Each year since 1977 International Museums Day (18 May) has celebrated and explored an aspect of Museum work. The multiple connections inherent in these figures make them ideal ambassadors for this year’s theme – ‘Museum collections make connections!
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In a speech to a Federation Conference banquet in 1890, Henry Parkes coined the term crimson thread of kinship to describe the ties that bound the Australian colonies. The reference was to shared Anglo-Celtic bloodlines, to the exclusion of Indigenous, Asian and other contributors to nation-building and the nation’s gene pool.
Sydney is currently enjoying a bumper cicada season. To me, these insects are a potent sound of summer and I enjoy their strident chorus building to a crescendo and then tapering off; the volume increasing with the heat.
Museums have used toys, models and dioramas to explain and comment on the workings of a larger world. Here, artist Kendal Murray has created a miniature surreal world atop an antique purse though her work Déjà vu, Review'.
The Powerhouse Museum, along with many others in the fields of visual arts and crafts, was sad to hear of the death of Marea Gazzard, on 28th October, 2013. Marea Gazzard was an important figure in the chronology of Australian postwar ceramics, both as a significant and influential innovator in her own work and also in her support of the Australian crafts movement.
Gwyn Hanssen Pigott was one of Australia's most illustrious studio ceramicists whose fine skill and cerebral approach to her art will be greatly missed. After a 1960s to 70s repertoire of stone ware, from the 1980s Gwyn became famous for her fine and translucent porcelain forms - bottles, bowls and teapots - deceptively simple but actually requiring great technical skill and firing control.
There is currently great excitement in London as evidence of Roman lives - wonderfully preserved in the London mud - are being extracted by archaeologists. Among the material are hundreds of Roman shoes, jewellery, waxed wooden writing tablets with their writing styli, jewellery, cosmetic tools, part of the Temple of Mithras and of course, pottery galore.
This beautiful porcelain sculpture, Forms in Succession #5 created by Japanese potter Shigekazu Nagae, dances beautifully in this video.
Janet Mansfield, who passed away on 4th February 2013, had a major impact on Australian and international ceramics. Born in 1934 Janet trained in ceramics at the National Art School, East Sydney, in 1964, '65, and exhibited widely in Australia and overseas.
On the eve of of Christina Sumner's departure we asked her a few questions about her experiences at the Museum over the last 28 years. What have you enjoyed the most about working in the Museum? Always always always it's been the people and the collection.
Sir Henry Parkes was one of Australia's more significant politicians and journalists. He is often referred to as the 'father of federation' due to his efforts advocating for the federation of the six individual colonies of Australia (New South Wales, Queensland, Victoria, South Australia, Tasmania, and Western Australia).
This beautiful dessert plate from the collection features a plant common in Sydney bushland but unusual as a subject for china painting. The plant is the Fringe Myrtle or Calytrix tetragona. Waratahs, Flannel Flowers, Christmas Bells, Wattle and Gum Leaves are frequent subjects but the Fringe Myrtle has not attracted many artists to its cause.