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Powerhouse Museum publishes The Oopsatoreum, Inventions of Henry A. Mintox
A book for anyone who has ever made a mistake, The Oopsatoreum features original drawings by Shaun Tan along with beautifully photographed objects from the Powerhouse Museum collection.
SYDNEY.- Behind every enduring innovation lies a vast cemetery of achievement: the world of failed inventions. Award-winning author and illustrator Shaun Tan explores this forgotten world in The Oopsatoreum, a new collaboration with the Powerhouse Museum which tells the fictional tale of a strikingly original but spectacularly unsuccessful inventor: Henry A. Mintox.

Shaun’s whimsical stories of Mintox’s failed inventions are inspired by strange and largely obscure objects from the Powerhouse Museum collection. An automatic tea-maker, sheep clippers and an early hearing aid are among the artefacts re-imagined by the award-winning author and illustrator.

The Oopsatoreum explores the vast cemetery of achievement that lies behind every enduring innovation. It questions many assumptions we might have about ingenuity. What does it mean to be truly original? Should creativity be measured only by success? Or is it really the thought that counts … no matter how impractical?

A book for anyone who has ever made a mistake, The Oopsatoreum features original drawings by Shaun Tan along with beautifully photographed objects from the Powerhouse Museum collection. An exhibition bringing to life the world of Henry Mintox will open at the Museum in 2013.

Shaun Tan
Shaun Tan grew up in Perth, Western Australia, and now works as an artist, author and filmmaker in Melbourne. Books such as The Rabbits, The Red Tree, Tales From Outer Suburbia and the acclaimed wordless novel The Arrival have been widely translated and enjoyed by readers of all ages. Shaun has also worked as a theatre designer and feature film concept artist. He wrote and directed the 2011 Academy Award winning animated short film, The Lost Thing. In 2011 he received the prestigious Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award in Sweden for his body of work.

The Oopsatoreum
Format: 76 pages, illustrated throughout in colour and black and white, hb 210 x 180 mm
RRP: $16.95
ISBN 978-1-86317-144-1
Distributed by: NewSouth Books, tel: +61 2 8778 9999,
Available from: Powerhouse Museum Shop or online at

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