Icons: From the MAAS Collection

Exhibition
Permanent Exhibition Book Tickets

This exhibition, featuring a selection of over 70 celebrated and rarely-displayed objects from the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences’ vast and diverse collection, explores what makes a museum object an icon in the 21st century.

From a grand concert piano to a humble elephant statue that survived the great Garden Palace fire of 1882; from Sir Howard Florey’s penicillin samples to a cochlear implant; from an ancient Greek drinking cup to the Apple 1 computer; many of the objects are leading examples of human creativity and ingenuity, and have played a significant role in shaping society and creating a better world.

This diverse array of objects are explored through themes including luxury, celebrity, status, spirituality, value and genius. You are invited to consider and question what makes something iconic.

Which is your favourite?

Download media release here

Tickets

Free with museum admission.

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Icons: From the Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences Collection

$29.95

Acclaimed Australian author Drusilla Modjeska has collaborated with the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences, Sydney, on a new MAAS publication, Icons. Published to accompany the Icons exhibition, the book presents more than 70 beautifully photographed objects from the Museum’s collection, and considers the notion of ‘icon’ in all its complexity — from its origins as a sacred image to a more contemporary definition that equates icons with mass culture and popular appeal. The objects featured in the exhibition and book present various aspects of luxury, celebrity, status, spirituality, value and genius. Through her extensive research, discussions with the curators and handling of the objects, as well as her insights as a creative writer with a deep interest in the processes of making and human imagination, Drusilla has discovered deeper levels of meaning about particular objects in her essay ‘The Wonder World of Things’. The publication also includes essays by lead curator Jacqui Strecker on reimagining the Museum’s icons, Jennifer Isaacs on artist Thancoupie’s work, and short essays by MAAS curators on selected collection objects, including Marc Newson’s Lockheed Lounge, Howard Florey’s miracle mould penicillium notatum, a Ming dynasty temple bell and that crochet dress by Romance Was Born and worn by Cate Blanchett. Drusilla Modjeska’s collaboration on the Icons project was made possible by a grant from the Copyright Agency Cultural Fund.
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