Inside the Collection

Tag: history

Looking for the mermaid: developing the Annette Kellerman visual installation

October 12, 2016

Anni Turnbull
I am still looking for my chest of gold in a cool dripping sea cave -- though a professional mermaid for the movies, I still wait to see my first real one sitting on a damp grey rock combing her long green hair.1 The exhibition Million Dollar Mermaid: Annette Kellerman features a visual installation projected onto a set, creating an immersive, sensory environment.

Origins of the Annette Kellerman collection

August 12, 2016

Peter Cox
Annette Kellerman's successes in a number of fields are extraordinary. Born in Sydney in 1886, she became an international celebrity as an endurance swimmer, a highly paid entertainer of the vaudeville stage and a star of American silent films. She played a key role in popularising the modern one-piece swimsuit for women, became a successful businesswoman and wrote self-help books about health, beauty and exercise.

Julia Johnston – a sassy first generation colonial gal

January 27, 2016

Rebecca Evans
Frocks may seem rather innocuous but dress was essential in the creation of colonial Australia. In the 19th century, appropriate attire was a marker of respectability and an expression of status, wealth and beliefs.

Sydney’s Capitol Theatre – a century of entertainment

December 29, 2015

Margaret Simpson
Have you ever wondered why the Capitol Theatre in Sydney's Haymarket is such a strange design? It was originally a fruit and veggie market! 2016 marks the theatre’s 100th birthday. What a century it’s been, filled with performing seals, elephants, mermaids and now the von Trapp children.

Guy Buckingham and Australian Motor Racing

December 1, 2015

Margaret Simpson
Last month saw the passing of Guy Buckingham (1921-2015), the man who introduced low-cost motor sport into Australia with the Formula Vee. This was an inexpensive open-wheeled racing car for beginners using a VW engine, suspension and transmission, devised in 1959.

George Gittoes collection

November 10, 2015

Anne-Marie Van de Ven
This evening, George Gittoes receives the 2015 Sydney Peace Prize award and presents the annual Sydney Peace Prize lecture in the Sydney Town Hall. This is the first time this Prize, Australia’s only international prize for peace, will be awarded to an artist.

Henry Ford’s Model T and its impact in Australia

July 30, 2015

Margaret Simpson
It was Henry Ford's dream to "democratise the automobile" by not only making it available to the rich but to everyone. He did this by producing the inexpensive Model T, a car which took the world by storm and was a significant invention during the Industrial Revolution.

Shirley Martin: Australian industrial designer

July 29, 2015

Anne-Marie Van de Ven
Shirley Martin was a female industrial designer based in Sydney who had a long and illustrious career as a post-WWII Australian textile and ceramic designer. She is best known for designing the 1956 Melbourne Olympic Games towel, but there is much more to her remarkable design industry success story.

Florence Broadhurst’s Fabulous Foils

July 28, 2015

Anne-Marie Van de Ven
From the mid 19th century, wallpapers used in Australia had predominantly been imported from Britain, but also from France, Canada and America. In 1959, Florence Broadhurst decided to buck the trend.

200th Anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo

June 18, 2015

Tilly Boleyn
On 18 June 1815, over 140,000 soldiers fought at the Battle of Waterloo where Napoleon, the French Emperor, was finally defeated in his plans to control Europe. The victory at Waterloo by the British Duke of Wellington and Britain’s allies was the final battle of many in the long French and Napoleonic Wars spanning from 1793 to 1815.