Inside the Collection

Category: Collection stories

Stories on cloth: Surayia Rahman’s kantha tapestry

September 11, 2019

Vanessa Thorne
How many hands does it take to create a kantha tapestry like this? In this instance, it was the work of eight women embroidering every day for one year. Threading not only a story of traditional motifs, but also the international recognition of an ancient craft and women’s socio-economic emancipation in Bangladesh and West Bengal.

James Watt’s Bicentenary: the man and his machines

August 21, 2019

Sarah Reeves
25 August marks the 200th anniversary of the death of inventor James Watt. To mark the occasion, we have invited a guest post by Debbie Rudder, an expert on Watt, to explore his life and scientific contributions.

Architectural models from the collection

August 14, 2019

Keinton Butler
The Powerhouse Museum collection contains material relating to architecture and the built environment, of local, national and international significance. The collection includes scale models, design archives, plans, drawings, photography and interior fittings, with projects ranging from iconic buildings by award winning, internationally recognised Australian architects Glenn Murcutt, Harry Seidler and John Andrews, to social housing and civic projects of public interest. Architectural models form an important part of the architecture and built environment collection, and the Museum has many fine examples of conceptual, working, and large-scale presentation models that illustrate this craft.

Pyrmont and Ultimo: an industrial past

June 25, 2019

Anni Turnbull
Like many suburbs of Sydney, Pyrmont and Ultimo have undergone significant changes during the last two hundred years. It’s hard to imagine the current peninsula filled with the sounds of quarrying, smoke from iron works and power stations and sweet smells from Colonial Sugar Refinery (CSR).

The Barry Willoughby Bequest: two new acquisitions

June 12, 2019

Eva Czernis-Ryl
Last year, we introduced to our readers the first glass and ceramic objects acquired for the MAAS collection with funds from the remarkably generous Barry Willoughby Bequest. We are delighted to share the news about two more recent acquisitions enabled by Willoughby’s passion for Australian studio glass and ceramics as expressed in his will.

Jukebox Jewkbox! A Century on Shellac and Vinyl: a crossover of collections (Part 1 of 2)

May 21, 2019

Damian McDonald
I recently had the privilege of seeing the exhibition Jukebox Jewkbox! A Century on Shellac and Vinyl at the Sydney Jewish Museum in Darlinghurst. The exhibition explores the phenomenon of mass-produced music, performance and comedy on the mediums of shellac and vinyl, and the enormous part Jewish people have played, and continue to play in the industry.

Peter Drew: artist and activist

May 9, 2019

Anni Turnbull
"Public space is a great equaliser, and an ancient forum." The placing of posters in public spaces is artist Peter Drew’s way of drawing attention to Australia’s immigration issues and a direct response to the Australian government’s ‘Stop the Boats’ campaign.

MAAS Partnership with Red Room Poetry

April 18, 2019

Karolina Novak
Poetry Object 2019 RED ROOM POETRY Object is Australia’s largest free poetry writing competition for schools. The competition invites us to think about how the objects in our lives can hold special personal meanings, and to explore capturing these stories in our own words by writing a poem about a chosen talismanic object.

Remembering Sydney’s Royal Easter Show

April 9, 2019

Margaret Simpson
If you grew up in Sydney in the 1950s or 1960s, going to the Royal Agricultural Society's Show at the old Moore Park Showground was as important as Christmas and your birthday, and much anticipated for weeks before.