Author Archives: Anni Turnbull

World War One Soldier Portraits- a sense of being Australian, slouch hats and emu plumes

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Photographic negative, studio portrait of William Grant Green, World War One, Gunner, 9 Field Artillery Brigade (33rd Battery), glass / silver / gelatin, The Warren, Marrickville, Sydney, New South Wales, March-April 1916. Collection: Powerhouse Museum

Photographic negative, studio portrait of William Grant Green, World War One, Gunner, 9 Field Artillery Brigade (33rd Battery), glass / silver / gelatin, The Warren, Marrickville, Sydney, New South Wales, March-April 1916. Collection: Powerhouse Museum

As we approach the centenary of World War One commemorative activities will be taking place across the world by all the countries involved in World War One. Australia’s responses will be many and varied from re-enactments of recruitment drives like the Coo-ee and Kangaroo marches to exhibitions and publications.

The Museum has been researching its collections linked to the war. We have discovered our very own ‘Lost Diggers’ collection, though on a smaller scale. A collection of 404 World War One soldier portraits are part of the Museum’s extensive Tyrrell Photographic Collection.
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What’s the link between rabbits, eggs and Easter?

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85/2600 Children's Pop Up Easter book, 1950-1975. Collection: Powerhouse Museum

85/2600 Children’s Pop Up Easter book, 1950-1975. Collection: Powerhouse Museum

The image above is a familiar one used to celebrate Easter, for many people a religious holiday. However some of its components such as Easter eggs, are linked to pagan traditions. The origins of the Easter bunny have been ascribed to a 13th-century, pre-Christian Germany, when people worshipped gods and goddesses. The Pagan deity Eostra was the goddess of spring and fertility, and feasts were held in her honour on the March equinox which marks the beginning of Spring in the northern hemisphere. The symbol of the rabbit or hare was chosen because of the animal’s high reproduction rate.
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Celebrating arts and crafts at the Sydney Royal Easter Show

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A6896-1 Sleeping Beauty Tableau, made by Rene Wilson, 1960 Collection:

A6896-1 Sleeping Beauty Tableau, made by Rene Wilson, 1960 Collection: Powerhouse Museum

Sydney’s Royal Easter Show came from agricultural beginnings. In 1822 in a new and small colony the Royal Agricultural Society was formed with the intention of increasing livestock within the colony and sharing farming practices. The first show was held the following year in Parramatta.

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Cockatoo Island: From industry to art

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Cockatoo Island', Kerry and Co, Sydney, Australia, c. 1884-1917. Collection: Powerhouse Museum

Looking across to Cockatoo Island’, Kerry and Co, Sydney, Australia, c. 1884-1917. Collection: Powerhouse Museum

This image from the Museum’s Kerry and Co collection shows Cockatoo Island in the late 1800s. Now one of the venues for the Sydney Biennale, the island has had a diverse past, as a home to convicts, ship builders and now artists.
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Innovation, mining and bush regeneration

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Broken Hill before and after bush regeneration. Image  Albert Morris, hand coloured by Margaret  Morris 1938, Courtesy Broken Hill Regional Library and the Barrier Field Naturalists

Broken Hill Commons before and after bush regeneration. Image Albert Morris, hand coloured by Margaret Morris 1938, Image: courtesy the Barrier Field Naturalist Club and Broken Hill Regional Library

Broken Hill in the far west of NSW is not necessarily the first place you would think of as the beginning of bush regeneration. It is known more for its mining than its environmental history. However the earliest green action in Australia was inspired by Albert Morris and the Barrier Field Naturalists Club in Broken Hill. In 1936 its members enlisted the help of a mining company and through the process of native re-vegetation, defeated the drifts of sand that were swallowing the outskirts of this famous mining town.

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Happy Lunar New Year – the year of the horse

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91/1087 Papercut, red paper, 'Precious horse shaking the money tree (Bao ma yao qian shu)', China, 1930-1940

91/1087 Papercut, red paper, ‘Precious horse shaking the money tree (Bao ma yao qian shu)’, China, 1930-1940. Collection: Powerhouse Museum

The Lunar New Year is the most significant annual celebration for Chinese, Korean and Vietnamese cultures. January 31, 2014 marks the start of the Lunar New Year better known as Chinese New Year, and begins ‘The Year of the horse’.

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A report from Powerhouse Museum Movable Heritage Fellow for 2013 – Claire McMullen, Wagga Wagga.

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Charlie Wong Hing at Clear Springs. Image courtesy Museum of the Riverina

Charlie Wong Hing at Clear Springs. Image courtesy Museum of the Riverina

One needs only to spend a few hours in Wagga Wagga to feel the real impact multiculturalism has had on the city. It is evident though its diversity in everything from restaurants to public parks, from a stroll down the main street, – to looking at the varied streetscape and at the people who inhabit the ever-growing city. Wagga has embraced cultural difference and has a long history with migrant resettlement. However, this has not always been the case.

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The art of skating-David Griggs

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2003/221/1 Skateboard , with prototype graphic, "skateboarding saved my life", mixed materials, artwork by David Griggs / skateboard by Riot Skateboards, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, 2003

Skateboard , with prototype graphic, “skateboarding saved my life”, mixed materials, artwork by David Griggs / skateboard by Riot Skateboards, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, 2003. Collection: Powerhouse Museum

Artist David Griggs reaches into the elements of popular and street culture, horror movies and the street sport of skate boarding. His art sources its inspiration from contemporary images and materials. David Griggs’art has had growing recognition since 1994 and he won the Archibald prize in 2013 for his portrait of TV Moore.
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Bowled over-the changing world of lawn bowls

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2005/170/1-2 Photographic print, Junee Ex-Services Memorial Club, paper, photographed by Max Dupain for Max Dupain and Associates, New South Wales, Australia, 1961

Photographic print, Junee Ex-Services Memorial Club, paper, photographed by Max Dupain for Max Dupain and Associates, New South Wales, Australia, 1961.  Collection: Powerhouse Museum

Lawn bowls is one of Australia’s most popular sports, It has seen several transformations in its history. Beginning as an occasional public house sport, it was a leisure activity for the male elite in the nineteenth century, then a mass sport for men and women after the Second World War and now appeals to a much younger age group.
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