The Museum has a wonderful collection of busts in the areas of science, fashion and art. From the slightly disconcerting 19th century French paper-mache anatomical models used to explore and demonstrate the workings of the human body to the fabulously formed torso of Chesty Bonds advertising Bonds singlets.
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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.
The artworks of Melbourne-based artist and designer Kate Rohde are recognisable for their exuberant embrace of form and pattern. Baroque in style, highly ornate and vibrating with colour, the works claim a unique position in contemporary Australian design.
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.
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.
Matthew Connell, was lead curator on Out of Hand. Here he discusses his approach to the exhibition with fellow MAAS curator Anni Turnbull. What is the exhibition about? It’s a look at the world of digital manufacturing and an acknowledgement that the digital world is now imposing itself on the material world in a way that breaks down a long standing dichotomy.
On Wednesday, 15 July 2015, museums around the world are sharing #DisabilityStories found in their collections. We're joining the conversation with this post by MAAS Curator, Damian McDonald, who details the technologies used in prosthetics in our collection: The use of prosthetics dates back to at least 300 BCE, the date of a Roman bronze leg that was excavated from a grave in Capua, Italy.
Japanese Folds (16 May-21 June 2015) is a playful exhibition showing contemporary fashion items and decorative arts from the Museum’s collection centred on the Japanese practice of folding. The exhibition provides an insight into the folding design concept with a focus on the way contemporary Japanese designers have adapted and incorporated traditional folding practices into their work.
As part of the Ultimo Science Festival 2014, the Powerhouse Museum hosted a night of the Science of Sex. Along with talks form Dr Karl Kruszelnicki from University of Sydney, evolutionary biologist Professor Rob Brooks, and marine biologist Professor Emma Johnston from UNSW, Museum curators brought out a selection of sex related objects from the collection.
The Powerhouse Discovery Centre will celebrate Science Week with lots of activities on the weekend of 16-17 August. Our example of the Super Sopper, an Australian innovation that has been removing excess water from sports fields for forty years, is one of many objects that will star in behind-the-scenes tours.
Canadian artists Hadley+Maxwell are set to be onsite in the PHM Turbine Hall on Tuesday 11 March 2014 to take an impression of our marble bust of Queen Victoria (90/960 - from the Grace Bros Building Façade, c.1880-90, maker unknown).
If you’re a fan of mid-century modern furniture, the Powerhouse Museum’s current display is a must-see. 7 Australian Designers profiles a number of Australia’s celebrated modernists and includes iconic furniture by Grant Featherston, Gordon Andrews, Douglas Snelling, Clement Meadmore and Steven Kalmar.