Inside the Collection


Mystery Beatles object

October 17, 2012

Peter Cox
The Museum has started to develop a new exhibition about the Beatles' 1964 tour of Australia. We recently acquired an unusual object from around that time. Does anybody know where it originated? It is a large rectangular wooden board in a metal framework, painted with the four Beatles holding their musical instruments.

Steam powered horses

September 17, 2012

Anni Turnbull
To generate horsepower for most of the nineteenth century, you turned to steam. At a fairground carousel, it was the way to give real gallop to a wooden horse. This reproduction ‘galloper’ is part of an exhibit copied by the Museum from a 19th Century carousel.

The Bradbury motorcycle and sidecar – respectable transport

August 16, 2012

Lynne McNairn
Motorcycles or motorbikes can have unsavoury connotations in current times with the phrase 'outlaw motorcycle gang' rarely out the headlines but in 1914 when the Bradbury motorcycle and sidecar were built they were the height of middle class respectability.

The Peppin Merino

November 18, 2011

Sandra McEwen
Last week we installed a new exhibition at the Powerhouse Discovery Centre. It’s a small version of a display we created recently to help celebrate the biggest innovation in Australia’s wool industry… Boonoke is a sheep station near Deniliquin in the Riverina District of NSW, eight hours’ drive west of Sydney.

Love Lace International Lace Award and Exhibition: creating the shadows

August 12, 2011

Anni Turnbull
When you walk through the Love Lace exhibition its apparent how important lighting is to the successful display of these works. The Museum electrician Peter Hermon says This was a unique exhibition to work on, we had more time to work on the lighting (and wiring) and the nature of the work was different, shadows were really important and the lighting needs more particular.

Conservators corner: Tinytoreum Taster

July 7, 2010

Erika Taylor
The exhibition, Tinytoreum, is coming soon. You can see a preview of some gorgeous miniature tea sets in the showcase next to the cafe on Level 3. Dee McKillop has been preparing the objects for display.

Organs for you

February 26, 2010

Lynne McNairn
It's Organ Donor Awareness Week and this reminded me of a very popular former exhibition object known as ‘Chocka Bits’ One of the most dramatic advances in surgery occurred when it became possible to replace body parts, either with artificial implants or with human or animal transplants.

Skiing: Norway, Cooma or Vancouver?

February 24, 2010

Debbie Rudder
With the Winter Olympics in full swing, skiing is in the news. Is that why the Powerhouse has a pair of ski stocks in a foyer showcase? Well, no. They are on temporary display to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Snowy Mountains Scheme.

The 80s are Back- logistics of display

February 1, 2010

Alison Brennan
It appears that the curatorial team are trying to break the PHM world record of number of lenders per exhibition. Currently sitting on about 70 lenders I understand they will settle for no less than …..yes, you guessed it 80 lenders – it’s a numbers thing.

The 80s revived

January 22, 2010

Charles Pickett
The Powerhouse is the perfect museum for 'The 80s Are Back'. After all, the museum is itself an artefact of the 80s, one of Sydney's major statements of 'the design decade'. Its interior and exhibition design displayed a level of sophistication and consistency unprecedented in an Australian museum.

Of Copenhagen, cute toys and carbon sinks

December 7, 2009

Debbie Rudder
Thinking about the UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen, it struck me as fitting that we have two cute Copenhagen-made wooden toys in our carbon sinks showcase in the exhibition Ecologic: creating a sustainable future.

International Day of Disability

December 4, 2009

Anni Turnbull
Attitudes to people with a disability have shifted for the better in the last fifty years as have available technologies. I decided to research these glass eyes from our collection to link them to the exhibition ‘Living in a sensory world’ currently on in the Museum.