Inside the Collection

Museum Exhibitions – some new approaches

May 16, 2012

Geoff Barker
Over the last six months or so the Powerhouse Museum has been going through a major revitalisation project. One result of all this activity has been the opening up of some large exhibition spaces.

What does a curator really do in a day?

May 14, 2012

Min-Jung Kim
People often ask me what curators do. Usually my answer is "we research, collect, document and display objects.” However, this answer doesn’t seem to satisfy people who wonder what really goes on behind the scenes in the museums and galleries.

Chrysanthemums and mums

May 13, 2012

Anni Turnbull
Chrysanthemums are often given as mothers day flowers in Australia, as they are in season in May. However they have a longer history, initially cultivated in China as a flowering herb as far back as the 15th century BC.

Hermes scarves inspired by the Otomi

May 9, 2012

Lindie Ward
The vibrant Mexican colours and motifs of the Otomi textiles have not escaped the eye of French fashion house, Hermes, which has translated them into beautiful embroidered scarves. Through their project Hermes is now giving income and security to the skilled embroiderers of Central Mexico.

Solving Traffic Congestion in 1634

May 7, 2012

Lynne McNairn
Traffic congestion in a big city like Sydney is never far from the headlines and for those of us who need to cross the Sydney Harbour Bridge it is a daily reality. But traffic congestion in cities is nothing new.

Robug IV The rise of the machines?

May 2, 2012

Damian McDonald
The Powerhouse Museum has an impressive and growing collection of robots. From a nineteenth century automaton to the Articulated Head currently featured in the Galleria section of the Museum, the study and collection of robots is something the Museum’s science curators take seriously, but also have an enormous amount of fun with; I mean, they’re robots!

Steamfest 2012 Mystery Object Revealed

April 30, 2012

Margaret Simpson
Would you have guessed the mystery rail object on display in the Museum’s marquee at Steamfest this year? Visitors to this event held in Maitland, NSW, over the weekend of 28/29th April were encouraged to have a go.

ANZAC Day, The Sydney Morning Herald and a Dolls House

April 25, 2012

Margaret Simpson
What do ANZAC Day, The Sydney Morning Herald newspaper and this dolls house in the Museum's collection have in common? The answer is a heartfelt story which began when Charlie Sellers, who worked as a linotype foreman in the compositing section of the Herald, promised to build his youngest daughter, Elaine, a dolls house.

Traditional Korean gongs – reflection and resonance

April 23, 2012

Anni Turnbull
“Ask Koreans ... what appeals in Korean music and typical responses will focus on feelings ... Korean music tugs at the heartstrings. Korean music – and, by extension, Korean musical instruments...

Bee Delighted

April 18, 2012

Anni Turnbull
If you’re in Maitland between 21 and 29 April, drop into Brough House in Church Street, to see some of the Powerhouse Museum’s beekeeping collection. It’s featuring in an exhibition called Amazing Bees, the contribution of JW and WS Pender to the Australasian Bee Industry.

The saga of a rare and wonderful engine

April 16, 2012

Debbie Rudder
Professor Henry Barraclough was on a mission. He was visiting Europe in 1914 to find interesting engines for Sydney University, and there was one that he was particularly keen to acquire: an early Otto and Langen gas engine, the first commercially successful internal combustion engine.