Inside the Collection

Tag: Indigenous culture

The Mystery of Mrs Janet McDonald

July 28, 2017

Marcus Hughes

This wedding dress was worn by an Australian Indigenous women identified as Mrs Janet McDonald. Do you know anything about her?

Collection: celebrating culture

July 3, 2017

Anne-Marie Van de Ven
During 2017, we reflect on two key milestones in the journey of reconciliation - 50 years since the 1967 Referendum, and 25 years since the historic Mabo Decision. Held in the first week of July every year, NAIDOC week celebrates the history, culture and achievements of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people of Australia.

Chinese New Year pictures & propaganda posters

January 25, 2017

Min-Jung Kim
In celebration of the Lunar New Year (28 January 2017), I have curated a small group of Chinese New Year pictures and propaganda posters. The brightly coloured posters portray elements of Chinese political visual culture.

Annette Kellerman myths

November 23, 2016

Peter Cox
Sometimes luminaries in popular culture are called 'legends'. A legend is a story that has been handed down and is popularly regarded as historical but not authenticated. The legend of Annette Kellerman goes like this -- born in Marrickville, she recovered from polio as a child, invented the one-piece swimsuit, was arrested in Boston for wearing it and became a Hollywood movie star.

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.

Industrial Revolution in Australia – impact on the wool industry

March 31, 2016

Margaret Simpson
When you think about the Industrial Revolution steam engines, factory manufacturing and railways all spring to mind. What about the wool industry in Australia? How could sheep grazing on vast tracts of land here and the production of wool be influenced by the Industrial Revolution in Britain?

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.