‘Mouse slippers’, a label from the Powerhouse exhibition The Oopsatoreum, is one of 10 labels honoured in this year’s annual Excellence in Exhibition Label Writing Competition, an international award sponsored by the American Alliance of Museums in partnership with the Museology Graduate Program at the University of Washington, Seattle.
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The Museum holds extensive Chinese collections including ceramics, bronze ware, lacquer ware, carvings in jade and ivory, textiles, dress and dress accessories. The Chinese collection has been shaped by a number of significant donations from collectors throughout the last 135 years.
Once proudly known as the great Aussie cossie, Speedo swimwear occupies an important place in Australia’s sporting and manufacturing heritage. From the company’s beginnings in the 1920s, its aim was to excel in the manufacture of competitive swimwear.
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.
After leaving Ridge's Royal Tycoon Circus in 1880 the Wirth brothers established themselves as the Star Troupe of Varieties. With just six artists, including Japanese acrobats and a German comedian, they assembled a program of acrobatics, clowning, contortion, spinning hats, boxing and comic songs.
On 29 November 2014, the Museum opened 'RECOLLECT: Shoes' – a new exhibition inspired by the idea of visible display storage. Comprising more than 800 shoes dating from the 1500s to now, visitors can see everything from the first pair of elastic sided boots in the world made for Queen Victoria in 1837 to designer names like Louboutin, Yves Saint Laurent and Lacroix.
The exhibition A Fine Possession: Jewellery and Identity (24 September 2014 – 20 September 2015), currently showing at the Museum, is a wonderful opportunity to showcase our previously unseen Asian jewellerry.
Floral design, gouache on paper by Shirley de Vocht Shirley de Vocht (nee Martin) studied art at East Sydney Technical College and worked in a number of post-WWII Australian design and manufacturing industries.
This ceremonial regalia from the Admiralty Islands (early 20th century) is one of the Museum’s most prized Pacific pieces. While individual components of the regalia (like the armbands or apron) can often be found in public and private collections, a near or complete set, like this, is very rare.
As part of the Ultimo Science Festival 2014, the Powerhouse Museum hosted a night of the Science of Sex. Along with talks form Dr Karl Kruszelnicki from University of Sydney, evolutionary biologist Professor Rob Brooks, and marine biologist Professor Emma Johnston from UNSW, Museum curators brought out a selection of sex related objects from the collection.
The Australian Dress Register (ADR) is a website that celebrates men’s, women’s and children’s dress that has an Australian provenance. Museums and private collectors are encouraged to research their garments and share the stories and photographs on the Register.
Whether frock, gown, robe or shift, regalia or rags, our clothes are and have always been culturally significant. We dress ourselves because it is custom, but also for acceptance, for status and out of caprice.