Inside the Collection

Meet the curator – Anne-Marie Van de Ven

Portrait of Anne-Marie Van de Ven. Photography by Sarah Rhodes © Powerhouse Museum. All rights reserved.
Photography by Sarah Rhodes © Powerhouse Museum. All rights reserved.

Anne-Marie Van de Ven

What is your specialty area?
Visual communications – graphic design, new media design and commercial photography (or as some like to say – flat rather than fat things!)

How long have you been working at the Museum?
Too long perhaps – over 25 years – ever since I studied education and taught on the Gold Coast and Papua New Guinea, travelled to the States and Europe, and then studied fine arts, philosophy and English literature at the University of Sydney! Mmmm – seems like forever, but it’s mostly been great fun!

What is your favourite object in the collection?
I’m compelled to mention two – the boab wood nut carvings carved by Ngarinyin artist Jack Wherra using a three inch nail and pieces of broken glass in Derby, Western Australia between 1950 and 1960, and the graphic and textile designs of David McDiarmid which are so vibrant and full of a zest for life but with the tragic HIV/AIDS epidemic woven into their very fabric!

What piece of research or exhibition are you most proud of in your career at the Museum?
There are three – a paper I presented in Japan about Australian Aboriginal graphic design (the insight it provided into the disadvantage suffered by Aboriginal Australians, and their resilience, moved the interpreter to tears); an exhibition of contemporary Australian graphic design produced for the 2006 Sydney Design Festival which included 2D graphics as well as designed content for mobile phones; and Celebrating Australia: identity by design Centenary of Federation exhibition which travelled to Washington DC and New York before being seen in Hay, NSW.

9 responses to “Meet the curator – Anne-Marie Van de Ven

  • I am Henry Talbot’s widow. I need to contact you urgently Anne-Marie. Could you please email me and leave a phone number when I can reach you. I am living in the UK so it is easier for me to phone you.

  • Lynette Talbot was recently seeking a summary of the various acquisitions the Museum had made of her late husband, German-born Ausralian photographer Henry Talbot’s works, including the Henry Talbot archive. The Museum’s collection contains Henry’s fashion and commercial photography, mainly dating from the 1950s through to the 1970s. This is a list of Henry Talbot holdings acquired directly from the Talbot family:

    Colour transparency and cibachrome print, fashion photograph of model in Pierre Cardin’s 1965 mini-shift, photographs by Henry Talbot, Paris/Melbourne, 1965/1988
    Purchased from the photographer, 1991

    Collection of commercial transparencies/prints/catalogues/magazine advertisements, Henry Talbot, Australia, 1959-1974
    Purchased from the photographer, 1992

    Archive, paper/plastic, Henry Talbot, Australia/Europe/America/Asia, 1959-1985
    Gift of Mrs Lynette Talbot, under the Commonwealth Government Taxation Incentives for the Arts Scheme, 1993

    Collection of photographic transparencies, negatives and proof sheets, automobile advertising for General Motors Holdens and ROH Wheels Australia, photographs by Henry Talbot, Australia,1968-1975.
    Purchased from the photographer, 1996

    Archive of colour transparencies, b & w negatives and colour proof prints, photographer Henry Talbot, Europe / Australia / Asia, 1956-1998
    Donation – Henry Talbot bequest – acknowledged as ‘Gift of the Estate of Henry Talbot, 2008’

  • Hi I am trying to get this valued , I am only a age pensioner and can not afford to spend money on valuations , I would appreciate your help or put me on to someone who can .

    I believe it’s one of Jack Wherra work apart from some of his Boab carvings.
    I can send photos if you like
    Stanley Tyson ….

    • Dear Stanley

      Many thanks for your inquiry, unfortunately we can’t give valuations. I would recommend approaching a reputable state or local Aboriginal art gallery.
      Anni Inside the Collection editor

  • Hi , I was the top Photographic Fashion Model in Sydney Australia from 1960 to 1964 . I have worked with all the photographers you mentioned . Are there any publications that you have on me ? Regards ,willi

  • I was worked in Sydney as the Top Photographic Fashion Model from 1959 to 1964 before leaving to NY. Do have any publication of me from that period . I have worked with all the top Australian Photographers . Thanks, willi

    • Hi Willi
      Thank you for your enquiry. We have at least one set of negatives in the collection in which you are identified as the model:
      96/44/1-3/3 Negatives (48), black and white, film, fashion model test shots of Willi Koopman, photography by David Mist, Sydney, 1962
      Unfortunately these negatives have not yet been digitized.

  • Hi Anne- Marie,
    I have been pointed in your direction as I had been enquiring about some prints my family have of David Miles and have been told that you are compiling an archive? I was originally after information on the artist as I couldn’t find anything substantial.
    Thank you

  • Hi again Anne-Marie
    The AGDA Hall of Fame committee has decided on its next 2 inductees for 2019, including Gert Sellheim. I’m currently reserching him and his work to write a small piece and gather a collection of images … beyond his famous posters. MAAS holds at least some works (posters), but do you hold the Gert Sellheim archive or any substantial collection and biographical info? Otherwise do you have a contact for a Gert Sellheim archive and/or trustee (his son I think)?
    I would also like to discuss your approach to discussing historic design which includes influences and naive appropriation of indigenous motifs?

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