Inside the Collection

Tag: 20th century

Portrait of the artist

December 29, 2014

Anne-Marie Van de Ven
This rather majestic black and white photographic portrait of Australian artist, designer and photographer Dahl Collings (Dulcie May Wilmott 1910-1988) was shot by her husband Geoffrey Collings (1905-2000) during a trip to Stonehenge around 1936.

Farewell Gough Whitlam (1916- 2014)

October 21, 2014

Anni Turnbull
Former Prime Minister of Australia, Gough Whitlam led Australia through a period of massive social change from 1972 to 1975 before his ousting by governor-general Sir John Kerr. The photograph above was taken in 1975 at a land hand back ceremony for the Gurindji people in the Northern Territory.

A steam powered car – 1922 Stanley steamer

June 30, 2014

Margaret Simpson
You've heard of steam trains, steam fire engines, steam trams and maybe even steam wagons but what about steam cars. Not many people realise it but up until 1908 there were more steam cars being produced than internal combustion engine cars.

Treasure from the collection: the wonderfull world of massagers

May 5, 2014

Anni Turnbull
The Museum's collection is a treasure trove of the beautiful,  innovative, important and unusual. The vibratory massagers definitely fall into the latter category, as part of the health and medicine and social history collections.

Steamfest 2014 Mystery Object revealed

April 14, 2014

Debbie Rudder
Would you have guessed the mystery object on display in the Museum’s marquee at Steamfest this year? Visitors to this event, held in Maitland over the weekend of 12-13 April, were invited to have a go.

Home made commode an ‘ensuite’ from 1909

April 7, 2014

Lynne McNairn
A commode is defined as 'a stand or cupboard containing a chamber pot or washbasin'. They date from before the days of sewerage and flushing toilets, when for obvious reasons, the toilet or can was located outside the house, usually at the far end of the backyard.

Celebrating arts and crafts at the Sydney Royal Easter Show

April 2, 2014

Anni Turnbull
Sydney's Royal Easter Show came from agricultural beginnings. In 1822 in a new and small colony the Royal Agricultural Society was formed with the intention of increasing livestock within the colony and sharing farming practices.

Water rat fur coat and a long romance

February 10, 2014

Lynne McNairn
This very unusual fur coat was donated to the museum in 1993. Curator, Glynis Jones recalls, "I remember visiting the donor, Mrs Buckland, she sat me down in her lounge room and sipping a small glass of whisky, related the wonderful story of her coat.

Picture this: A few of our photographs

December 23, 2013

Anni Turnbull
At the Powerhouse Museum we are fortunate to have a great photographic collection including glass plate negatives from the late 19th and early 20th century in the Tyrell collection. They form a fairly solid base of our historic photography collections and provide the odd bit of excitement when we discover hitherto unknown works within them, like the 400 World War One soldier images recently uncovered.

Christmas wrapping cloths, inspired by an Asian tradition

December 23, 2013

Nicole Balmer
December is here and Christmas starts announcing its approach with sprigs of sparkly neon tinsel and piles of fake snow in air conditioned department stores.   I love shiny things and generally run at Christmas full tilt, unplanned, slightly hysterical and usually exhausted by the time the big day arrives.