Photo of the Day

photos and stories from the Powerhouse Museum

Thank you and good-bye

December 31st, 2014 by

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This is the last post for Photo of the Day.  If you had asked us when we first started this blog  how long we thought it would run for I am sure we would never have thought nearly eight years, that is a long time in web land.  It has come time for us to review our blogs in-line with our new website and we have decided to finish Photo of the Day and concentrate on our other blogs, Inside the Collection, Observations and Open House.  You will see some posts similar to Photo of the Day appearing on Inside the Collection as we have been focusing on collection posts more recently.

We initially started this blog because it was the best platform at the time for us to quickly share our vast range of images.  We now use Instagram to do this so we have decided to focus on that platform and not on blogging our photographs.   We have done over 2,300 blog posts here and we hope you have enjoyed them.   We would like to thank you for supporting this blog over the last eight years and make sure you check us out on Instagram and on our other blogs. We are building the Magazine section on our new website which we are going to fill with rich content, articles, behind -the-scenes stories and more, so keep an eye on how this develops.

From Kathy and I and the team of guest contributors who have written posts, photographers that have shared images over the last eight years we would like to thank them all and you, our audience.

Portrait of Dahl Collings in overcoat standing on top of a car and taking a photograph.

This image is from the Dahl and Geoffrey Collings Design Archive held by the Powerhouse Museum.  Dahl and Geoffrey were a glamorous couple who were  pioneering multi-disciplinary 20th century Australian designers, photographers and filmmakers, The Collings’ worked in Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States of America. They also worked closely with many leading Australian and international artists and designers.

Photography by Geoffrey Collings in Europe, 1936-1938


The Public Benefit Bootery

December 30th, 2014 by

00e00469

Here is another photograph of a single shoe that leads to an interesting story. Melanie Pitkin writes:

Australian shoe retailer, The Public Benefit Bootery, was established in 1908 to provide good quality shoes ‘within a working girl’s budget’. They filled an important niche in the market for fashionable yet inexpensive shoes, as demonstrated with this pair of pale green leather women’s pumps with metal buckle and court heel. The company had an unusual pricing policy. All shoes were at first sold at the fixed price of 10 shillings, but this was later expanded to two basic price groups.

This pale green pump and its mate is on display in the exhibition Recollect: Shoes on show at the Powerhouse Museum  until May 2015. For more information, see: Stepping Out: three centuries of shoes (Powerhouse Publishing, 2008) p.82

 

Photography by Sue Stafford

© All rights reserved


Boxing clowns – round 2

December 29th, 2014 by

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This is another image from the Jandaschewsky collection showing two clowns performing their boxing bells act.  During this act, two clowns would box, each blow producing a different noise. The act has been copied by numerous other Australian clown troupes since the days of the Do-Re-Mi troupe. The Do-Re-Mi clowns differed from many other clown acts because they dressed and made up identically and used props and musical instruments for comedic effect. The boxing clowns have appeared on POTD previously, in a different pose.

This photograph was produced by Talma studios in Melbourne. Talma studios produced thousands of theatrical portraits in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, catering to a growing demand for photographs of performers, royalty and other celebrities. The performance elements of a theatrical production could be more easily staged in a studio than captured live and the portability of photographs and made them popular as both gifts and mementoes. Talma, established in 1895, was one of a number of studios in Sydney and Melbourne whose success was dependent upon the commercial portrait trade. The studio was run by Andrew Barrie with Sir Henry Weedon, Melbourne’s Lord Mayor, as his partner.

Step into the ring of one of the most delightfully daring, spectacularly spectacular feats of showmanship, curiosity, absurdity and intrigue at Circus Factory, now open at the Powerhouse.

References:

Circus! The Jandaschewsky Story, Powerhouse Publishing, Sydney, 1995.

Anne-Marie Willis, Picturing Australia: a history of photography, Angus & Robertson, Sydney, 1988


Yachts racing on Sydney Harbour

December 26th, 2014 by

96/44/1-5/4/22/2

This photograph showing yachts racing on Sydney harbour was taken by David Mist for his 1969 publication, Sydney: a book of photographs. In the book the photograph appears spread across two pages as the introduction to a section that documents Sydneysiders sailing in the late 1960s.

The Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race starts today. The race is organised by the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia and attracts interest world wide.

