Inside the Collection

Latest Posts

Ask a Curator Day 2019

September 17, 2019

Sarah Reeves
The Museum staff have a huge job caring for our enormous collection of over 500,000 objects. Our team includes experts in a vast range of areas, including: fashion, health and medicine, architecture, engineering, sciences, design, decorative arts, technologies and contemporary culture.

Stories on cloth: Surayia Rahman’s kantha embroidery

September 11, 2019

Vanessa Thorne
How many hands does it take to create a kantha tapestry like this? In this instance, it was the work of eight women embroidering every day for one year. Threading not only a story of traditional motifs, but also the international recognition of an ancient craft and women’s socio-economic emancipation in Bangladesh and West Bengal.

Storytelling at its best: Journalism meets Museums

September 4, 2019

Helena Rainert
As a communication student majoring in Journalism and International Studies, I am not your typical museum intern. I applied for an internship at MAAS after a guest lecture by one of the Museum’s curators, who encouraged anyone with an interest in the communication of history or science to apply.

A Bombora Boon: The Powerhouse Museum Acquires The Atlantics’ Guitar and Drum

August 29, 2019

Damian McDonald
Imagine being a working-class kid from Sydney’s suburbs, and the second car you ever bought was a Ferrari. But instead of being a rev-head, you were an aspiring rock muso. And the Ferrari was not a precision made, top-of-the-line spots car, but a Fender Stratocaster, with exactly the same specs as Formula One musos were using.

James Watt’s Bicentenary: the man and his machines

August 21, 2019

Sarah Reeves
25 August marks the 200th anniversary of the death of inventor James Watt. To mark the occasion, we have invited a guest post by Debbie Rudder, an expert on Watt, to explore his life and scientific contributions.

Architectural models from the collection

August 14, 2019

Keinton Butler
The Powerhouse Museum collection contains material relating to architecture and the built environment, of local, national and international significance. The collection includes scale models, design archives, plans, drawings, photography and interior fittings, with projects ranging from iconic buildings by award winning, internationally recognised Australian architects Glenn Murcutt, Harry Seidler and John Andrews, to social housing and civic projects of public interest. Architectural models form an important part of the architecture and built environment collection, and the Museum has many fine examples of conceptual, working, and large-scale presentation models that illustrate this craft.

100 years of the Bauhaus

August 1, 2019

Eva Czernis-Ryl
The Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences has just opened a display with striking objects, photographs and archival material from its extensive decorative art and design collections, to celebrate the centenary of the Bauhaus, the most influential 20th century school of design.

Curating the Apollo 11 exhibition

July 19, 2019

Sarah Reeves
Last month the Museum opened a new exhibition commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon Landing. As the curator, I’ve spent the past 12-18 months developing this exhibition, which explores the events of 1969, and celebrates what is possibly the greatest scientific achievement of all time.

Meet the Registrar: Karen Biddle

July 10, 2019

Sarah Reeves
Name: Karen Biddle Role: Registrar / Collection Database Administrator What is the main focus of your role at MAAS? My main focus is the MAAS collection database (called 'EMu'), for which I manage user group permissions, report design, QA work, large data queries and exports, periodic statistics, and providing training/support to users for everyday usage queries.

Pyrmont and Ultimo: an industrial past

June 25, 2019

Anni Turnbull
Like many suburbs of Sydney, Pyrmont and Ultimo have undergone significant changes during the last two hundred years. It’s hard to imagine the current peninsula filled with the sounds of quarrying, smoke from iron works and power stations and sweet smells from Colonial Sugar Refinery (CSR).

Student Fashion 2019

June 19, 2019

Kristina Stankovski
Held annually at the Powerhouse Museum since 1993, the Student Fashion display showcases the work of Sydney’s top local fashion design graduates, providing insight into the skills and potential of the next generation of Australian designers.

The Barry Willoughby Bequest: two new acquisitions

June 12, 2019

Eva Czernis-Ryl
Last year, we introduced to our readers the first glass and ceramic objects acquired for the MAAS collection with funds from the remarkably generous Barry Willoughby Bequest. We are delighted to share the news about two more recent acquisitions enabled by Willoughby’s passion for Australian studio glass and ceramics as expressed in his will.