Inside the Collection

Underwear for down there

January 29, 2010

Melanie Pitkin
Venus Williams turned heads this week with her skin coloured underwear (see the controversial shot here), leading many to believe she actually forgot to put her underpants on! Venus designed the underpants for her fashion label ‘EleVen’, saying they were meant to “highlight the thigh-high and V neck splits” of her dress.

Back to School lunches

January 27, 2010

Lynne McNairn
This poster from our collection was issued by the NSW Department of Health in the 1950s. It shows the wise headmaster (in cap and gown) pointing out the formula for a healthy lunch to Jimmy who stands to attention with his hands behind his back.

Esmarch Triangular Bandage

January 25, 2010

Erika Taylor
When I came across the Esmarch triangular bandage in my research, I was immediately drawn to the line (After Esmarch). Was it a person, place or manufacturer? And why was the bandage after Esmarch?

The 80s revived

January 22, 2010

Charles Pickett
The Powerhouse is the perfect museum for 'The 80s Are Back'. After all, the museum is itself an artefact of the 80s, one of Sydney's major statements of 'the design decade'. Its interior and exhibition design displayed a level of sophistication and consistency unprecedented in an Australian museum.

Prince William in Sydney

January 20, 2010

Melanie Pitkin
The Powerhouse Museum is no stranger to royalty. In 2007-2008 we hosted the major exhibition Diana: a celebration and we have welcomed many royal visitors and heads of state through our doors, including: Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands and HRH Prince Claus, King Juan Carlos and Queen Sophia of Spain, King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia of Sweden, Pope John Paul II, Crown Prince Frederik and Princess Mary of Denmark and…Prince William?

What were they thinking??? Vegemite iSnack 2.0

January 20, 2010

Sandra McEwen
We couldn’t let 2009 disappear without acquiring a jar of iSnack 2.0, the shortest-lived Vegemite product in history! Kraft released this new cheese-based Vegemite spread in July 2009 with a label inviting people to name it.

James Watt and the problematic watt

January 18, 2010

Debbie Rudder
19th January is James Watt's birthday. Born in 1736, he is remembered mainly for improving the steam engine. This medal was minted in London in 1827 as one of a series celebrating great men. Watt is also celebrated by several statues and paintings, a university and a library, a shipping dock, at least two engineering awards, an Austrian coin and a (yet to be released) British banknote.

Lookin’ cool in Courrèges

January 15, 2010

Melanie Pitkin
Today, we’re going to take a look at a very cool women’s ensemble designed and made by André Courrèges, the Parisian fashion designer, which was sold through Harrods in London in 1965. It comprises a mini-dress made of bright yellow wool with a white vinyl belt and white wool-acrylic coat.

Haiti Disaster

January 14, 2010

Erika Taylor
Our hearts and thoughts go out to the people of Haiti as they endure the disaster that has hit their nation. The symbol on the badge above is recognised the world over as one of the Red Cross Association.

Pattern Recognition

January 13, 2010

Rebecca Evans
Check silk day dress, (A8072) Collection, Powerhouse Museum. The other day I was working in the basement in the fashion and textiles section when I saw this dress from the 1840s. Silk with a check design of blue, brown and grey, it instantly reminded me of a similar skirt that’s listed on the Australian Dress Register.


January 13, 2010

Kate Scott
In the days before air-conditioning, the use of hand-held fans was widespread and necessary to keep cool. Many fans were simple and inexpensive to produce, while others were more elaborate and made from costly materials.

The Bayldon Collection at the Coffs Harbour Regional Museum

January 11, 2010

Erika Taylor
For most of my adult life I had heard of all the things in my aunt’s possession. Aunty Nan (Nancy Sewell nee Whaites) was a wealth of knowledge and loved to talk about her ancestors. William Edward Bayldon who had been born in England was operating a chemist shop and owned farm land in Adelaide in 1840 when he married Eliza Leaman widow of James Birmingham Kelly.