Name Melanie Pitkin What is your speciality area? My academic background is in Ancient History and Egyptology so my main specialty area is actually Old Kingdom and First Intermediate Period history.
Inside the Collection
In April, I made a visit to the Design Museum in London to see the 2009 Brit Insurance Design Awards. You see, the winning design was Shepard Fairey’s ‘Progress’ poster which became the driving force behind the 2008 Barack Obama Presidential Election campaign, and shortly before leaving Sydney, I had assisted my colleague Anne-Marie Van de Ven on the acquisition documentation for Fairey’s ‘Be the Change’ Inauguration poster for our collection.
Did you know that Josiah Wedgwood was born on 12th of July 1730? It was his birthday on Sunday so we thought that this would be a good opportunity to illustrate our fabulous ‘Venus in her chariot’ vase, a highlight of our significant Wedgwood collection.
Under the supervision of the Museum’s Engineering conservator, Ross Goodman, and a dedicated group of volunteers, Steam Locomotive 3265 has been extensively rebuilt and once again will be fully operational and carrying passengers.
The recent release of the new Coco Avant Chanel film inspired me to revisit the Museum's very own collection of Chanel fashion to see just how much we hold which dates before the designer's death in 1971.
What is this block of marble? a geiger counter? what does it have to do with the Sydney Harbour Bridge? Well, it is in fact a microphone! and the very same microphone used at the official opening ceremony of the Sydney Harbour Bridge on 19 March 1932.
Everyone at the Powerhouse Museum was saddened to hear of the death of Michael Jackson this morning. He was an unmistakable icon of pop culture. Who can forget the 1982 album “Thriller” , which was one of the world’s highest selling records, and its video film clip which revolutionised the pop music film clip industry.
Photo courtesy of The Bank of England Three early Boulton and Watt rotative steam engines still exist, and all are held by museums: Boulton's own Lap engine in the London Science Museum, the Barclay Perkins engine in the National Museum of Scotland, and our very own Whitbread engine.
Name Michael Lea What is your speciality area? Music and musical instruments. It’s a very diverse area so covers a lot of ground from historical to contemporary aspects through to musical traditions from a variety of cultures.
As I mentioned this is another of my favourite things in the collection. It was bought by the museum from Maccaferri’s plastics company in the USA in the 1950s as an example of what you could do with plastic, and it doesn’t sound too bad as an instrument either.
Imagine, you're at the weekly pub trivia quiz, it's the final round and you need 2 points to win. Question 1. Which Australian Icon appears on the back of the Australian $20 note? a tough one! but some may know that it's the Reverend John Flynn, who started the world's first air ambulance service, The Royal Flying Doctors.
My main research interests are: how our past use of energy informs present and future energy use; and the history and practice of innovation.