Inside the Collection

Marea Gazzard, AO, CBA (1928- 2013)

October 30, 2013

Anni Turnbull
The Powerhouse Museum, along with many others in the fields of visual arts and crafts, was sad to hear of the death of Marea Gazzard, on 28th October, 2013. Marea Gazzard was an important figure in the chronology of Australian postwar ceramics, both as a significant and influential innovator in her own work and also in her support of the Australian crafts movement.

Vintage Farm Machinery – a Museum volunteer’s experience

October 28, 2013

Margaret Simpson
Before my recent role as a volunteer, any semblance of interest towards farm machinery and equipment came from when I was as a small child, diligently preparing the family vegie garden by raking the soil with all the exuberance that a young child could muster.

A Kookaburra for Bird Week 2013

October 23, 2013

Lynne McNairn
This week is Bird Week which celebrates Australia's beautiful native birds. It seems the perfect excuse to feature this charming table mat from the Ian Rumsey Australian Textiles Collection. The motif is one of Australia's best known and easily seen birds, the Laughing Kookaburra.

Bionic body parts – Cochlear in the collection

October 21, 2013

Angelique Hutchison
Recent news of a bionic eye prototype being tested by Bionic Vision Australia is exciting for medical device research in Australia. There’s a number of other ‘retinal prosthesis’ devices being developed in Australia and overseas.

The Opera House industry

October 18, 2013

Charles Pickett
We’ve just installed a small exhibition to mark the fortieth anniversary of Sydney Opera House on 20 October. The anniversary, by the way, is of the official 1973 opening by the Queen, not the first public performance there on the 28 September 1973, an interesting choice of dates.

Selfies from the past, revealing but concealing

October 16, 2013

Debbie Rudder
Selfies are rampant today. We can see the phenomenon as harmless fun, as creative self-expression, or perhaps as a threat to civilisation, drowning us in egocentric banality. But of course people have long indulged in self-portraiture, and today I want to focus on an unusual pair of selfies that reveal one man in contrasting settings, telling us two stories about himself.

Billycarts

October 14, 2013

Margaret Simpson
  Did you see that amazingly candid and moving interview with Clive James the other week? He spoke with great affection about his "Unreliable Memoirs" growing up in Sydney's Kogarah. Funniest of all was his account of his billycart "super-train" taking out Mrs Branthwait's prize poppy garden in Irene Street.

Sailor suits and the Sydney Naval Review

October 9, 2013

Margaret Simpson
With thousands of sailors in Sydney this week for the International Fleet Review, celebrating 100 years since the Australian Navy sailed into Sydney Harbour in 1913, I thought I'd write about children's sailor suits.

Navy ships in Sydney Harbour, 1940s

October 4, 2013

Anni Turnbull
In recent years the sight of Sydney Harbour filled with navy ships is not a very common sight, particularly war ships. On Friday 4th October, 2013 the harbour will again be filled with war ships, this time from 20 nations to mark the centenary of the arrival of Australia's first fleet of seven warships in 1913.

Mauve, an unexpected discovery

October 2, 2013

Anni Turnbull
Mauveine, the first synthetic organic chemical dye, was discovered serendipitously by William Perkin in 1856. Perkin was 18 and working with Professor August Wilhelm von Hofmann, attempting to synthesise the anti-malaria drug quinine.