 

Photography by David Mist

© David Mist

All rights reserved


Christmas greetings

December 25th, 2014 by

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

This photograph from the studio of Kerry & Co. is one of the many greeting cards created by the Kerry studio in the early 20th century.

If those kookaburras at the lower left look familiar, it may be because they’ve appeared before, in a different configuration, in a photograph from the Kerry studio posted previously on Photo of the Day. They also appeared on the Christmas Greetings from Gundagai Christmas card, posted last year.

The image is an example of the photo montage technique employed by Kerry in designing many of his cards in which generic studio photographs of plants, birds or animals could be combined with local views to create a greeting card from a particular place.

Photography by Kerry & Co.

No known copyright restrictions


Card playing clowns

December 24th, 2014 by

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This photograph from the Jandaschewsky collection shows two of the Do-Re-Mi clowns, seen previously on POTD, playing cards. Their card game act incorporated a trick table that emitted amusing sounds.

This photograph was produced by Talma studios in Melbourne. Talma studios produced thousands of theatrical portraits in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, catering to a growing demand for photographs of performers, royalty and other celebrities. The performance elements of a theatrical production could be more easily staged in a studio than captured live and the portability of photographs and made them popular as both gifts and mementoes. Talma, established in 1895, was one of a number of studios in Sydney and Melbourne whose success was dependent upon the commercial portrait trade. The studio was run by Andrew Barrie with Sir Henry Weedon, Melbourne’s Lord Mayor, as his partner.

Step into the ring of one of the most delightfully daring, spectacularly spectacular feats of showmanship, curiosity, absurdity and intrigue at Circus Factory, open at the Powerhouse.

Photography by Talma Studios


1956 portrait of a woman

December 23rd, 2014 by

Object

This year marks the centenary of Australian designer Gordon Andrew’s birth (1914-2001). To mark this occasion I post this colourful 1950s portrait of a woman taken in the Olivetti Australia Pty Ltd showroom interior designed by Gordon Andrews in 1956. Gordon had created showrooms and displays for British Olivetti while living in London from 1949-1953, then following his return to Australia in 1955, Andrews was invited to design this office/showroom for Olivetti in Sydney. The Museum’s Gordon Andrews design archive contains a series of material relating to this project, including the above colour transparency. It is not yet known if this image was taken by Gordon Andrews or one of his contemporaries, Laurence Le Guay, David Potts, Axel Poignant or Douglas Kerrigan for example who also documented Andrews’ colourful interior design for the Olivetti showroom.

A contemporary article focusing on the remodelling work undertaken by Gordon Andrews for Olivetti titled ‘Dingy Factory Becomes Fine Showroom’ throws a light on the unusual door featured in the photograph:

On the sixth floor of a city building a dingy clothing factory has been converted into a bright showroom and office suite for Olivetti Australia Pty Ltd. The remodelling work has been done by Gordon Andrews, design-consultant. … In the showroom, an old immovable strongroom posed a knotty problem. No attempt was made to camouflage the door, but the whole of the strongroom wall has been covered by an abstract mural, executed in clear coloured glazes over a flat white ground. This is flanked by a white wall with a long marble top set on three copper legs.

Post by Anne-Marie Van de Ven, Curator

Photography unattributed

© All rights reserved


Parramatta River and Spectacle Island

December 22nd, 2014 by

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Dental act

December 19th, 2014 by

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Circus terminology can be a little disconcerting. This photograph is, in fact, described as depicting a ‘Dental act starring Eve and Toots’. The photograph is from the Wirth’s Circus Archive, collection, c. 1950. In accordance with the history of the Wirth’s Circus, the archive contains objects from all over the world: the UK , New Zealand , South Africa, USA,  Brazil, Java, Singapore, France,  Germany,  Switzerland,  Denmark,  Sweden,  Netherlands, 1879-1970.

Step into the ring of one of the most delightfully daring, spectacularly spectacular feats of showmanship, curiosity, absurdity and intrigue at Circus Factory, opening at the Powerhouse, December 20.

Photo by Frank, 42 Greenbank Road Darlington [England]

Wirth’s Circus Archive 2012/104/1


Juggler

December 18th, 2014 by

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A juggler with Wirth’s Circus Archive collection, c. 1950.

Step into the ring of one of the most delightfully daring, spectacularly spectacular feats of showmanship, curiosity, absurdity and intrigue at Circus Factory, opening at the Powerhouse, December 20.

Photo by Krischock Studios Adelaide.


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