Woodwinds & the Flute Collection
The Powerhouse Museum’s woodwind collection spans over two hundred years of development in this area. It includes instruments from European traditions such as clarinets, oboes, flutes and recorders through to traditional instruments found in Australian Indigenous nations, as well as Asian cultures such as Korea, China and Thailand.
The major strength of the area is undoubtedly the Museum’s comprehensive collection of flutes of national and international significance. The earliest flutes in the collection date from the late 1700s through to more modern instruments of the late 20th century.
Although the first flute to be acquired for the collection was in 1946 it was not until 1993 that three private collections relating to musicians Leslie Barklamb, John Amadio and Dr Carl Zimmerman were donated to the Museum from their respective owners through the work, passion and enthusiasm of Lind Vogt AM. These donations helped to consolidate the collection and attract wide recognition.
Since then the collection has grown with other very significant acquisitions. The collection contains flutes mainly made in England but again there is also a strong Australian connection to both makers and players. Several earlier Australian makers are represented such as Jordan Wainwright, Clewin Harcourt and Stanley Baines along with work by more modern makers such as Raymond Holliday and John Lehner.
Instruments owned and played by a variety of leading Australian musicians are also represented in the collection and reflect a Who’s Who of Australian Flute performance – John Amadio, Leslie Barklamb, Neville Amadio, Richard Chugg, David Cubbin and Jane Rutter to name a few. Linda Vogt’s comprehensive archives of Australian Flute Players adds valuable contextual material for the instruments.
Research has also figured highly in the collection’s recent history with extensive work about the history and development of particular flute systems by Dr Danielle Eden and a scientific flute research project in collaboration with the University of New South Wales Physics Department staff Professor Joe Wolf, Associate Professor John Smith and PhD candidate Paul Dickens and Australian flute maker Terry McGee.
Some material in this collection may be subject to copyright.
By appointment only.
A selection of material is available on the Museum's Website. This material has not been fully digitised and records contain varying levels of information.
Clarinets; Flutes; Oboes; Saxophones; Woodwind instruments
Musical instrument manufacture
Korea; Thailand; China; Australia; Europe