Inside the Collection

Tag: Object of the week

The diary of John James Wirth

December 8, 2014

Peter Cox
Diary of John James Wirth, 1879. Gift of the Wirth family, 2012. Collection: Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences. John James Wirth was one of the four brothers who founded Wirth's Circus. One of the gems of the Wirth's Circus collection is his handwritten diary from 1879, describing daily life on tour in northern New South Wales and southern Queensland performing with John Ridge's Royal Tycoon Circus.

Wirth’s Circus — musical beginnings

December 3, 2014

Peter Cox
Johannes Wirth (1835-1880) was a young immigrant from Bavaria who arrived in Australia in 1855 with his three younger brothers. They were musicians who performed as a German brass band. Johannes took to the life of an itinerant gold seeker, travelling with his wife and infants, following rush after rush to the gold fields, all the way from southern Victoria to the north of Queensland.

World AIDS Day 2014

December 1, 2014

Anni Turnbull
“Unless we tell their stories, they are not there.”* Since it began on 1 December 1988, World AIDS Day has put strong focus on the global fight to remove the threat of HIV and AIDS. First diagnosed in 1981, the HIV and  AIDS epidemic remains one of the most significant public health issues, particularly in less affluent countries.

Asian jewellery at the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences

November 27, 2014

Min-Jung Kim
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.

Wirth’s Circus — showing the collection

November 24, 2014

Peter Cox
When Rill Wirth, the last surviving child of the great circus proprietor Philip Wirth (1864-1937), passed away in 2007, her relatives kindly donated to the Museum a remarkable collection documenting the family's involvement in the business from the 1870s until 1963.

Samurai Fish Brooch by Sheridan Kennedy: A Fine Possession

November 19, 2014

Anni Turnbull
One of the most intriguing pieces on display in A Fine Possession: Jewellery and identity  is this   ‘Samurai Fish’ brooch created as part of Sheridan Kennedy’s PhD exhibition The Specious Voyages at the Museum of Brisbane in 2005.

Pacific objects in focus #4: ‘Wasekaseka’ whale’s tooth neckpiece

November 13, 2014

Melanie Pitkin
If I had to single out one of my favourite pieces of Pacific ornament being showcased in A fine possession: jewellery and identity, it would have to be the wasekaseka neckpiece. Comprising twenty-six sperm whale’s teeth split lengthways, the wasekaseka is among Fiji’s best known types of jewellery that were typically made by Tongan and Samoan craftsmen who lived there.

Remembrance Day 2014

November 11, 2014

Anni Turnbull
Every year, on 11 November at 11 am – the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month – we pause to remember those men and women who have died or suffered in all wars, conflicts and peace operations.

Mechanisation of road building – 1923 steam road-roller

November 10, 2014

Margaret Simpson
Were you one of the many Australian children who played on old steamrollers set up in municipal parks after they were no longer required by local councils? Steamrollers, more correctly called road-rollers, were the last type of steam vehicles used on roads.

Margaret West, jeweller (1936-2014)

November 5, 2014

Anni Turnbull
“At present I am concerned with certain metaphysical, psychological and social aspects of jewellery-with its ability to inform and transform'. Margaret West, 1982 * Margaret West was an influential jeweller, lecturer as well as poet and writer.

LES WELCH (1925–2014)

November 1, 2014

Peter Cox
As a bandleader, singer and musician in the late 1940s and 1950s, Les Welch brought the sounds of popular jazz and blues to Sydney’s dancehalls and nightclubs. He developed a reputation for his piano playing, his vocal style and a repertoire that mixed rhythm & blues, trad jazz, boogie-woogie and pop.

The Story of Australia’s First Airmail-Part 11

October 29, 2014

Kerrie Dougherty
After thrilling Australian audiences with his airshows and making history by flying the first airmail, in September 1914 Maurice Guillaux realised one of the plans he had made earlier in the year by establishing a flying school at Ham Common, which is now the site of Richmond RAAF Base, to the west of Sydney.