Melbourne Masterclass: The Terracotta Warriors


National Gallery of Victoria, 180 St Kilda Road, Melbourne


The Terracotta Army is one of the great wonders of the ancient world, unknown to modernity until the local farmers of Lintong District stumbled upon them in 1974.

The army of more than 8000 life-sized and unique warriors was created to guard the city-sized underground tomb of the first Emperor of China, Qin Shihuang, in 210-209 BCE. However, since their discovery, these fascinating objects have also had a part to play in the making of modern China.

As part of the University of Melbourne’s Learning Partnership with the NGV exhibition Terracotta Warriors: Guardians of Immortality, the Faculty of Arts is delighted to present a Melbourne Masterclass exploring the ways in which these incredible artefacts embody a sense of place, culture and history.

This Masterclass offers attendees:

  • The chance to understand the Terracotta Warriors in their original historical context, as well as the modern political and cultural settings which have seen them transformed into ambassadors of Chinese culture
  • Insights into the process of excavating, conserving and displaying some of China’s most precious relics
  • An opportunity to spend time exploring the exhibition and its companion exhibition, Cai Guo-Qiang: The Transient Landscape, after-hours with a fraction of the usual crowds.

Price: $65 General / $60 University of Melbourne Staff, Students and Alumni Prices cover refreshments and exhibition entry and are GST inclusive.

Follow the booking link for the full schedule and bookings.


Michael Varcoe-Cocks, Head of Conservation, National Gallery of Victoria

Michael VarcoeCocks is Head of Conservation at the National Gallery of Victoria, Australia's largest conservation department. He has worked at the NGV since 1997 and is an alumnus of the University of Melbourne's Victorian College of the Arts (1993).

Professor Tonia Eckfeld, Principal Fellow, University of Melbourne

Professor Tonia Eckfeld is a world authority on Chinese imperial tombs with more than three decades of research and field experience in China. She is a Principal Fellow at the University of Melbourne's Grimwade Centre for Cultural Materials Conservation and is also an alumna of the University of Melbourne.

Dr Lewis Mayo, University of Melbourne

Dr Lewis Mayo teaches Chinese and Asian Studies at the Asia Institute in the Faculty of Arts at the University of Melbourne. He has broad expertise across Chinese, Southeast Asian, and Pacific history, with a specialisation in Chinese medieval history.

Wayne Crothers, Senior Curator of Asian Art, National Gallery of Victoria

Wayne Crothers is Senior Curator of Asian Art at the National Gallery of Victoria and has been part of the NGV team for 10 years. He is the lead curator of Terracotta Warriors & Cai GuoQiang and was integral to the development of the exhibition, from concept to final display.