1001 Remarkable Objects

Powerhouse Publishing 1001 Remarkable ObjectsA celebration of the scale, breadth and relevance of the decorative arts and design collections held by Powerhouse Museum, 1001 Remarkable Objects catalogues the eponymous exhibition at Powerhouse Ultimo that opened in August 2023.  

The publication reflects the vision of the 1001 Remarkable Objects curatorium led by Leo Schofield AM (Chair) with Eva Czernis-Ryl (Curator), Ronan Sulich and Mark Sutcliffe (Consultant Curators) and Chloe Appleby (Assistant Curator).

The publication opens with a series of 32 still life images produced by photographer Lauren Bamford in collaboration with art director and stylist Sarah Pritchard. Documentary photography and captions for all 1001 objects are punctuated by 15 narratives.

To accompany works from each of the four curators, Powerhouse commissioned 11 Australian authors inviting each of them to interrogate a specific slice of the exhibition and respond to one or more of the remarkable objects that resonated with them in the writing style of their choosing. The resulting texts vary in form across HipHop, memoir, fiction, creative non-fiction, historiography and essay.

Featured authors (in order of contents) include DOBBY (Rhyan Clapham), Leo Schofield AM, Sheila Ng?c Ph?m, Omar Musa, Eva Czernis-Ryl, Ronan Sulich, Eadric Le Brocq, Favel Parrett, Charmaine Papertalk Green, Robert Wellington, Alecia Simmonds, Anna Clark, Adam Ferrier, Mark Sutcliffe and Christa Hughes.

Objects that served as inspiration to the authors include: a 100+ year old photograph titled Aboriginal fisheries, Darling River that depicts Baiame’s Ngunnhu (the Brewarrina fish traps); an Italian lace panel from the mid 1600s depicting the story of Judith and Holofernes; and a pair of okimono monkeys from Meiji period Japan.

Additional objects include one of the first string instruments made in colonial Australia; a prize winning ‘glass apple’ vase blown by Ingeborg Lundin for Orrefors in 1957; a series of wood carvings by artists from the Utopia community in the Northern Territory; an antique gold necklace featuring 27 intaglios carved in multicoloured gemstones; a Holden 48-215 hubcap from about 1950, and Kylie Minogue’s Showgirl costume.

The Powerhouse Collection, with its focus on the applied arts and sciences, holds more than half a million objects of national and international significance and is considered one of the finest and most diverse collections in the world.

Objects included in 1001 come from a broad spectrum of the decorative arts and include jewellery, fashion, costume, textiles, furniture, clocks, musical instruments, industrial design, and items of social and historical significance.

“In choosing what objects to include in 1001, we rejected the nomenclature of “treasures” or “masterpieces” and instead determined all works must be in some way “remarkable” – whether by virtue of rarity, visual appeal, cultural significance, social history or an ability to invoke wonder,’ said 1001 Curatorium Chair, Leo Schofield AM.

The 1001 Remarkable Objects publication is 620 pages, in a format of 240 x 170 mm, with a Swiss bound, linen-covered, semi-hardback cover with metallic foil detailing. Produced by Powerhouse Publishing with the support of the Gordon Darling Foundation.

From a first edition print run of 1001 copies, one will enter the Powerhouse Collection, leaving 1000 copies for sale. For more information and to purchase a copy, visit: www.powerhouse.com.au for details.

Image: 1001 Remarkable Objects – courtesy of Powerhouse Publishing