I love ruins, and I’m not alone in this taste. A fair swag of the world’s most visited tourist sites are ruins: the Forum, the Great Wall, the Pyramids and so on – it’s an impressive list. A ruin is not a building damaged by storm, flood or earthquake.
Inside the Collection
Bernard Sahm was a greatly respected potter whose work is represented in all the major galleries of Australia. He trained and practiced as an industrial draughtsman which gave him skills he was to use in his distinctive ceramic output that frequently included drawn and applied detail.
In May 2010 I published a Curatorial blog piece about Josef Cindric and his trolley. Towards the end of his life, Cindric became something of a minor celebrity. Artists photographed and filmed him. Journalists speculated as to his life and the contents of his trolley.
Recently I stopped to look at a Highland Pipe Band who were playing in the Corso at Manly. It was a hot and sticky Sydney summer day and the heavy tartan kilts looked out of place although the band members were wearing short sleeved shirts and did not have jackets.
Fifty years ago today, on the 25 February 1961, Sydney’s last electric trams operated on the La Perouse and Maroubra Beach lines. The last day of trams is a great date to remember for trivia nights.
Josiah Wedgwood, who founded the Wedgwood company in 1759, carried out thousands of experiments to determine which chemicals and processes were needed to make porcelain-like ceramics in a range of colours.
We note with sadness the passing last week of Shiga Shigeo, a great ceramic artist and teacher whose profound influence will doubtless survive through his students to future generations of Australian potters.
Erika recently wrote about ‘real vs. fake’ museum objects, using the example of repro fossils as an example. It’s an interesting issue: that museums continue to thrive in the digital age is largely due to their role as repositories of the ‘real’ and ‘authentic’.
I have just returned from Cairo after a tumultuous few days caught up in the demonstrations in Egypt. I was meant to be there for 6 weeks undertaking research for my PhD before leading an independent 24-day tour of Egypt, “From Alexandria to Abu Simbel” for Alumni Travel in Sydney.
Attention data nerds and science geeks, you will love this object. This is what is known as an Argo float (I prefer the term sea robot), the picture doesn’t give you a sense of scale but the whole unit is about 6 feet tall.
Whilst working on the new ‘Ecologic: creating a sustainable future’ exhibition, we were looking for objects to help us tell the story of climate change, and more specifically talk about the fossil record.
This inconspicuous lump of rock is actually a piece of lava from Mt. Vesuvius, Italy. It is one of the Museum’s earliest collected objects, having been purchased in 1886 in New York. It was probably no more that a curiosity back then, yet it has been incredibly valuable for us to use in discussing contemporary issues.