Powerhouse Museum Collection Search 2.53
Category history:
   

Support the Powerhouse with a tax-deductible gift

Make a donation
This object belongs to
Ephemera > Cinema posters

+ 2007/148/1 Movie poster, 'Stone', paper ...
+ 2003/152/1 Poster, paper, 'Rabbit Proof ...
+ 2003/152/2 Poster, paper, 'Rabbit Proof ...
+ 2003/170/1 Film poster, 'Blackboard Jung...
+ 2003/170/2 Poster, film, 'False Witness'...
+ 2003/170/3 Poster, film, 'Queen of the M...
+ 2003/170/4 Poster, film, 'Waterloo Bridg...
+ 85/1055 Poster, 'When the Kellys Rode' (...
+ 85/1056 Poster, 'Dad & Dave Come to Town...
+ 2008/150/1 Posters (5), promoting 'Dot' ...
+ 85/1342 Poster, movie, 'The Lives of a B...
+ 85/1343 Poster, movie, 'In Old Kentucky'...
+ 85/1344 Poster, movie, 'Les Miserables',...
+ 85/1345 Poster, movie, 'Anna Karenina', ...
+ 85/1346 Poster, movie, 'She Married Her ...
+ 85/1961 Film posters (2), 'Lovers & Lugg...
+ 2012/1/1 Cinema poster, 'Hunterwali ki B...
+ 2012/1/2 Cinema poster, 'Stunt Queen', f...
+ 2012/1/3 Cinema poster, '11 O'Clock', fe...
+ 2000/79/1 Cinema poster, from the movie ...
+ 2012/103/1 Poster, 'The Matrix', paper, ...
+ 93/319/1 Poster, advertising, movie, 'Sc...
+ 93/319/2 Poster, advertising, movie, 'We...
+ 93/319/3 Poster, advertising, movie, 'Th...
+ 93/319/4 Poster, avertising, movie, 'Cro...
+ 93/319/5 Poster, advertising, movie, 'Cr...
+ 93/319/6 Poster, advertising, movie, 'Cr...
+ 93/319/7 Poster, advertising, movie, 'He...
+ 93/319/8 Poster, advertising, movie, 'Ru...
+ 93/319/9 Poster, advertising, movie, 'Br...
+ 93/319/10 Poster, advertising, movie, 'G...
+ 93/319/11 Poster, advertising, movie, 'G...
+ 93/319/12 Poster, advertising, movie, 'B...
+ 93/319/13 Poster, advertising, movie, 'F...
+ 93/319/14 Poster, advertising, movie, 'S...
+ 93/319/15 Poster, advertising, movie, 'G...
+ 94/86/1 Poster, movie advertising, 'San ...
+ 94/86/2 Poster, movie advertising, 'The ...
+ 94/86/3 Poster, movie advertising, 'The ...
+ 94/86/4 Poster, movie advertising, 'The ...
+ 94/86/5 Poster, movie advertising, 'The ...
+ 94/86/6 Poster, movie advertising, 'Hard...
+ 95/325/1 Poster, movie, 'I'll be Yours',...
+ 95/325/2 Poster, movie, 'Man's Favourite...
+ 95/325/3 Poster, movie, 'The High Cost o...
+ 87/1006 Film poster, 'When the Kellys Ro...
+ 87/1243 Poster, 'The Killing of Angel St...
+ 87/1244 Poster, 'Kitty and the Bagman', ...
+ 87/1245 Poster, 'Bliss', Window III Prod...
+ 92/307 Poster, film, 'Crocodile Dundee',...



2000/66/113 Handbill, film, Annette Kellerman, paper, Sydney Opera House, Australia, 1976-1980
This image is not currently available as a higher resolution full colour zoom. This may be because this object has not been moved from storage and re-photographed in recent times.

Object statement
Handbill, film, Annette Kellerman, paper, Sydney Opera House, Australia, 1976-1980
This handbill is part of a substantial collection of costumes and props used by Annette Kellerman (1886-1975). She became an international celebrity as an endurance swimmer, an entertainer of the vaudeville stage and a star of American silent films. She played a key role in popularising the one-piece swimsuit for women.

Born in Sydney, Kellerman took up swimming as a child to strengthen her semi-crippled legs. She became a champion, setting a New South Wales record for the 100 yards and a world record for the mile.

In 1905 she travelled to England where she made headlines by swimming over 13 miles down the River Thames. She swam the River Seine in a race, coming equal third against 17 men, and won a 22 mile race down the Danube. She almost succeeded in swimming the English Channel.

