Year: 2013

Meet the curator – Deborah Turnbull

March 25, 2013

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

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

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.

Making it: 20 years of Student Fashion

March 13, 2013

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

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

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

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

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

As Sydney throw itself into another round of Mardi Gras celebrations, it is 35 years since the initial march. Attitudes have shifted since 1978 when the first march, which was more of a political protest, attracted the wrath of the police and condemnation from certain parts of society and the media.

Flappers, Frocks and Fashioning the Modern Woman, Tales from the Australian Dress Register

February 27, 2013

The end of the First World War saw a tremendous change in society and the horrors of war prompted people to question the rigorous social and moral values of the preceding Edwardian Era. As with any time in fashion history, contemporary concerns and thought affected fashion and so, the nineteen twenties came to symbolise in dress everything that the end of the First World War had brought about –relaxed social attitudes, greater freedoms for women, an economic and creative boom, and most importantly the turn towards ‘modernity’.

Aboriginal Breast Plates

February 25, 2013

Aboriginal breastplates, like this one, are rare reminders of the relationships that once existed between the Indigenous population of Australia and the European colonists. These breastplates were similar in design to the gorgets worn by Officers in British Regiments and were tailor-made for the recipient  As a result the inscriptions and motifs are significant records from the early colonial period right up to the 1930s when they appear to have stopped making breastplates.