Inside the Collection

Category: Arts

Julia Johnston – a sassy first generation colonial gal

January 27, 2016

Rebecca Evans
Frocks may seem rather innocuous but dress was essential in the creation of colonial Australia. In the 19th century, appropriate attire was a marker of respectability and an expression of status, wealth and beliefs.

Sydney’s Capitol Theatre – a century of entertainment

December 29, 2015

Margaret Simpson
Have you ever wondered why the Capitol Theatre in Sydney's Haymarket is such a strange design? It was originally a fruit and veggie market! 2016 marks the theatre’s 100th birthday. What a century it’s been, filled with performing seals, elephants, mermaids and now the von Trapp children.

George Gittoes collection

November 10, 2015

Anne-Marie Van de Ven
This evening, George Gittoes receives the 2015 Sydney Peace Prize award and presents the annual Sydney Peace Prize lecture in the Sydney Town Hall. This is the first time this Prize, Australia’s only international prize for peace, will be awarded to an artist.

Vale Peter Rushforth, a great Australian ceramicist

August 4, 2015

Anne-Marie Van de Ven
Peter Rushforth was one of Australia’s great ceramicists. Along with a number of his contemporaries, including his early mentor Allan Lowe, Rushforth shared an abiding interest in Asian, especially Chinese and Japanese ceramic aesthetics, philosophies and traditions.

The Many Sides of Charles Laseron, Part III

April 24, 2015

Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences
Charles Laseron was an early collector at MAAS and formative influence upon our applied arts collection. He was also present during the Gallipoli landings in 1915. In the week leading up to the ANZAC Centenary, we are publishing a series of posts detailing Laseron’s life.

Form Without Ornament: A New Industrial Design Process

March 25, 2015

Tilly Boleyn
Our Interface exhibition unpacks some strategies employed by designers to simplify the way we use information technology (IT) tools. But surprisingly, the earliest objects in the exhibition are not IT artefacts at all but come from our decorative arts collection.

The Chinese Collection at MAAS (Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences)

February 18, 2015

Min-Jung Kim
The Museum holds extensive Chinese collections including ceramics, bronze ware, lacquer ware, carvings in jade and ivory, textiles, dress and dress accessories. The Chinese collection has been shaped by a number of significant donations from collectors throughout the last 135 years.

Treasures from the collection: Scrimshaw

January 23, 2015

Anni Turnbull
Scrimshandering, Schrimshonter, schrimshander or scrimshaw as we know it, is the art of carving or decorating whale bone, whales teeth and walrus tusks. The Museum has eclectic and fascinating collections from parasols to fans, netsuke and scrimshaw.

Portrait of the artist

December 29, 2014

Anne-Marie Van de Ven
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

Peter Cox
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.