It would have been impossible to make these long-distance swims in the stuffy garments that female bathers were expected to wear. Kellerman preferred a skirtless men's racing swimsuit which revealed half her thighs. Defying convention, she was responsible more than any other person for the gradual acceptance of the one-piece bathing suit.

Kellerman retired from racing and turned to the stage, developing a spectacular form of entertainment that combined diving into a glass tank, swimming and graceful underwater ballet.

She moved to the United States in 1907 and within a remarkably short time became one of the most highly paid stars in vaudeville. Dubbed 'The Australian Mermaid' and 'The Diving Venus', she had a genius for publicity and self-promotion. However the story that she got herself arrested at Boston's Revere Beach for wearing a one-piece bathing suit is not supported by evidence.

She augmented her stage act to include wire-walking, ballet dancing, acrobatics, diabolo, singing, physical culture, male impersonation and the elaborate staging of tanks, waterfalls and slides. She trained a large chorus of 'Kellerman girls' to accompany her in a form of choreographed water ballet, a forerunner to the modern sport of synchronised swimming.

The first Australian woman to star in American movies, she played a daring mermaid action hero in several feature films with fairy tale storylines. With its extensive underwater scenes, 'Neptune's Daughter' (Universal, 1914) was a box office success. She showed her dancing and acting skills in the lost film 'A Daughter of the Gods' (Fox, 1916), the first US production with a million dollar budget. Esther Williams portrayed Annette Kellerman in a 1952 Hollywood biopic, MGM's water spectacular 'Million Dollar Mermaid'.

As an entrepreneur, Kellerman lent her name to various styles of one-piece swimsuit. She published books instructing women on beauty and physical fitness, and lectured on health and exercise. She was judged as 'the perfect woman' by Dr Dudley Sargent of Harvard University. Her 'ideal' physique personified a new aesthetic of natural female beauty, one that valued athleticism and unadorned bodily display. In this way she was a trailblazer for the modern woman.

Kellerman was active in Australia during World War II, writing, producing and performing in fundraising shows for the Red Cross. Later she returned to live her final years on the Gold Coast.

Peter Cox
Curator
January 2016
This handbill was produced by the Sydney Opera House in Sydney, New south Wales, Australia. It advertises the public showing of scenes from a number of Annette Kellerman's films at the Sydney Opera House from 1976-1980.
This poster was produced after Kellerman's death to promote a film screening at the Sydney Opera House. It poster advertises the public showing of scenes from a number of Annette Kellerman's films at the Sydney Opera House from 1976-1980. it was acquired by the Dennis Wolanski Library at the Sydney Opera House. It was later transferred from the Dennis Wolanski Library, Sydney Opera House, to the Powerhouse Museum.

 This text content licensed under CC BY-NC.

Description
Handbill, film, Annette Kellerman, paper, Sydney Opera House, Australia, 1976-1980.

Single sheet in black and white headed in large block letters, "ANNETTE KELLERMAN/ AUSTRALIA'S/ FIRST/ SUPERSTAR/ 1886-1975/ The Million Dollar Mermaid". A picture of Annette Kellerman in a bathing suit appears at the centre front. On either side of the figure large panles of small text appear. On the left panel the text includes a brief summary of her achievements and on the right side the text advertises the public showing of scenes from a number of Kellerman's films in the Sydney Opera House's 'Pier Theatre'. Sydney Opera House logo is featured at the bottom.
Marks
On the reverse side the handwitten inscription, "HA1.ba"appears in lead pencil.
2000/66/113
Production date
1976 - 1980
Height
355 mm

 This text content licensed under CC BY-SA.
Acquisition credit line
Gift of the Dennis Wolanski Library, Sydney Opera House, 2000
This object belongs to:
Annette Kellerman Costume Collection
Subjects
+ Swimming
Short persistent URL
Concise link back to this object: https://ma.as/9166
Cite this object in Wikipedia
Copy and paste this wiki-markup:

{{cite web |url=https://ma.as/9166 |title=2000/66/113 Handbill, film, Annette Kellerman, paper, Sydney Opera House, Australia, 1976-1980 |author=Powerhouse Museum |accessdate=27 June 2016 |publisher=Powerhouse Museum, Australia}}


Copyright
Images on this site are reproduced for the purposes of research and study only. Whilst every effort has been made to trace the Copyright holders, we would be grateful for any information concerning Copyright of the images and we will withdraw them immediately on Copyright holder's request.
Object viewed times. Parent IRN: 2127. Master IRN: 2127 Img: 98973 Flv: H:553px W:600px SMO:0 RIGHTS:.