Category: Object of the week

Marriage Equality: for posterity

November 15, 2017

  In 2004, the Liberal government under John Howard rushed legislation into parliament which changed the definition of marriage in Australia. The 2004 amendments are: 5 (1) marriage means the union of a man and a woman to the exclusion of all others, voluntarily entered into for life.

Holden is history

October 20, 2017

Australians are reeling with the announcement on 11 December, 2013, that Holden, an Australian icon, will stop building cars here in 2017. How has this happened? With some 66 makes available in Australia these days, twice the choice US drivers have, clearly we don't like football, meat pies, kangaroos and Holden cars quite enough any more.

Happy Birthday to our Sydney Opera House

October 20, 2015

On this day in 1973, Queen Elizabeth II officially opened the Sydney Opera House. The ABC beamed the occasion by satellite to an appreciative world. Closer to home there were sighs of relief from the politicians, architects and engineers who had, to that time, weathered one controversy after another.

Our Curators are Ready for Ask a Curator Day

September 15, 2015

Our curators have a huge job caring for our enormous and diverse collection of over 500,000 objects! Their areas of expertise are as diverse and interesting as the scope of the Museum's collection.

Ten Favourite Beards from the Collection

September 5, 2015

We've amassed some beards in our collection! Curator, Rebecca Evans, takes us through her favourites. 1. Christmas card by Dahl and Geoffrey Collings This card (at top) features a cartoon of a giant, a representation of iconic Australian actor Chips Rafferty, sitting on a stool having his huge beard combed by a tiny female figure, Quentin Rafferty.

Vale Peter Rushforth, a great Australian ceramicist

August 4, 2015

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.

A Fashion Affair: Romance Was Born and MAAS

June 24, 2015

Our Annual Appeal this year is focussed on acquiring the latest collection by Australian fashion label, Romance Was Born. MAAS has a long relationship with Anna Plunkett and Luke Sales, the designers behind the label, as our collection has informed their practice over many years.

Steam locomotive 3642 celebrates 125 years of Sydney’s North Shore railway

March 10, 2015

Last Sunday, 8 March 2015, the leafy tranquility of Sydney's Upper North Shore was pierced regularly throughout the day by a shrill steam whistle. Steam had returned to this commuter line to the city with the historic steam locomotive 3642 providing steam train rides between Hornsby and Gordon stations to celebrate the 125th anniversary of the opening of the line.

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

February 18, 2015

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.

Australia and the Industrial Revolution – driving the first trains

February 13, 2015

We've known for a long time that William Sixsmith drove the first train in New South Wales but we didn't know that much about him other than his important role during the construction, testing and operation of the first line from Sydney to Parramatta in 1855.

The need for speed: saving the Speedo collection

February 9, 2015

Once proudly known as the great Aussie cossie, Speedo swimwear occupies an important place in Australia’s sporting and manufacturing heritage. From the company’s beginnings in the 1920s, its aim was to excel in the manufacture of competitive swimwear.