How do you condense a lifetime's dream job as a curator at Sydney's Powerhouse Museum into around 1,000 words? Well, my career at the Museum began on 1 February 1983 as a Research Assistant with the Department of Transport and Engineering when the Powerhouse was still a construction site.
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“We look at art as a way of thinking – and because of that it can always change.” - Hesam Rahmanian In March 2020, the Powerhouse Museum launched the results of an exciting collaboration with the 22nd Biennale of Sydney, NIRIN.
We are digitising more than 330,000 items in the Powerhouse Collection to provide extraordinary levels of community access and support ongoing research and interpretation. The Powerhouse is custodian to over half a million objects of national and international significance spanning cultures and millennia.
Dubai-based artists Ramin Haerizadeh, Rokni Haerizadeh and Hesam Rahmanian work collectively to create expansive installations composed of artworks and artefacts. Taking the form of visual poetry by incorporating and disorganising objects from the Powerhouse Museum collection, this project, includes artefacts such as Skylab space debris, a donkey’s hoof, anatomical models, ceramics, and textiles.
The Museum staff have a huge job caring for our enormous collection of over 500,000 objects. Our team includes experts in a vast range of areas, including: fashion, health and medicine, architecture, engineering, sciences, design, decorative arts, technologies and contemporary culture.
How many hands does it take to create a kantha tapestry like this? In this instance, it was the work of eight women embroidering every day for one year. Threading not only a story of traditional motifs, but also the international recognition of an ancient craft and women’s socio-economic emancipation in Bangladesh and West Bengal.
25 August marks the 200th anniversary of the death of inventor James Watt. To mark the occasion, we have invited a guest post by Debbie Rudder, an expert on Watt, to explore his life and scientific contributions.
The Powerhouse Museum collection contains material relating to architecture and the built environment, of local, national and international significance. The collection includes scale models, design archives, plans, drawings, photography and interior fittings, with projects ranging from iconic buildings by award winning, internationally recognised Australian architects Glenn Murcutt, Harry Seidler and John Andrews, to social housing and civic projects of public interest. Architectural models form an important part of the architecture and built environment collection, and the Museum has many fine examples of conceptual, working, and large-scale presentation models that illustrate this craft.
The Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences has just opened a display with striking objects, photographs and archival material from its extensive decorative art and design collections, to celebrate the centenary of the Bauhaus, the most influential 20th century school of design.
Name: Karen Biddle Role: Registrar / Collection Database Administrator What is the main focus of your role at MAAS? My main focus is the MAAS collection database (called 'EMu'), for which I manage user group permissions, report design, QA work, large data queries and exports, periodic statistics, and providing training/support to users for everyday usage queries.
Held annually at the Powerhouse Museum since 1993, the Student Fashion display showcases the work of Sydney’s top local fashion design graduates, providing insight into the skills and potential of the next generation of Australian designers.
Last year, we introduced to our readers the first glass and ceramic objects acquired for the MAAS collection with funds from the remarkably generous Barry Willoughby Bequest. We are delighted to share the news about two more recent acquisitions enabled by Willoughby’s passion for Australian studio glass and ceramics as expressed in his will.