Photo of the Day

photos and stories from the Powerhouse Museum

Lap timing

October 21st, 2014 by

00239896

This photograph of racing car driver David McKay lap timing was taken by leading Sydney-based commercial photographer, David Mist. In 1963 David received the 1963 Grand Prix job  through the USP Benson advertising agency. He went on to shoot the 1965 Shell Racing Series Scuderia Veloce Team, the 1967 Warwick Farm Grand Prix and an open wheeler race at Catalina Park.

See racing cars and other cars in Auto Obsession, part of our Re-Collect project to ensure greater public access to the Museum’s rich collection. Featuring over 25 restored and original historic cars, Auto Obsession comprises a curious, eclectic and fascinating collection from luxury tourers and family sedans to racing and sports cars.

More photographs by David Mist can be viewed in the David Mist archive collection.

Photography and digitisation by David Mist

© All rights reserved


Virapaksa with umbrella

October 20th, 2014 by

Document from the Powerhouse Museum Collection

This image of a hand-coloured glass lantern slide shows part of the Ming Buddhist mural painting in the Fahai Si (Fa Hai Temple) in Peking. The mural illustrates the story of “Di-shi Fan-tian Lifo Hufa Tu”, the emperor worshiping Buddha with Buddhist Gods. The figure on the left is Virapaksa who holds an umbrella in his right hand. Next to him are Vaisramana (with a red dragon) and a maidservant of the Emperor.

According to collection records, Serge Vargasoff established himself as a professional photographer at the age of 20 in Peking (Beijing), China, and became a long-term resident of the city. Later he established a studio, Serge Vargassoff Photography, at 3A Wyndham Street Hong Kong, as well as working at Gainsborough Studio in the Morning Post Building in Hong Kong. He was a contemporary of Hedda Morrison who also worked in Peking at the time.

Photography by Serge Vargasoff

No known copyright restrictions


More pearls in the portrait

October 17th, 2014 by

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

This beautiful postcard image is from the studio of Charles Kerry & Co. The graphic elements of decorative plant and flower forms are in the style of Art Nouveau. The woman’s double stranded pearl necklace is long and worn low, in keeping with the looser and more relaxed fashions of the early 1900s.

By the early 20th century the popularity of the postcard was well-established. This image, with the woman’s smiling face and the decorative surrounds would have had wide general appeal for the postcard buying public.

More pearls and other jewellery can be seen in A fine possession: jewellery and identity, the current exhibition that celebrates the central place of jewellery in our lives, from antiquity to the present-day, through a sumptuous selection of jewellery made, collected and worn in Australia.

Photography by Kerry & Co

No known copyright restrictions


Bicycle shadow

October 16th, 2014 by

IS-5407-0021

 

This shadow shape was shot during the Penny Farthing bicycle race at Steamfest Maitland on April 13, 2013

 

Photography by Marinco Kojdanovski

All rights reserved


Portrait of Miss Nathan

October 15th, 2014 by

00g05345

Sitting for a photographic portrait can be an opportunity to display wealth and style. On the occasion of having her portrait done, Miss Nathan chose to wear a delicate necklace made of five strands of tiny pearls, (detail below). Her choice of jewellery may may have been influenced by contemporary trends. The choker style necklaces worn by the Queen’s daughter-in-law, Alexandra, who had a particular passion for pearls, became popular in Europe and America in the late Victorian period.

The current MAAS exhibition, A fine possession: jewellery & identity, celebrates the central place of jewellery in our lives, from antiquity to the present day, through a sumptuous selection of jewellery made, worn and collected in Australia.

00g05345detail

Photography by unattributed studio. Tyrrell collection 85/1286-1410

 

 


Auto Obsession: last weeks

October 14th, 2014 by

image

Our exhibition Auto Obsession will be finishing on the 26th October so you have only two weeks left to look at more than 25 restored and original historic cars that are curious, eclectic and fascinating collections from luxury tourers and family sedans to racing and sports cars. We also have 600 models from the Museum’s extensive collection of Matchbox cars, arguably the most significant collection in Australia. It has been claimed that in the halcyon days of Matchbox in the 1960s, Australians purchased more of the little die-cast toy cars per capita than any other country.

