Photo of the Day

photos and stories from the Powerhouse Museum

Approaching Easter Island in the Catalina Frigate Bird II

April 16th, 2014 by

View of Easter Island from the Frigate Bird II

 

Easter is approaching and we all wish for fine weather. This image of a moody sky over Easter Island was taken from the Catalina Flying Boat Frigate Bird II in March 1951 during its pioneering flight across the South Pacific Ocean from Sydney to Chile.

In 1951 this was last ocean to be crossed by air. Aircraft at the time were considerably smaller than today’s jetliners and could carry quite limited amounts of fuel. The Frigate Bird made eight stops across the Pacific with Easter Island being the last stop before South America. The previous stop was Mangareva Island in French Polynesia; a distance of 14,000 miles (22,531 kms).

Finding the small volcanic outcrop of Easter Island in the vast South Pacific Ocean required serious navigation skills using calculations from charts and analogue equipment including compass, chronometer and sextant (this was long before global satellite systems). So pilot PG Taylor and his crew of were glad to see Easter Island as it appeared out of the rain in the early morning light.

More information about the Frigate Bird II can be found on our Collection Database.

Photographer, possibly Jack Percival, Official Correspondent, Frigate Bird II, 1951.

No known copyright restrictions.


Music and lollies

April 15th, 2014 by

Positive image from a scan of a Powerhouse Museum, Tyrrell Collection, glass plate negative

This photograph from the Tyrrell collection appears to show the fun part of King Street, Sydney in the early years of the 20th century.  On the left is J. Albert & Son’s music store advertising Edison phonographs and Boomerang mouth organs.  Above the street was  a display of musical instruments in the window, (see detail below).

Jacques Albert, (1850-1914) a Swiss watchmaker and musician, came to Australia in 1884. He opened a watch and clock repair shop in Newtown and later expanded to selling musical instruments and sheet music. In 1902, the company that was by then J. Albert & Son, opened in King Street, Sydney. Albert’s was best known for their Boomerang mouth organs  (manufactured in Germany),  examples of which can be seen in the online collection database. According to our collection records, between late 1896 and late 1897 an estimated 44,000 mouth organs, including the ‘Boomerang’, were sold by Alberts. Boomerang songsters, pocket sized books with music and lyrics to popular songs were also sold at Albert’s. Just cross the road from Albert’s was the ‘Best Lollies’ shop, (see second detail below).

Positive image from a scan of a Powerhouse Museum, Tyrrell Collection, glass plate negative

 

 

Positive image from a scan of a Powerhouse Museum, Tyrrell Collection, glass plate negative

 

Photography by Kerry & Co.,

No known copyright restrictions


Strictly rehearsal

April 14th, 2014 by

EFP151-3-0048

This shot of director Baz Lurhmann in action was taken by Powerhouse photographer Marinco Kojdanovski during a rehearsal at Carriageworks for the stage show, Strictly Ballroom, The Musical. It gives a glimpse of the shoes and boots from Tuesday’s post in context. To the left of the photograph some of them can be seen lined up against the wall of the rehearsal studio. Others may have made it to the dance floor.

Costumes from the original movie Strictly Ballroom are now on display at the Powerhouse Museum in the Strictly Ballroom  Story which features costumes from the  Baz Luhrmann movie collection,  created by Catherine Martin and generously donated to the Museum in 1991. The exhibition will coincide with Strictly Ballroom’s return to its theatrical roots with a new stage version opening at Sydney Lyric Theatre in April 2014.

 

 

Photography by Marinco Kojdanovski

© All rights reserved

 


No 1 Sussex Street, Sydney, c 1890

April 11th, 2014 by

85/1284-1669 Glass negative, full plate, 'Sussex Street at Grafton Wharf', Kerry and Co, Sydney, Australia, c. 1884-1917

This image shows the workings of the busy docks in Darling Harbour in around the 1890s. The area pictured is Grafton Wharf which was used by the Clarence and Richmond River Steam Navigation Company. The building in the centre is No 1 Sussex Street which was used as offices by the steamship companies. One sign by the door reads ‘Ship Engineer, Adelaide S. Co, Up Stairs’. This area now forms part of the Barangaroo site.

