Collector, naturalist and Catholic priest Julian Tenison Woods (1832-1889)
Behind the scenes at the Powerhouse, a team of people has been chipping away at a coalface. They are mining the collection. As part of a TAM (Total Asset Management) project, they are digitising early acquisition records to make sure the collection database contains a record of every item collected since the beginning of the Museum in 1882. They are also improving the documentation of some of our important early collections. Among other discoveries, the TAM project has uncovered a small treasure-trove for historians and followers of Mary MacKillop and her mentor, and for scholars of Asian culture.
Continue reading ‘Julian Tenison Woods, spiritual advisor to Mary McKillop’
Miners hard hat, 1947, Kandos
Coming up with an idea for a research project was not difficult for me living on the edge of the Western coalfield of NSW. Evidence of Kandos’ past reliance on the winning of coal doesn’t take much digging.
Continue reading ‘Powerhouse Museum Movable Heritage Fellow for 2013 -Leanne Wicks from Kandos’
2002/105/1-2/25 Photographic print, black & white, promotional exhibit for Thorpes Ltd at Sydney Royal Easter Show designed by Rousel Studios, Broughton & Ward, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, c 1930. Collection: Powerhouse Museum
Continue reading ‘The Sydney Easter show, early product advertising’
Deborah Turnbull, Assistant Curator, in the basement with a few of her favourite things. Image Powerhouse Photography
What is your specialty area?
Well, I have two art history degrees, so the short answer is art. The long answer is I used to be thoroughly obsessed with gendered architecture, until I discovered contemporary art in the last year of my undergraduate degree. I knew of it from a year 11 trip to the Vancouver Art Gallery where Andy Warhol was featured, but I think the turning points for me were when I discovered the sculptures of Eva Hesse and the film works of Matthew Barney. I was hooked!
Continue reading ‘Meet the curator – Deborah Turnbull’
2007/22/1 Model of a wind turbine, plastic / aluminium / wood, maker unknown, made for Great Southern Energy and Pacific Power, Crookwell, New South Wales, Australia, 1998
Saturday 23rd March, 8:30-9:30 is Earth hour and it gives us a chance to turn off the lights and celebrate the dark. More than 2 million individuals and 2,000 businesses in Sydney took part in the First Earth hour in 2007. It has now grown to millions of people in over 5000 cities across 135 countries.
Continue reading ‘Earth hour, turning off the lights’
Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras 1993 poster, designed by Kendal Baker, Australia, 1993. 95/339/6-2 Collection: Powerhouse Museum.
As Sydney throw itself into another round of Mardi Gras celebrations, it is 35 years since the initial march. Attitudes have shifted since 1978 when the first march, which was more of a political protest, attracted the wrath of the police and condemnation from certain parts of society and the media.
Continue reading ‘The Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras 35 years on’
The end of the First World War saw a tremendous change in society and the horrors of war prompted people to question the rigorous social and moral values of the preceding Edwardian Era. As with any time in fashion history, contemporary concerns and thought affected fashion and so, the nineteen twenties came to symbolise in dress everything that the end of the First World War had brought about –relaxed social attitudes, greater freedoms for women, an economic and creative boom, and most importantly the turn towards ‘modernity’.
Continue reading ‘Flappers, Frocks and Fashioning the Modern Woman, Tales from the Australian Dress Register’
A9113 Pot, salt-glazed stoneware, Janet Mansfield, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, 1982
Janet Mansfield, who passed away on 4th February 2013, had a major impact on Australian and international ceramics. Born in 1934 Janet trained in ceramics at the National Art School, East Sydney, in 1964, ’65, and exhibited widely in Australia and overseas.
Janet Mansfield had over 35 solo exhibitions in Australia, Japan and New Zealand, and was included in group exhibitions in Australia and many other countries. As well as working in her own studio, eventually in Gulgong, she established the Ceramic Art Gallery in Paddington, Sydney, and ran it for many years.
Continue reading ‘In memory of Janet Mansfield, OAM, (1934 – 2013) Australian potter, author and publisher’
A8754-1 Mourning dress, satin, probably worn by Amelia Hackney, maker unknown, Bathurst, New South Wales, Australia, c. 1857.Collection: Powerhouse Museum
Victorian mourning tradition included from commissioning clothing, jewellery and accessories, to the more unusual traditions like post mortem photography. I was interested in taking a closer look at this forgotten practice of excess in the Australian tradition, uncovering the extensive practices of widows in the Victorian era.
Evidence of mourning costume predates the Roman Empire, and we have since seen the systematic use of particular colours adopted in the portrayal of grief. It was only in the 19th century that the act of wearing black become a fine art for women in Europe and across the western world.
Continue reading ‘Memento Mori- Mourning dress in Australia’
Jeremy Youse wearing a Condoman costume at the Sun Shine Coast Pride Fair Day. Image Courtesy Two Spirits Programme, Queensland Association for Healthy Communities
“Don’t Be Shame Be Game” is the tag line for the Condoman safe sex campaign which was created in 1987 by Aunty Gracelyn Smallwood and a team of Aboriginal Sexual Health Workers in Townsville, Queensland.
Continue reading ‘Condoman and other Safe Sex campaigns’