At 87 years old the Sydney Harbour Bridge continues to be admired by artists. During its construction it was documented by photographers such as Harold Cazneaux and painters like Grace Cossington Smith.
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Whenever asked ‘when, where and what’ to visit in Sydney, we know the answer: the Opera House with her pure white sails lit in moonlight and of course, our iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge that sparkles beautifully every New Year’s Eve.
I have been lucky to gain a place as a volunteer two years ago with MAAS. More recently, I have had the pleasure of joining the MAAS ‘David Mist Digitisation Project’ team, as part of my Master in Museum and Heritage Studies at the University of Sydney.
The Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences holds two important photography archives related to Sydney photographer David Mist - the Studio Ten archive (92/401) acquired as a gift of the photographer in 1992, and the David Mist archive (96/44/1) acquired as a gift of the photographer under the Australian Government Taxation Incentives for the Arts program in 1996.
A few years back I was interviewed about the fate of Sydney’s neon advertising signs: 'The great age of neon has passed,' laments Charles Pickett, a curator of design and society at the Powerhouse Museum, an institution that houses the AWA sign that once sat atop the eponymous1930s skyscraper, and a red neon greyhound removed recently from Wentworth Park Raceway.
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.
Surrounded by signs in our daily city existence sometimes we notice them, hopefully when driving or crossing the road. But often they meld into an overall of street scenery. There is an abundance of signs in urban landscapes as captured by photographer David Mist in the 1960s pictured below.
There’s been an interesting heritage controversy recently about the car park which ‘starred’ in the movie Get Carter. The Trinity Centre parking tower overlooking Gateshead in north-east England features in several Get Carter scenes, notably one in which Jack Carter, played by Michael Caine, throws a corrupt businessman to his death.