There are many intriguing details in this image.

Detail Positive image from a scan of a Powerhouse Museum, Tyrrell Collection, glass plate negative

Detail 1: Horses and men wait patiently to pick up or deliver their loads. The horse behind wears fancy brass harness while the one in front is plain.

 

detail Positive image from a scan of a Powerhouse Museum, Tyrrell Collection, glass plate negative

Detail 2: Barrels and crates wait to be loaded. One man man rides on a crate while others pull or push the trolley. Their progress is watched by two men in suits and another with two dogs (one balanced on a barrel).

 Details Positive image from a scan of a Powerhouse Museum, Tyrrell Collection, glass plate negative

Detail 3: Two young women walk across the cobblestones. A man in a bowler hat appears disapproving. What has he said to them?

 

Post by Lynne McNairn, Web and Social Media

Photography: Kerry & Co

No known copyright restrictions

 

 

 

 


Garden Island Sydney Harbour when it was still an island

April 10th, 2014 by

Imperial Naval Depot, Garden Island, Sydney Harbour', Henry King, Sydney, Australia, c. 1880-1900

This image shows the Imperial Navel Depot on Garden Island in Sydney Harbour. It was taken by Henry King probably in the 1890s and shows Garden Island long before it was joined to the mainland at Potts Point in the 1940s. The white building on the right is the rigging house and sail loft later converted to the Naval Chapel.

Garden Island was set aside for the Royal Navy in 1856 and in 1858 works commenced to make it suitable for the repair of ships. It has remained a Naval Base since that time transferring from the British Admiralty to the Royal Australian Navy in 1913.

The island was joined to the mainland by the wartime construction of the Captain Cook Engraving Dock completed in early 1945. This project involved the reclamation 33 acres of sea bed between Potts Point and created the landscape we recognise today.

Garden island from Centrepoint Tower

Garden Island from Centrepoint Tower. Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Post by Lynne McNairn, Web and Social Technologies

Photography: Henry King c 1895 (85/1285-91)

No known copyright restrictions


Strictly dancing shoes

April 9th, 2014 by

EFP151-3-0019

Shoes are tried and tested subject for still life drawing. They make great photography subjects too. This beautiful shot by Powerhouse photographer Marinco Kojdanovski shows how a simple subject can make an interesting composition.  The sight of a collection of uninhabited shoes with no context in view immediately arouses curiosity about who they belong to and how they would be worn.

The shoes (and boots) belong to some of the dancers performing in Strictly Ballroom: the musical and were photographed by Marinco at one of the rehearsals for the stage show at Carriageworks in Redfern, Sydney.

Costumes from the original movie Strictly Ballroom are now on display at the Powerhouse Museum in the Strictly Ballroom  Story which features cotumes from the  Baz Luhrmann movie collection,  created by Catherine Martin and generously donated to the Museum in 1991.

 

 

Photography by Marinco Kojdanovski

© All rights reserved


Strictly flamenco

April 8th, 2014 by

Detail: 92/1929 Film costume, `Strictly Ballroom', women's, `Final Festival', polyester/sequins/beads/diamantes/leather, M&A Film Corporation Pty Ltd/Angus Strathie/Barrie Lowe, Sydney, Australia, 1991

By popular demand we are featuring more image details from the beautiful costumes in the  Baz Luhrmann movie collection. The collection was created by Catherine Martin and generously donated to the Museum in 1991.

This flamenco style dress was worn by Tara Morice in the M & A Film Corporation production of the film `Strictly Ballroom’, while playing the part of Fran in the final dance sequence with Scott ( Paul Mercurio).

