In 2009 ‘Object of the Week’ became the first collection focused curatorial blog to be launched from the Powerhouse Museum site. The goal was to engage with an online audience in conversations about the collection and to expose some behind-the-scenes stories. The blog provides a platform for content that previously had no other outlet and contains rich collection orientated material that appeals to both a casual reader and those interested in a deeper level of research.
Powerhouse Museum curators are the main contributers to the blog, along with Museum conservators and registrars, and also sometimes guest external bloggers who have been involved with the Museum in some capacity. Each contributer brings their own unique voice to the blog and helps to reveal some of the personalities of those involved. For example, the site features a category dedicated to the profiles of Powerhouse Museum curators. Each participating curator on the blog has a portrait photograph, short biography and personal stories about their favourite objects from the collection. There is even a section for the Museum’s volunteers – some of whom have been volunteering at the Museum for longer than we’ve existed at the current Harris Street site!
While the nature of the content explored on ‘Object of the Week’ is just as eclectic and varied as the Museum’s collection (transport, health and medicine, power technologies, archaeology, fashion and textiles, popular culture etc.), there is also a specific focus on design and design thinking. This covers everything from objects in the Museum’s decorative arts and design collection, including recent acquisitions, through to unique interviews with designers; video footage showing designers at work; behind-the-scenes snapsots of past, present and future design related exhibitions and thoughts offered by curators on ways to enhance design communication in a museum context. The blog is a fast and effective medium to disseminate information to a very wide audience and has become an essential tool for the Museum’s curators in not only connecting with their audiences and specialist online communities, especially where it concerns design, but in also keeping abreast of the latest happenings in the field. Blog posts on ‘Object of the Week’ also feed into the Powerhouse Museum’s Facebook page, so if you haven’t already, now is a good time to become a fan!
This article has been adapted from the original published in Powerline – the magazine of the Powerhouse Museum. Winter 2010. p.19.