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Thursday, August 24, 2017

Million Dollar Mermaid; Annette Kellerman Exhibition

DH and I were very fortunate to see the Powerhouse Museum's Exhibition on the swimmer Annette Kellerman (1886-1975) This tribute to quite an extraordinary woman ran for 12 months; from August 10 2016 to August 10 2017, so we just made it!

Here is a link to the media release which  explains who Annette was. As well being an accomplished swimmer, long distance and synchonised  swimming, a vaudeville performer and she was an actor in the US silent film industry. But the main thing I learned from this exhibit was that she was a woman who fought for women's rights at a time when such things were unheard of. Here's some info about her from good old Wikipedia! 😊

The displays featured a wide range of exquisite costumes worn by Annette, memorabilia, as well as movie footage.
Below is the costume that Annette was wearing in the photo I took of the 'still' of the movie in the previous photo.

A close up of the beautiful mermaid costume...which wasn't actually worn by Kellerman. Esther Williams wore it when she played Annette in the 1952 movie, The Million Dollar Mermaid. ( I loved those Esther Williams movies which would run on Australian TV during school holidays in the 1960s! )
More costumes, ranging from the 'neck to knees' costumes on the left to some quite 'adventurous' ones as the 20th century advanced! 😉

A gorgeous, rather ethereal looking gown and cloak worn by Annette...

Lots of wigs too...and glamorous head coverings...

More items to admire...

The exhibition also showed how hard Annette worked for the war effort. ( WW2)

A great exhibition Sydney Powerhouse Museum! 


Jackie said...

Wow, those costumes are gorgeous!!

God bless.

angela said...

How fascinating
I used to watch the ester williams movies too!
Love all the costumes
Thanks for taking us along for a look

margaret said...

what a great exhibition so mnany beautiful outfits you have shared with us

Kim said...

I have watched a lot of Esther Williams' movies in my youth. I was always mesmerised by her 'moves' in the water. She certainly was before her time with synchronised swimming, as was Annette Kellerman. Fabulous exhibition, Maria; love looking at it through your lens. Those swimming costumes made me chuckle and those swimming them. I can always remember my cousin, who was much older than me, wearing a flower concoction of one when we went swimming together. I have always loved the fashion of the sixties. It's been lovely to visit you.....I see you have been gadding about the country quite a bit...good for you. =)

Carolyn said...

Aren't we lucky to have such amazing exhibitions to view! I have never been to the Powerhouse, but it is on the list!!

Cynthia said...

What a fun exhibit. I have never heard of her before. I had a swim cap in the 1960s that looked like a black wig! I was quite taken with it because I had long blonde hair and this was a short, curly, black wig. No one knew who I wasn't!