Digital storytelling

Powerhouse Museum’s Hedda Morrison photographic collection website online

Today we launched a new project, the Hedda Morrison photographic collection.

In 1992 the Powerhouse Museum was donated a large collection of photographs taken by Hedda Hammer Morrison (1908-1991). These photographs, numbering some 350, were printed by Hedda Morrison and featured in exhibitions held in Canberra and Sydney in 1967, 1970 and 1990. The collection was donated by her husband Alastair Morrison soon after Hedda’s death and formed the basis of two exhibitions organised by the museum: In Her View: the Photographs of Hedda Morrison in China and Sarawak 1933-67 (1993, Sydney and Canberra) and Old Peking: Photographs by Hedda Morrison 1933-46 (2002, Sydney and Beijing).

Over the past fourteen years the Powerhouse has developed an important collection of Hedda Morrison photographs and memorabilia – once again largely through the generosity of Alastair Morrison, who was made a Life Fellow of the museum in 2002 – including rare photographs taken in Germany, a camera, personal papers and photographs, as well as objcts collected by Hedda and Alastair during their years of residence in Asia. Significant collections, assembled by Alastair more recently, including Hindu and Buddhist bronzes, Japanese netsuke and a large library of books relating to Peking, the photography of China, and Chinese culture, as well as Hindu and Buddhist iconography, have also come to the museum.

In 2005 work began on a website that would allow members of the public permanent access to the Hedda and Alastair Morrison collection. Rachel McMullan, an intern enrolled in Museum Studies at the University of Sydney, entered images and exhibition research information into the museum object database EMU. The website is a work in progress and information continues to be added and updated as time and resource allows. It is our goal to make the entire Hedda and Alastair Morrison collection accessible online.