Seasonal Almanac

Cold dew: Wild geese come as guests (3 of 5)

April 8th, 2009

Cold dew 3 of 5I was up at the Powerhouse Museum for an excursion I organised for one of my classes. I haven’t been to the museum for over ten years and was hoping to be dazzled by some innovative exhibition designs. Instead, I found the experience strangely archaic – there is something very 19th century about this place.

The Powerhouse Museum has its origins in Sydney’s International exhibition of 1879. Locomotive No. 1 was purchased by the government of New South Wales not long after the original exhibition hall, Garden Palace, was burnt down. The engine and the carraiges, which have now been outfitted with grey mannequins/ models of 19th century passengers and other various interactive displays, still take pride of place in the museum. In a rather unexpected juxtaposition, Lawerence Hargrave appears above the train, hovering over (rather uncomfortably) on his box-kite.

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