Inside the Collection


African culture, textiles from Zaire

May 20, 2011

Christina Sumner
Walking through the Powerhouse’s storage area the other day, I stopped off to have another look at some of my favourite textiles in the collection. They are the amazing Kuba dancing skirts, made in what was once the Belgian Congo and is now Zaire, in Central Africa, and worn by Kuba women at community ceremonial events associated with birth, marriage and death.

Hair in Museums

April 28, 2011

Anni Turnbull
Why does hair appear in the most unlikely places? Like this man's shirt from the Cameroons. Or worked into this unique needle lace panel from the 1600s. That hair has been readily available as a material is one answer.

Faded glory or historically charming?

January 11, 2011

Anne-Marie Van de Ven
The assigned value and significance of objects is in a state of perpetual flux. Evolving digital technologies (like the potential to create high resolution scans from original negative and positive formats and distribute these over the web) contributes to, engages with and draws attention to this constant process of change.

New Giles Bettison commission for the Powerhouse Museum

December 16, 2010

Melanie Pitkin
With the continuing generous support of ADFAS, Ku-ring-gai branch, the Powerhouse Museum has recently acquired what is undoubtedly the most striking glass vessel from Giles Bettison’s ‘Lace’ series.

Fastenings: The Australian Dress Register

December 7, 2010

Erika Taylor
There’s more history in a button than you’d think. As a volunteer helping with the Australian Dress Register, I compiled information on the history of fastenings as a resources sheet for the Register’s website.

Fashionable patchworks

October 27, 2010

Rebecca Evans
If you thought patchworks were just for Nannas, think again! The recent Erdem collection at London Fashion Week employed the use of beautiful patchwork-like prints and was received with praise by many fashion journalists and bloggers.

Meet the curator- Glynis Jones

October 8, 2010

Glynis Jones
Name: Glynis Jones (I often receive phone calls from gentlemen of a certain age who ask me if I appeared in Mary Poppins!!). What is your specialty area? I completed a Bachelor of Arts majoring in Archaeology and Fine Arts and a postgraduate degree in Museum Studies.

Fabric designer- Georgia Chapman, Vixen

September 20, 2010

Melanie Pitkin
What is “The Vixen Look”? In this post, we feature a video interview with Georgia Chapman, fashion and textile designer (including screen printed and digital textiles) and owner of Vixen Australia.

The finer details of textiles storage

September 10, 2010

Melanie Pitkin
This week staff from the Museum’s curatorial, registration and conservation departments took part in an object handling refresher focusing on the Museum’s vast textiles collection with Registrar, Sarah Pointon and Conservator, Suzanne Chee.

Design underground #3- Bootilicious!

August 12, 2010

Rebecca Bower
The Bootilicious behind-the-scenes tour revealed stories of everyday, famous and infamous Australians through looking at what they wore on their feet. On Monday August 9, as part of the events, talks and tours program for Sydney Design 2010, I teased out some of the more unusual background stories in an extended tour for a group of 11 footwear enthusiasts.

Benini and Fashion at the Foro Italico

August 9, 2010

Melanie Pitkin
When the large crate containing the Bruno Benini archive arrived in the basement last year, it was opened with as much anticipation as if we were opening a treasure trove! In it were photographs Bruno captured of another world, a world where everything was beautiful, albeit in different ways - elegant and sophisticated to gritty and decaying.

A Fashionable Idea: Shaping Expression

August 6, 2010

Melanie Pitkin
This Saturday 7th August, as part of Sydney Design 2010, the Museum is hosting Framed! - an all-day photographic shoot exposing the ins and outs of creating 'the look'. In this post, wardrobe stylist Anna Raju of Black Dahlia, explores the role two key Australian fashion designers have had both on her work and the Australian fashion industry as a whole - Alex Perry and Gail Sorronda.