In some ways, the modernist architectural period has never been more popular. Its design signatures (clean lines, open-plan layouts and fluidity between outdoor and indoor spaces) are certainly ever-present in contemporary Australian design, but a lot of us may be unaware as to how the movement began in this country.
First appearing in Europe in the 1920’s and 1930’s, Modernism made its way to Australia in the form of migrant designers who arrived after World War II and, this July you’ll be able to trace back the history of the movement in Sydney, through a fabulous program, A Modernist Season. The program features exhibitions and talks at the Museum of Sydney and the iconic Rose Seidler House and a selection of private homes will be opened to the public too.
“This winter, Sydney Living Museums presents a new dynamic and creative program, A Modernist Season, offering a broad exploration and experience of mid-20th century architecture and design as an important part of Sydney’s heritage,” says the program’s executive director Mark Goggin. The event celebrates the creators, designers, architects and craftspeople who helped shape the movement in Sydney.
The program kicks off on 22 July with an exhibition at the Museum of Sydney titled ‘The Moderns: European Designers in Sydney’ which will celebrate the influence of immigrant designers on Australian architecture and design. “Some of the individuals featured in A Modernist Season are still well known today while others, many of the émigré designers and architects, are now virtually forgotten. We want people to immerse themselves in this hugely important period of creativity in Sydney and explore the creatives who championed this fresh, new look of design and architecture,” says Dr Caroline Butler- Bowdon, director of strategy and engagement at Sydney Living Museums.
The Australian Modernism enthusiast, and entertainment personality, Tim Ross will speak at the Museum of Sydney in July about his experiences travelling across the world to seek out the best of the movement. From festivals to museums to Rose Seidler House and Modernism Week in Palm Springs, Tim has plenty of knowledge to impart on the topic.
Tim will return on 27 August as part of a mini festival day of talks and tours at Rose Seidler House, where he will lead a talk that will explore the current renewed interest in Modernism. The program also features a curated tour of the iconic Rose Seidler House and visitors will also be able to step inside the iconic Killara home of Harry and Penelope Seidler.
A Modernist Season opens on 22 July 2017. For more.