Recently I was invited to visit the studio of Australian artist and filmmaker, George Gittoes to inspect his collection of Yellow House Puppet Theatre puppets paintings, ceramics and etchings. Today Gittoes is an internationally renowned filmmaker, but in the Sixties, he was a co-founder of the Yellow House, one of the most colourful contributions to the hippy/psychedelic era in Australia during the late 1960s and early 1970s.
Inside the Collection
Name Paul Donnelly What is your specialty area? Curators ‘specialities’ seem to grow by the year (!) but my background research is the Bronze-Age archaeology of Jordan and Syria, and I look after numismatics, antiquities, ceramics of Europe and the Mediterranean region (before 1700), and Australian ceramics.
Today it is hard to imagine that the now-ubiquitous tubular-steel style of furniture was once at the fore-front of modern design. In the mid 1920s tubular steel furniture had developed from purely utilitarian use in hospitals and transport to the domestic environment.
I like to think I’m a ‘jack of all trades’ but I know quite a lot about the history of the Australian merino, early plastics technology, scientific instruments, health and medical devices.
This bike-riding prawn is one of my favourite things in the Museum’s collection. I both love it, and am deeply suspicious of it. The costume and bike were used in the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games Closing Ceremony and are part of a large number of Olympic costumes we have in our collection.
Ever wondered what happens to things in museums when they aren’t on display? Ever wanted to visit a museum’s basement? Ever wondered what curators get up to down there? Well here's your chance to find out!