Powerhouse Museum Collection, object B1067. Gift of the University of Sydney, 1947.
Mudgee is the place to be from 19th to 21st April. Historic engines and tractors will be there in force, but there will be a lot more to interest visitors, from Clydesdale horses to old-style games for children. Powerhouse Museum curators have selected a group of highly significant objects to take to the event, including this early Daimler high-speed petrol engine, four early gas engines, specimens of fine wool grown in the Mudgee area, a rare woollen convict jacket and an amazing fine-wool jumper knitted by Mudgee’s own Myra Mogg in 1935.
Continue reading ‘National Historical Machinery Rally, Mudgee 2013′
Powerhouse Museum Collection, object H6854.
Would you have guessed the mystery object on display in the Museum’s marquee at Steamfest this year? Visitors to this event held in Maitland over the weekend of 13-14 April were encouraged to have a go. Congratulations to Ray Wilson of Largs, NSW, whose answer was the first correct entry drawn.
Continue reading ‘Steamfest 2013 Mystery Object Revealed’
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’
Powerhouse Museum Collection, object 2006/54/1. Gift of Quantum Technology Pty Ltd, 2006.
This neat Australian-made Braille note-taker, the Jot a Dot, is on display in the Powerhouse Museum’s version of Wallace & Gromit’s World of Invention. I selected it to complement the story of inventor Louis Braille, which came with the exhibition but without any objects.
When curator Angelique Hutchison acquired the Brailler, she also acquired a suite of design process material, which adds greatly to its value as an example of product design. Concept sketches, which sadly are not often kept, are of particular interest as they provide some insight into the designer’s first thoughts on a project.
Continue reading ‘Beyond the object: collecting design process material’
Keith Hensel (1965 – 2013) demonstrating a sectioned Breville 800 Class Citrus Press, 2004. Courtesy Breville Group Limited
Keith Hensel was principal designer at Breville, and previously a designer with Sunbeam and Nielsen Design Associates. For more than 20 years he had been involved in designing household products from lighting to kettles, toasters to toothbrushes. Keith’s designs have become part of our everyday lives. People all over Australia and the world have benefited from his innovations to make household appliances easier and more enjoyable to use.
Continue reading ‘In memory of Keith Hensel, Australian product designer’
This time of year is one of consumable abundance in Australia. We are encouraged to indulge in large quantities of high calorie, highly processed sugar-rich foods; and to consume alcohol. Although a legal and celebrated intoxicant, alcohol is a strong mood altering drug, and consumption levels can be quite difficult to gauge. Intoxication in individuals can vary greatly, depending on weight, health, tolerance, and state of mind at the time of consumption; however, the New South Wales Police have adopted and enforce the maximum level of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood be under .05 grams to legally operate a vehicle on a public road. Some individuals may drive a vehicle knowing that they are likely over this limit; others may have no real idea – having consumed alcohol in a socially accepted and sometimes expected manner. This may well ruin their Christmas and New Year holidays!
Continue reading ‘You Better Watch Out – NSW Police Random Breath Testing’
Sony Mavica FD-91 digital camera taken apart
This camera, a Sony Mavica FD-91 is a remarkable display object, as testified by more than a decade on display in our Cyberworlds gallery. Not only was it purchased and purposefully dismantled (or exploded) to display the mechanism and electronic engineering of the camera, but it stands as a crossover piece between things that are built from materials (plastics, metals, electronics) and things that are birthed from objects like it; things that are ‘born digital.’ It was collected and remains an important teaching tool for a range of age groups.
Continue reading ‘Explosion… A Sony Mavica guide to digital migration’
Powerhouse Museum Collection, object 2001/85/1. Gift of Ron Standfield, 2001.
Wes Standfield’s Supreme mousetrap-making machine has been very popular with visitors to the Powerhouse Discovery Centre since 2007. Definitely a ‘cracking contraption’, it is making its debut appearance at the Powerhouse Museum in conjunction with Wallace & Gromit’s World of Invention. It is the star object in Australian Inventions, a small display in the foyer and the kick-off point for an inventions trail through the Museum. Both exhibitions, and the trail, can be seen and explored until April 2013.
Continue reading ‘Wes Standfield’s Supreme mousetrap-making machine’