Inside the Collection

People and practice

International Museum Day 2020: Digitising the Powerhouse Collection

May 18, 2020

Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences
We are digitising more than 330,000 items in the Powerhouse Collection to provide extraordinary levels of community access and support ongoing research and interpretation. The Powerhouse is custodian to over half a million objects of national and international significance spanning cultures and millennia.

Ramin Haerizadeh, Rokni Haerizadeh and Hesam Rahmanian: I Prefer Talking to Doctors About Something Else

April 9, 2020

Katie Dyer
Dubai-based artists Ramin Haerizadeh, Rokni Haerizadeh and Hesam Rahmanian work collectively to create expansive installations composed of artworks and artefacts. Taking the form of visual poetry by incorporating and disorganising objects from the Powerhouse Museum collection, this project, includes artefacts such as Skylab space debris, a donkey’s hoof, anatomical models, ceramics, and textiles.

Ask a Curator Day 2019

September 17, 2019

Sarah Reeves
The Museum staff have a huge job caring for our enormous collection of over 500,000 objects. Our team includes experts in a vast range of areas, including: fashion, health and medicine, architecture, engineering, sciences, design, decorative arts, technologies and contemporary culture.

Stories on cloth: Surayia Rahman’s kantha embroidery

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.

100 years of the Bauhaus

August 1, 2019

Eva Czernis-Ryl
The Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences has just opened a display with striking objects, photographs and archival material from its extensive decorative art and design collections, to celebrate the centenary of the Bauhaus, the most influential 20th century school of design.

Meet the Registrar: Karen Biddle

July 10, 2019

Sarah Reeves
Name: Karen Biddle Role: Registrar / Collection Database Administrator What is the main focus of your role at MAAS? My main focus is the MAAS collection database (called 'EMu'), for which I manage user group permissions, report design, QA work, large data queries and exports, periodic statistics, and providing training/support to users for everyday usage queries.

Student Fashion 2019

June 19, 2019

Kristina Stankovski
Held annually at the Powerhouse Museum since 1993, the Student Fashion display showcases the work of Sydney’s top local fashion design graduates, providing insight into the skills and potential of the next generation of Australian designers.

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.

The Climate Protests of 2019 – Were you there?

June 5, 2019

Keinton Butler
In March 2019, one of the largest global environmental protests took place, with at least 1.6 million people coming together in over 125 countries to protest inaction on climate change. The Global Climate Strike was inspired by 16-year-old Swedish student Greta Thunberg, who started an international movement after sitting outside Swedish parliament in August 2018 with a hand-painted banner that read ‘Skolstrejk för klimatet’ (‘School strike for the climate’).