Year: 2014

Portrait of the artist

December 29, 2014

This rather majestic black and white photographic portrait of Australian artist, designer and photographer Dahl Collings (Dulcie May Wilmott 1910-1988) was shot by her husband Geoffrey Collings (1905-2000) during a trip to Stonehenge around 1936.

The Wirth brothers — from band to circus

December 22, 2014

After leaving Ridge's Royal Tycoon Circus in 1880 the Wirth brothers established themselves as the Star Troupe of Varieties. With just six artists, including Japanese acrobats and a German comedian, they assembled a program of acrobatics, clowning, contortion, spinning hats, boxing and comic songs.

Curating shoes: from heel to toe

December 17, 2014

On 29 November 2014, the Museum opened 'RECOLLECT: Shoes' – a new exhibition inspired by the idea of visible display storage. Comprising more than 800 shoes dating from the 1500s to now, visitors can see everything from the first pair of elastic sided boots in the world made for Queen Victoria in 1837 to designer names like Louboutin, Yves Saint Laurent and Lacroix.

The Astrographic Telescope: a story of restoration- Part One

December 10, 2014

The Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences (MAAS) Conservation Department has recently completed the restoration of our very old and internationally significant Astrographic (photographic) Telescope. It will be on display in the new dome at the Sydney Observatory soon in early 2015.

The diary of John James Wirth

December 8, 2014

Diary of John James Wirth, 1879. Gift of the Wirth family, 2012. Collection: Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences. John James Wirth was one of the four brothers who founded Wirth's Circus. One of the gems of the Wirth's Circus collection is his handwritten diary from 1879, describing daily life on tour in northern New South Wales and southern Queensland performing with John Ridge's Royal Tycoon Circus.

Wirth’s Circus — musical beginnings

December 3, 2014

Johannes Wirth (1835-1880) was a young immigrant from Bavaria who arrived in Australia in 1855 with his three younger brothers. They were musicians who performed as a German brass band. Johannes took to the life of an itinerant gold seeker, travelling with his wife and infants, following rush after rush to the gold fields, all the way from southern Victoria to the north of Queensland.

World AIDS Day 2014

December 1, 2014

“Unless we tell their stories, they are not there.”* Since it began on 1 December 1988, World AIDS Day has put strong focus on the global fight to remove the threat of HIV and AIDS. First diagnosed in 1981, the HIV and  AIDS epidemic remains one of the most significant public health issues, particularly in less affluent countries.

Wirth’s Circus — showing the collection

November 24, 2014

When Rill Wirth, the last surviving child of the great circus proprietor Philip Wirth (1864-1937), passed away in 2007, her relatives kindly donated to the Museum a remarkable collection documenting the family's involvement in the business from the 1870s until 1963.

Samurai Fish Brooch by Sheridan Kennedy: A Fine Possession

November 19, 2014

One of the most intriguing pieces on display in A Fine Possession: Jewellery and identity  is this   ‘Samurai Fish’ brooch created as part of Sheridan Kennedy’s PhD exhibition The Specious Voyages at the Museum of Brisbane in 2005.