Inside the Collection

Meet the curator – Deborah Turnbull

March 25, 2013

Anni Turnbull
What is your specialty area? Well, I have two art history degrees, so the short answer is art. The long answer is I used to be thoroughly obsessed with gendered architecture, until I discovered contemporary art in the last year of my undergraduate degree.

Earth hour, turning off the lights

March 23, 2013

Anni Turnbull
Saturday 23rd March, 8:30-9:30 is Earth hour and it gives us a chance to turn off the lights and celebrate the dark. More than 2 million individuals and 2,000 businesses in Sydney took part in the First Earth hour in 2007.

Doing jigsaws at work, recapturing an 1880s image

March 20, 2013

Kate Chidlow
Most people don't have the patience to attempt what our recent intern, Amir Mogadam from the Universtiy of Newcastle has just finished – probably one of the most challenging jigsaws you’re ever likely to see.

Instrument of Torture – the thumbscrew

March 18, 2013

Geoff Barker
The image above is of a thumbscrew which I came across here in the Museum’s collection while looking for something far more innocuous – a wooden mallet made from a girder of the old Sydney Stock Exchange.

Making it: 20 years of Student Fashion

March 13, 2013

Melanie Pitkin
2013 is an important year for the Museum. Not only are we celebrating our 25th birthday, but we’re also celebrating 20 years of Student Fashion. The Student Fashion display has been held annually at the Powerhouse Museum since 1993.

Architects and photographers

March 11, 2013

Charles Pickett
The careers of architects and photographers are often intertwined. An outstanding case is Max Dupain, Australia’s leading photographer of architecture, whose work was crucial in building the reputations of several architects including Harry Seidler, Sydney Ancher and Glenn Murcutt.

Upcycled – waste not, want not…

March 7, 2013

Anne-Marie Van de Ven
A new display opens at the Powerhouse Museum this week titled 'Upcycled', a word coined by German engineer and upcycler, Reiner Pilz in 1994. ‘Recycling? I call it down-cycling. They smash bricks, they smash everything.

3D scanning in the 1930s

March 6, 2013

Debbie Rudder
If you visit the Powerhouse Museum between 10 am and 1 pm on 9 March for our 25th birthday celebrations, you will be able to see the accurate detail captured in this bronze bust of Sydney pharmacist Ernest Pollock.

Trial by Fire – the formation of the Powerhouse Museum’s collections from the ashes of the Garden Palace

March 4, 2013

Geoff Barker
The story of the creation of the Powerhouse museum starts with the project to host an international exhibition in the grounds of the Sydney Domain in 1879. Based on similar displays in London and Paris it drew from around the world all manner of objects relating to the industrial and applied arts.These were all to be housed in the ‘Garden Palace’ exhibition building, which was designed in a week and built in less than a year.

The Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras 35 years on

March 2, 2013

Anni Turnbull
As Sydney throws itself into another round of Mardi Gras celebrations, it is 35 years since the initial march. Attitudes have shifted since 1978 where the first marchers attracted the wrath of the police and condemnation from certain parts of society and the media.