Latest Posts

The Many Sides of Charles Laseron, Part II

April 22, 2015

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.

The Many Sides of Charles Laseron, Part I

April 20, 2015

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.

The Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences has the moves!

April 17, 2015

When you think of a museum employee you might imagine them wearing a tweed jacket, horn rimmed glasses and white gloves while they talk at you in dry monotone. In reality, that couldn’t be further from the truth (except for the horn-rimmed glasses.

Commemorating 100 Years of ANZAC at Castle Hill

April 15, 2015

On Saturday, 25 April this year, Australia marks 100 years since the landing at Gallipoli during World War I. As part of proceedings to mark this significant anniversary, MAAS has collaborated with Castle Hill RSL Club on a special exhibition for their members and guests.

Wirth’s Circus hits the road

April 8, 2015

The Circus Factory exhibition includes costumes, photographs and documents from the Museum's Wirth's Circus collection. The Wirth name has a special place in Australian circus folklore. Billed as Australia's own 'Greatest Show on Earth', Wirth's Circus toured from 1880 until its demise in 1963.

Mouse slippers’ label receives international honour

April 1, 2015

‘Mouse slippers’, a label from the Powerhouse exhibition The Oopsatoreum, is one of 10 labels honoured in this year’s annual Excellence in Exhibition Label Writing Competition, an international award sponsored by the American Alliance of Museums in partnership with the Museology Graduate Program at the University of Washington, Seattle.

Form Without Ornament: A New Industrial Design Process

March 25, 2015

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.

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.

Obituary: John Smith, August 1948 – 24 February 2015

March 4, 2015

This post was written by Grace Cochrane AM, independent curator and writer, Sydney; former senior curator of Australian decorative arts and design, MAAS, Powerhouse Museum. It is very sad to hear of the death on 24 February 2015, of John Smith, a key figure in furniture designing and making in Australia for over 40 years.

Surviving in Antarctica – Cas and Jonesy’ contemporary equipment

March 4, 2015

"… all kinds of schemes were in progress for adapting our sledging-gear and instruments to the severe conditions. Nobody was idle during the day, for, when there was nothing else to be done; there always remained the manufacture and alteration of garments and crampons."

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.