I recently had the privilege to undertake a 20 day internship at the Powerhouse Museum under the supervision of curator, Paul Donnelly. I was given the task of documenting an acquisition consisting of a series of ceramic pieces by Joyce Gittoes (b.1915).
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The disposal of nuclear waste has been a controversial issue for decades. Synroc is an innovative solution to dealing with the problem of the long term storage of nuclear wastes that contain radioactive isotopes with long half-lives.
A couple of media stories set me thinking about the image of museums. One (which you may well have come across) concerned a museum and its touring exhibition which have gained an extraordinary amount of press.
After working at this Museum for decades I still find it breathtaking uncovering the treasures we have buried away down in our vaults. An academic from New Zealand emailed me to have a look at a French children’s toy theatre, “La Pleine Mer” (The Open Sea).
This beautiful brass object is one of a nice selection of science and technology artefacts that visitors will see on our curator-led basement tours during Ultimo Science Festival. Can you identify it?
Chemists have not seen much of their discourse become part of popular culture, but the symbol for water is a notable exception. In advertising speak, H2O has a high recognition factor. It has been adopted and adapted for a plethora of cool brand names, a few geeky jokes and a successful Australian TV show and spin-off movie.
When you walk through the Love Lace exhibition its apparent how important lighting is to the successful display of these works. The Museum electrician Peter Hermon says This was a unique exhibition to work on, we had more time to work on the lighting (and wiring) and the nature of the work was different, shadows were really important and the lighting needs more particular.
A far swag of the world’s most famous buildings are the result of design competitions – completed winners include Florence’s Duomo, the White House, the Paris Opera, the Westminster Houses of Parliament, the Reichstag (twice) and the Centre Pompidou.
Bakelite is rightly famous as the first fully synthetic plastic (defined as an organic material that can be moulded under heat and/or pressure). Its name immortalises its inventor, Leo Baekeland. The Museum's bust of this balding moustachioed chemist and industrialist, made from a translucent red version of his phenol-formaldehyde resin, also celebrates his place in technological history.