The Powerhouse Museum is acknowledged internationally for the calibre of its collection, scholarship and exhibitions.
The collection spans history, science, technology, design, industry, decorative arts, music, transport and space exploration. It is also home to the material heritage and stories of Australian culture, history and lifestyle, providing a comprehensive insight into this rich and diverse country. There is estimated to be well over 500,000 separate items in the Museum’s collection.
The program of temporary exhibitions and programs complements a range of permanent galleries. Learning and creativity are a strong focus of the Museum. Exhibitions and programs are based on the ideas and technologies that have changed our world, and the stories of the people who create and inspire them.
The Powerhouse Museum is located in Ultimo near Darling Harbour, Sydney
It is a public museum operated by the State Government for the people of New South Wales. Its unique and diverse collection spans history, science, technology, design, industry, decorative arts, music, transport and space exploration.
It is also home to the material heritage and stories of Australian culture, history and lifestyle, providing a comprehensive insight into this rich and diverse country.
There is estimated to be well over 500,000 separate items in the Museum’s collection.
The collection was first established in 1879, linked to the Sydney International Exhibition, which showcased the wonders of the industrial age. While the collection has a strong focus on materials made or used in Australia, it is international in its scope and aims to place Australian material culture in an international context.
The collection includes objects relating to:
- Art and design
- Space and transport (including automobiles)
- Models and machinery
- Computers, popular culture and musical instruments
- Fashion and accessories (including a superb shoe collection)
- Graphic design and photography
- Social history and performing arts
- Jewellery, glass, metalwork and ceramics
- Textiles and lace
- Science and agricultural equipment
- Power technologies
- Natural materials
- Domestic technology
- Asian decorative arts and design
This inspiring organisation began at the 1879 International Exhibition in Sydney’s Garden Palace – a showcase of the colony’s greatest achievements. A fire swept through this magnificent building, destroying virtually all it held, except for a small selection of objects which became the genesis of the present collection.
The Museum moved sites several times as it grew until securing its present home in the Ultimo power station on the edge of Sydney’s central business district. The power station dates back to 1899 when it was built to power Sydney’s electric tram system which finished service in 1961.
The old tram depot adjacent to the power station, later to become offices, workshops, laboratories and storage, opened as Stage One in 1981. The Powerhouse Museum opened in 1988 as the flagship of the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences (MAAS).
The Powerhouse now presents a magnificent backdrop to the Museum’s vast and diverse collection – from planes, trains and steam engines to fashion, furniture, design and technological and scientific innovations.
The Museum Shop offers a range gifts, souvenirs and books, two cafes provide meals, snacks and coffee, and a state of the art playground in our courtyard caters for the Museum’s youngest visitors.
View more information at http://www.powerhousemuseum.com