February 7, 2013

Powerhouse Museum-Farewell to curator, Christina Sumner, OAM

  Farewell to curator, Christina Sumner, OAM

Published on February 4, 2013 by Anne-Marie Van de Ven in ceramics, Curator profiles, Object of the week and Textiles. 0 Comments Tags: Bright flowers: textiles and ceramics of Central Asia, christina sumner, South East Asian textiles.

On the eve of of Christina Sumner’s departure we asked her a few questions about her experiences at the Museum over the last 28 years.

What have you enjoyed the most about working in the Museum?

Always always always it’s been the people and the collection. I’ve been lucky enough to spend every working day with curatorial and other colleagues who are bright, interested, articulate and as passionate as I am about the collection – building it, and committing ourselves to interpret, tell stories about and communicate the meaning of our objects to the wider community.

Can you nominate 3 favourite objects you have acquired for the permanent collection?

The first great treasure I acquired was the Anzac House Australia tapestry in 1988. I’ll never forget the goosebumps and excitement as this great tapestry was unrolled in a warehouse for me to see, and I realised what I was looking at. The tapestry was designed by Jean Lurçat, who is known as the father of modern tapestry, and woven at Aubusson in France between 1960 and 1962. In 1987 the Anzac House Trust moved to smaller premises and presented the tapestry to the Musuem as a bicentennial gift to the people of New South Wales.

Another beloved textile is the early 19th century suzani from Bukhara that I acquired in 1992. This was the start of a long love affair with these beautiful dowry embroideries that eventually resulted in the 2004 loan exhibition Bright flowers: textiles and ceramics of Central Asia, for which we borrowed suzanis, other embroideries, costume and 10th to 20th century ceramics from the amazing collections of state museums in Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and Tajikistan. It was quite an experience to see our suzani displayed in its own cultural context, with other embroideries from Central Asia.

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