Photography by Paula Bray

License: Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 

 

 

 


Couple under an umbrella, Stuttgart 1931

October 13th, 2014 by

00q00545

According to our collection records, this image of a couple in regional dress at the Stuttgart Folk Festival are among the few known photographs taken by Hedda Hammer (Morrison) during her youth in Germany. The images were perhaps captured as an assignment undertaken while she was a student at the Bavarian State Institute for Photography in Munich. Hedda has carefully recorded the detail of regional costume and accessories, the shape and texture of hats and the beauty of elaborate headdresses as if discovering and exploring the ‘exotic’ within her own culture.

The festival was held on a bright sunny day as evidenced by the number of umbrellas that appear in Hedda Morrison’s photographs. (And also by the number of photographs that appear to be overexposed). Another, again of a couple with an umbrella, was posted previously on Photo of the Day. One of the many design features of the umbrella is that it is easy to share. In Japanese iconography, two people under an umbrella is associated with images of romance. One art historian has likened it to the Western symbol of a heart pierced by an arrow.

Hedda Morrison, (1908-1991), was born Hedda Hammer in Stuttgart, Germany. She acquired her first camera, a Box Brownie, at the age of 11. In 1929 Hedda enrolled at the State Institute for Photography in Munich. After completing studies at the Institute for Photography she worked in the studio of photographer Adolf Lazi (1884-1955) back in her home town of Stuttgart.

By 1933 Hedda Morrison had left Germany to work in China. In Peking Morrison managed Hartung’s photographic studio from 1933-1938. After her contract expired she continued to work freelance from a small darkroom in her home in Nanchang Street. The young photographer travelled around the city, usually by bicycle, often photographing its inhabitants. This photograph is one of many that document local craft workshops, is part of the Hedda Morrison Photographic Collection

Photography by Hedda Morrison

No known copyright restrictions


Love shoes?

October 10th, 2014 by

512_00e00578

If you love shoes then you will be interested to know that we are bringing out hundreds of pairs from our collection and they  will be on display as part of our Recollect series in November.  The display features the Museum’s world renowned shoe collection spanning over 500 years and seven continents, the collection features everything from the world’s first pair of elastic sided boots to designer names like Louboutin, Yves Saint Laurent and Lacroix.

The pair pictured here were made by Christian Louboutin, designed in Paris and made in Italy, 1991-1996.

Photography by Sue Stafford

© All rights reserved


E.A.W. Special

October 9th, 2014 by

EFP159-2-0229

This photograph shows the E.A.W. special, currently suspended from the ceiling of the Museum, and part of  the Auto Obsession exhibition.

This is a light, compact, one-off, home-made racing car built in the Eastern Suburbs of Sydney between 1949 and 1957 by E A ‘Wilbur’ Watson, a self-taught automotive engineer who worked with a young Jack Brabham in the early 1950s. 

Auto Obsession, part of our Re-Collect project to ensure greater public access to the Museum’s rich collection features over 25 restored and original historic cars.

 

Photography by Sotha Bourn

© All rights reserved

All rights reserved


Umbrellas, Australia Square, c. 1969

October 8th, 2014 by

96/44/1-5/4/36/1

 

Australia Square recalls the piazzas of mediaeval cities in the way that Sydney people respond to what is provided and congregate in its open but contained space.

Harry Seidler, The Bulletin

The photograph above, from the David Mist archive collection, was taken for the 1969 publication, Sydney: a book of photographs. The composition of the photograph places the semi-circular enclosure in the foreground with the diagonals of the wall on the left and the shadow breaking the image surface up into a series of geometric shapes. The umbrellas echo the curves of the enclosure and the circular shape of the Australia Square tower, the tallest lightweight concrete building in the world at the time.

As well as enhancing the design, the outdoor umbrellas installed at the Harry Seidler designed Australia Square complex also encouraged use of the outdoor areas, protecting the people from the fierce Australian sun.

According to Wikipedia, in the 1950s Frei Otto transformed the universally used individual umbrella into an item of lightweight architecture. 

 

Photography by David Mist

© All rights reserved


Next Page >