Bequests have played a major part in the development of the Museum’s collection and have provided us with some of our most important and best-loved objects. Last year MAAS received a particularly generous bequest of objects and funds from Barry John Willoughby, a passionate Sydney collector of decorative arts.
Inside the Collection
What were you to do if you were a woman living in a country town during the 1920s and dreamed of wearing the latest fashions from Paris? This dressmaking kit, which came to the donor from a house in Warwick, Queensland, speaks of the wide influence of Paris fashions and the audacious ‘lady overlanders’ who traversed the country showing samples and taking orders for the Swiss embroidery business, Sonderegger & Co.
The four-week installation of the touring exhibition Reigning Men: Fashion in Menswear, 1715-2015 was one of the most complex that I have ever been involved in. At the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences (MAAS), we displayed over 130 ensembles and single garments, primarily from the permanent collection of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), which was an edited version of the original exhibition first shown at LACMA in 2016.
Mythical creatures, grotesque faces, writhing snakes, horse’s hooves, glinting shovels and pickaxes… all things not usually seen on walking sticks. However, the carvings of Robert Read display the potential creativity and whimsy of this part utilitarian, part fashionable item.
The Museum is excited to present Australian Men’s Style featuring 25 objects from the MAAS collection that touch on aspects of Australian men’s dress over a period of 200 years. From gentlemen’s attire in the early colonial period to post-World War II outfits and contemporary design, Australian Men’s Style will feature some of the milestones in the evolution of Australian menswear.
Project Manager Kate Ford and Curator Glynis Jones recently installed Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences (MAAS) travelling exhibition Faith Fashion Fusion: Muslim Women’s Style in Australia at the Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia (IAMM) in Kuala Lumpur.
This ordinary looking stamped-addressed envelope in the Museum's collection features two signatures, one is of the famous American aviator, Amelia Earhart, and the other F. (Fred) J. Noonan, her navigator during their pioneering world flight in 1937.
In 2004, the Liberal government under John Howard rushed legislation into parliament which changed the definition of marriage in Australia. The 2004 amendments are: 5 (1) marriage means the union of a man and a woman to the exclusion of all others, voluntarily entered into for life.
Love takes us on a journey. Today I'd like to take you on a heartfelt journey exploring some experiences of women with Greek heritage unearthed during my research for a migration and community story for the Love Is…Australian Wedding Fashion exhibition.
I recently acquired a classic 1965 BMW R50 model 500cc touring and sports motorcycle. It's in wonderful condition and has been lovingly owned and maintained by the donors, Charis and George Schwarz, in Sydney for over 50 years.
This wedding dress was worn by an Australian Indigenous women identified as Mrs Janet McDonald. Do you know anything about her?
Clothes we wear embody a past no matter how old or new they are. An intriguing Victorian wedding dress made of silk taffeta was selected for Love Is … Australian Wedding Fashion. This mulberry coloured dress (Fig.1) was worn by a bride in Sydney in 1887.