 

The costume was designed by Angus Strathie who graduated from the National Institute of Dramatic Art in 1988. He has since worked with the Canberra Theatre Company and the Australian Opera. His designs for `Strictly Ballroom’ are based on the costumes worn by real competitive ballroom dancers.

The dress was made by Angus Strathie’s mother to give it a `home made look’,

You can see this costumes and others from the original movie Strictly Ballroom in the Strictly Ballroom  Story at the Powerhouse Museum.

92/1929 Film costume, `Strictly Ballroom', women's, `Final Festival', polyester/sequins/beads/diamantes/leather, M&A Film Corporation Pty Ltd/Angus Strathie/Barrie Lowe, Sydney, Australia, 1991

 

92/1929 Film costume, `Strictly Ballroom', women's, `Final Festival', polyester/sequins/beads/diamantes/leather, M&A Film Corporation Pty Ltd/Angus Strathie/Barrie Lowe, Sydney, Australia, 1991

 

Photography: Marinco Kojdanovski and Sotha Bourn

© All rights reserved

 


Catherine Martin’s Oscars dress

April 7th, 2014 by

Catherine Martin

This is the dress that Catherine Martin wore to accept her Oscars award.  This beautiful dress was made by Miuccia Prada and is on display in our new exhibition ‘The Strictly Ballroom Story’ that is now open.  We are featuring three of her stunning dresses alongside her many awards.

The exhibition celebrates the sequinned splendour of the hit stage and screen musical and tells the Strictly Ballroom story through design drawings, cast and set photos, performance and rehearsal clips. A highlight is 40 dazzling original costumes created by four time Oscar winner Catherine Martin which played a critical role in creating the larger than life quality of the film.

Photography by Paula Bray

© All rights reserved


The Strictly Ballroom Story

April 4th, 2014 by

IS-6129-0116

This photograph is one of many beautiful details  shot by staff photographer Marinco Kojdanovski in the basement of the Powerhouse Museum while documenting costumes from M & A Film Corporation production of the film Strictly Ballroom. This detail shows the sumptuous pink and purple shot silk of a jacket worn by Barry Otto in his role as Doug Hastings in the film. The reflective properties of the fabric can be seen in the difference between the detail above and the one below.

According to Wikipedia, shot silk is made up of silk woven from warp and weft yarns of two or more colours to produce an iridescent appearance.  A “shot” is a single throw of the bobbin that carries the weft thread through the warp. The effect of the colour changing with the angle of light makes it perfect for the stage and, of course, the ballroom. Other garments made from shot silk can be viewed via the Powerhouse Museum online collection database.

The jacket, designed by Angus Strathie, was made by Tony Bonici of Sydney and worn with a clip-on black polyester bow tie, made by Stay On of Australia. Angus Strathie’s designs for Strictly Ballroom were based on the costumes worn by real competitive ballroom dancers. The costume  is part of  Baz Luhrmann movie collection,  created by Catherine Martin and generously donated to the Museum in 1991. You can see this costume and others from the original movie Strictly Ballroom in the Strictly Ballroom  Story, at the Powerhouse Museum.

IS-6129-0118

IS-6129-0115

 

Photography by Marinco Kojdanovski

© All rights reserved


Dance Central 2

April 3rd, 2014 by

Game Masters

This was photographed in our ‘Game Masters’ exhibition and features the game ‘Dance Central 2′ which is proving to be very popular with our visitors.  This is a rhythm game developed by Harmonix exclusively for the Xbox 360 Kinect.

The Dance Central (2010) series makes use of Microsoft’s Kinect camera technology. As a dance party game, Dance Central allows players to learn a series of dance routines and scores their performance ability and accuracy. Dance Central 2 (2011) enhances the social aspect of the game by introducing 2-player multiplayer and an improved dance battle mode.

You can find out more about the games over on the Game Masters website

Photography by Marinco Kojdanovski

© All rights reserved


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