Photo of the Day

photos and stories from the Powerhouse Museum

The Strictly Ballroom Story

April 4th, 2014 by

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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.

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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


Mr A.W. Green

April 2nd, 2014 by

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This photograph of this very stylish and urbane looking man in evening dress seems appropriate in the lead up to the Strictly Ballroom display that opens on Saturday April 5, although ballroom dancing is not listed among this gentlemen’s impressive list of achievements.

The portrait  shows Mr A.W. Green, president of the Cricket Association of New South Wales, senior public servant,  philanthropist and supporter of the arts.  According to his obituary in the Sydney Morning Herald  (August 22, 1935), Alfred William Green commenced 40 year’s continuous service with the Cricket Association in 1895. In the same year, after 23 years in a variety of public service positions, he was appointed Chief Superintendent of Government Asylums. He was also chairman for the executive committee of Dr Barnardo’s Homes and president of the Parks and Playgrounds Movement. His many other roles included assistant secretary of the British Medical Association in New South Wales and assistant secretary of the Medical Union of New South Wales.

Despite Mr Green’s formal dress, with one hand in his pocket and the other holding a cigar, he gives the impression of  having just stepped out from a formal function to enjoy a smoke in the garden. The countryside scenery depicted in the backdrop is an example of the trend of bringing the ‘outdoors in’ in late 19th and early 20th century studio photography.

 

Post by Kathy Hackett, Photo Librarian

 

Photography by Kerry & Co. Tyrrell collection, 85/1286-759

No known copyright restrictions


Strictly bolero

April 1st, 2014 by

Detail: 92/1928 Film costume, `Strictly Ballroom', men's, `Final Festival', wool/nylon/sequins/cotton/leather, M&A Film Corporation Pty Ltd/Angus Strathie, Sydney, Australia, 1991 Basement storage.

This image is another detail from the fabulous costumes that we hold in our Baz Luhrmann movie collection. The collection was put together by Catherine Martin and generously donated to the Museum in 1991.

This detail is from the famous bolero jacket worn by Paul Mercurio in the M & A Film Corporation production of the film `Strictly Ballroom.’

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 jacket was made by M & A Film Corporation wardrobe staff.

We are preparing to launch ‘The Strictly Ballroom story’ a new exhibition celebrating the sequinned splendour of the hit stage and screen musical. We reveal the Strictly Ballroom story through design drawings, cast and set photos, performance and rehearsal clips. The exhibition will open 5th April.

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Strictly Ballroom costumes being prepared for exhibition in the Museum’s textile store

Photography by Marinco Kojdanovski
© All rights reserved


Portrait E. De Vere

March 31st, 2014 by

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The highly decorative piece of vertical Art Nouveau style text at the top right of this image spells out the name ‘E. Devere’.  Another photograph of Elise De Vere was posted on  Photo of the Day on March 20. This photograph, from the collection of Amy and Lindy Hall,  is the only portrait  in that collection to show a close up view of the subject in profile.

Elise De Vere, the daughter of two British stage magicians, was described in the New York Times as a chanteuse excentrique who had appeared with success in Vienna, Berlin and Paris.  In 1899, when she was twenty, she won second prize in a beauty competition organised by the Olympia Theatre in Paris. (First prize was awarded to Jean Dortzal).  She even inspired a popular song in France. In 1903, having been spotted by Florenz Ziegfeld, she appeared on Broadway in The Red Feather.

There was a great demand for photographs of performers along with royalty and other celebrities in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The portability of postcards made them highly collectible and popular as gifts and mementoes.

The postcard is part of a collection made by Amy and Lindy Hall of West Maitland, New South Wales, between 1905 and 1925. More postcards from this collection can be viewed on the Powerhouse Museum online collection database.

 

Post by Kathy Hackett, Photo Librarian

Photography by Musterschutz

No known copyright restrictions

 


Washing day at RPA in about 1902

March 28th, 2014 by

85/1285-1041 Glass negative, full plate, 'Prince Alfred Hospital from University, Sydney', Henry King, Sydney, Australia, c. 1880-1900

This image from the Tyrrell Collection shows the laundry block at the rear of Royal Prince Alfred Hospital in about 1902. The view is taken from Sydney University and shows lines of linen hanging out to dry. Royal Prince Alfred Hospital was the largest hospital in Australia at the time, and there were only seven or eight larger in Britain, the United States or Europe.

It is interesting to consider what would have happened in the event of a sudden storm (as happens quite frequently in Sydney).  Laundries at the time required much heavy labour and would have employed a lot of staff; so when the storm clouds loomed it was probably all hands on deck to bring in the sheets!

