Every now and again when working with a Museum’s collection, you will come across an object that was acquired so long ago that little is known about its provenance. There are a few meagre clues to help uncover what you hope will turn out to be an enriching and surprising story, something that shows that this piece is special.
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In the early decades of the twentieth century steam-powered vehicles including traction engines, steam wagons, road locomotives, road rollers and steam fire engines were a common sight on Australian roads.
This ceremonial regalia from the Admiralty Islands (early 20th century) is one of the Museum’s most prized Pacific pieces. While individual components of the regalia (like the armbands or apron) can often be found in public and private collections, a near or complete set, like this, is very rare.
As Maurice Guillaux recovered from the August 1 crash of his aircraft (see Part 9 of this story), war broke out in Europe, plunging that continent into the conflict that would become known as The Great War.
This ring shares characteristics with other magnificent gold object for which the Asante goldsmiths are fanmous. From the records we are almost certain this glorious golden ring from Museum of Old and New Art (MONA) collection originated in Ghana.
The weapon which would conjure up a - albeit highly visceral - image World War One trench warfare would be the rifle bayonet. So much grainy footage of young men charging across no-man’s-land with bayonets fixed gives us the impression that that was the main strategy of trench battle.
One of the striking things I have discovered while researching Australian and international jewellery in preparation for the exhibition A fine possession: jewellery and identity, is the way in which the contemporary Australian jewellery scene has been shaped by European tradition.
As part of the Ultimo Science Festival 2014, the Powerhouse Museum hosted a night of the Science of Sex. Along with talks form Dr Karl Kruszelnicki from University of Sydney, evolutionary biologist Professor Rob Brooks, and marine biologist Professor Emma Johnston from UNSW, Museum curators brought out a selection of sex related objects from the collection.
Since the late 19th century, the Museum has collected a select and representative range of Pacific material culture - namely, body ornament, clubs, implements of daily use, textiles and dress - from the island regions of Melanesia, Micronesia and Polynesia.
The recent news of Marc Newson joining the Apple team is a big deal in the design world. This really does confirm the Australian-born designer’s ‘superstar’ status. Those of you familiar with the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences would know that our collection features many products designed by Newson for the mass market.
Lawrence Hargrave, aeronautical inventor, was one of thousands of Australians who lost a son in World War 1. Among the Hargrave artefacts and papers in the Museum’s collection, there are six photos that tell the story of his son, Geoffrey Lewis Hargrave.
This week we start installing this Museum’s most ambitious jewellery exhibition ever. Celebrating the central place of jewellery in cultures from antiquity to now, A fine possession: jewellery and identity will present over 700 pieces of jewellery from Australia, Europe, USA, Asia, Africa and the Pacific which were made and/or worn and collected in Australia.The exhibition opens at the Museum on 24 September.