Inside the Collection

Midwifery training simulator

July 23, 2012

Damian McDonald
Many objects in the Powerhouse Museum’s health and medicine collection have a visceral, unique and incidental beauty to them. The skull saw , the mortuary table, even the speculums.  And some objects engender an inspired beauty in both form and function, such as the obstetric phantom.

How to make a stained glass window, Handel-style

July 18, 2012

Melanie Pitkin
Picture a large stained glass window inside a cathedral. You see a variety of colours - perhaps a contrast of red and blue, long slivers of yellow, or a striking sea of white. A pattern emerges, changing your interpretation of the window.

Ramadan, Eid prayers and the Museum

July 16, 2012

Melanie Pitkin
From the end of this week until August 19 is Ramadan, the holiest month in the Islamic calendar. During this time, Muslims fast everyday from dawn to sunset with the purpose of cleansing their mind and body, practicing self-discipline and re-focusing their worshop on god.

Luna Park’s past, Larry and Lizzy Luna

July 11, 2012

Anni Turnbull
Luna Park opened in Sydney in 1935 and it used to house the charming Mr & Mrs Luna, two larger than life caricatures. Their creator is Leigh Hobbs who after graduating from art school in 1973, had his first job - at age 21 - at Sydney’s Luna Park, an amusement park next to the Sydney Harbour Bridge, where he worked as an artist.

Museum Mythbusters – the graphite elephant story

July 9, 2012

Geoff Barker
For most of the hundred-plus years this graphite elephant has been in the Powerhouse Museum’s collections it has been inextricably tied to the Garden Palace fire of 1882. The main reason for this has been the ongoing claims that the elephant was one of the only Museum objects to survive the flames.

Celebrating 80 years of the ABC with Bellbird

July 6, 2012

Peter Cox
Next in our series of posts marking the Australian Broadcasting Corporation's 80th anniversary, here is another object relating to Australia's national broadcaster, from the Powerhouse Museum's collection.

Celebrating 80 years of the ABC with Lucky Starr on Six O’Clock Rock

July 4, 2012

Peter Cox
We are marking the 80th anniversary of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation by highlighting some related objects and images in the Powerhouse Museum's collection. This photograph was taken by Bob Eaton, while working as part of the technical crew at ABC television studios at Sydney's Gore Hill, in 1960 or 1961.

Celebrating 80 years of the ABC with Adventure Island

July 2, 2012

Peter Cox
The Australian Broadcasting Corporation is celebrating 80 years of service. The Powerhouse Museum's collection includes some great objects relating to the history of Australia's national broadcaster.

Gulgong Pioneers Museum Blog

June 27, 2012

Kate Chidlow
I was contacted late last year by Marie Gorie from the Gulgong Pioneers Museum about a project she was about to undertake. She wanted to re-order the textile store. Maintaining a collection store takes a lot of time and resources and obviously, as the collection grew, some of the maintenance had slipped.

String quartet by Kitty Smith – varnished with Dragons Blood

June 25, 2012

Lynne McNairn
This splendid string quartet (two violins, a viola and a cello) was made by Kitty Smith (1912-2005) a professional violin maker who started her craft in the 1930s. Kitty was the daughter of Arthur Edward (A E) Smith (1880-1978) who is considered the most important violin maker in Australia.

Refugee Week, Seeking refuge in hope

June 22, 2012

Melanie Pitkin
During the course of developing the Faith, fashion, fusion: Muslim women's style in Australia exhibition, we met Asme Fahmi. Asme, 31, is a Community Engagement Project Coordinator with the Community Relations Commission, a third year Shariah Law student at Daar Aisha Shariah College and a student of Islamic Studies at Charles Sturt University.

Refugee Week, Visiting Villawood Detention Centre

June 20, 2012

Melanie Pitkin
This is the second post we are privileged to share with you by guest writer, Widyan Al-Ubudy, for National Refugee Week. In this post, Widyan recounts her personal experiences as a volunteer at Sydney's Villawood Detention Centre and the deep and moving impact it has had on her.