Post by Lynne McNairn, Web and Social Technologies

Photography: Henry King, c 1902

No known copyright restrictions


Filming at La Perouse

March 27th, 2014 by

 

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This photograph was taken in February 2012 at La Perouse during the preparation of the Faith Fashion Fusion exhibition which was on display at the Powerhouse Museum till July 2013 and is currently on show at the Immigration Museum in Melbourne.

The model in the picture is Oishee Alam – Bangladedeshi-born academic and activist who migrated to Australia in 1991 and whose story is featured in the exhibition. Behind the camera are Glynis Jones, curator who made the exhibition happen, and Kathleen Phillips – our video producer.

Faith, fashion, fusion examines Australia’s emerging modest fashion market and diversity of Muslim fashion  through the stories of fashion designers, retailers, bloggers and new generation of Muslim women interested in stylish, yet modest clothing, which meets their cultural, religious and aesthetic needs.

 Photo: Marinco Kojdanovski.

© Powerhouse Museum, Sydney. All rights reserved. 


Handover of the last horse-drawn cab, 1937

March 26th, 2014 by

H3975 Horse-drawn vehicle, full size, hansom cab, brougham-type, and fares plate, wood / metal / leather / fabric, made in Sydney, 1880-1915, used by Mr J. Connor in Sydney until 1937

Yesterday’s post showed the Museum’s hansom cab on its way through the streets to its final destination at the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences. This image shows the journey’s end in the driveway of the Museum’s then location at 695 Harris Street, Ultimo (now part of the Sydney TAFE campus).

The image shows the cab’s owner Mr J Connor on the left with Museum curator (later Director) Arthur Penfold [1890-1980] on the right.  Darkwing  stands between them still hitched to the cab. On its final journey, the cab was escorted by a milk wagon pulled by two horses and at the Museum was greeted by a small crowd of boys, some of whom can be seen in the background.

The use of hansom cabs in Sydney reached their height in the 1890s but competition from trams and the introduction of the telephone reduced the need for short runs to deliver messages and leave calling cards. Motor cabs initiated the death knell for the horse cab though many, like this one, survived well into the 20th century.

This hansom cab is currently on display in the Transport Exhibition at the Powerhouse Museum.

Post by Lynne McNairn, Web and Social Technologies

Photography: Museum of Applied Arts and Scriences, 1937

No known copyright restrictions

 


The last horse-drawn cab in Sydney, 1937

March 25th, 2014 by

H3975 Horse-drawn vehicle, full size, hansom cab, brougham-type, and fares plate, wood / metal / leather / fabric, made in Sydney, 1880-1915, used by Mr J. Connor in Sydney until 1937

Many images in the Museum’s Tyrrell Collection show Sydney streets crowded with horse-drawn vehicles . For people in the late 19th/early 20th centuries it would have been impossible to imagine a city without horses but by 1937  motor vehicles ruled the roads and Sydney’s last hansom cab was on its way to the Museum. This image shows our hansom cab driven by its 73 year old owner, Mr J Connor and pulled by his horse Darkwing on its last journey through the streets of Sydney.

Mr Connor started driving cabs in 1890.  His last passenger was a member of the Museum’s staff, Theodore Roughley (1888-1961), the Economic Zoologist, who rode around the block and down Harris Street in the cab, paying the last fare of 2 shillings.

In their heyday in the late nineteenth century, Sydney’s hansom cabs made up over half of the city’s licensed street vehicles. In 1895 Sydney had 2,180 licensed vehicles, 1,215 of which were hansom cabs.

This hansom cab is currently on display in the Transport Exhibition at the Powerhouse Museum.

Post by Lynne McNairn, Web and Social Technologies

Photography: Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences, 1937

No known copyright restrictions


Strictly Ballroom

March 24th, 2014 by

strictly ballroom

We have been busy photographing details, such as the one above, of the costumes that we hold in our Baz Luhrmann movie collection created by Catherine Martin and generously donated to the Museum.

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 costume was fabricated by a professional ballroom cotumier, Nola Lowe, working from design sketches in her studio in Sydney.

We are preparing to launch  ’The Strictly Ballroom story a new exhibition celebrating the sequinned splendour of the hit stage and screen musical.  We reveal the Strictly Ballroom story through design drawings, cast and set photos, performance and rehearsal clips.  The exhibition will open 5th April.

Strictly ballroom

Photography by Marinco Kojdanovski

© All rights reserved

 


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