Inside the Collection

A private tour of the post WWII chair collection with Dr Paul Donnelly

Photograph of Chair bay 3

The image above shows a few of the chairs in storage at the Powerhouse Discovery Centre: the museum’s off site storage and collection care facility at Castle Hill.  The collection stores are generally not open to the public but behind-the-scenes tours and open days are programmed throughout the year. Please be seated was one such tour conducted for Sydney Design 2013.

As well as the public tour, the museum worked with local company Content Theory to produce an interactive video featuring museum curator Dr Paul Donnelly talking about the design and development of the humble chair.   As Paul explains the period following World War II was a time of great change in many aspects of society including manufacturing techniques and materials, domestic technologies and lifestyles as well as the embracing of personal freedom of expression.   The chair provides an intriguing insight into this period of history. Designers featured include Charles and Ray Eames, Grant Featherston, Gordon Andrews, Douglas Snelling, Marc Newson and many others from Australia, North America and Europe.

Please be seated not only takes the viewer on their own personal tour but allows them to further explore the collection by providing additional facts and links to the collection database. The intention was to explore the middle ground between the on-line collection, video, and a curator led tour. The technology provides a cohesive narrative missing in the on-line catalogue and also gives the viewer access to more detailed information on the individual objects, not practical in a short video or practical in a curator led tour.

This video tour gives a small insight into our fabulous and diverse collection. We hope you enjoy it.

Photograph of five chairs

Lynne McNairn
Web and Social Technologies

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