lanney Pillar at the library we aim to honour and celebrate the life and history of William Lanney.

The Lanney Pillar is a collaboration between Tasmanian Aboriginal writer and curator Professor Greg Lehman and internationally recognised Tasmanian filmmaker the late Roger Scholes. Through images and film Scholes and Lehman provide audiences with a retelling of William Lanney’s life.

Lanney’s story has often been told through his connection to William Lodewyk Crowther and Crowther’s involvement in the desecration of Lanney’s body. What is lesser known, is that Morton Allport was also a key figure in the scientific community and the mid-nineteenth century trade of human remains.

The State Library of Tasmania is the beneficiary of the Allport and Crowther collections through the donation of the WL Crowther Library and bequest of the Allport Library and Museum of Fine Arts in the 1960s. As a cultural institution, we also respectfully acknowledge the lasting trauma experienced by Palawa / Tasmanian Aboriginal people that has resulted from the actions of Morton Allport, WL Crowther, and other individuals in the name of scientific research.

On display alongside the Lanney Pillar are original letters, photographs and other material from the library collections. A series of talks will be held during the exhibition which will delve further into the interweaving themes of history, identity, repatriation, science, law and collecting.

The Lanney Pillar will be showing at the Allport Library and Museum of Fine Arts from 6 April to 25 June 2022.

Visit the exhibition

6 April to 25 June 2022 

Allport Library and Museum of Fine Arts

Ground Floor, 91 Murray Street

Hobart, Tasmania 7000 

Opening hours:

Monday9:30 am – 5:00 pm
Tuesday9:30 am – 5:00 pm
Wednesday9:30 am – 5:00 pm
Thursday9:30 am – 5:00 pm
Friday9:30 am – 5:00 pm
Saturday9:30 am – 2:00 pm

Learn more about the Allport by visiting our website.

Go behind the scenes with the Allport curator online.  

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are advised that The Lanney Pillar exhibition may contain the names, voices and images of people who have died, as well as other culturally sensitive content. Some material contains content that reflects the period in which items were collected, written or recorded, but may not be considered appropriate today.