I went to see the Art Deco exhibition at NGV International last Friday night. I would have gladly paid, but happily went when invited as part of a corporate thing, which was great, as there were no crowds. I’ve long liked art deco, and there’s some terrific pieces, highlighting that the style influenced not only the art world, but also the design of luxury and every day items, architecture, film … it was all over the western world.
You can’t take cameras into the exhibition. So here’s some of my own pictures of art deco from around Melbourne:
Mosaic on Newspaper house, Collins Street. I’ve written about this before, and a painting version of it appears in the exhibition.
My childhood home, East St Kilda. It ain’t the Chrysler Building, but this 30s design has lots of straight lines, and the stairwell (tall vertical glass section near the middle) really shows off the design.
Chimney, Bentleigh. This is a few streets from my house. Probably unnoticed by most people, the house would have been built in the
30s I would think 40s or 50s perhaps?
My house (circa 1928): ceiling detail and door handle
From Wikipedia: The Spirit of Progress train from 1937 — a model of this is in the exhibition, and a huge picture of it adorns the outside southern wall of the gallery. Check this great picture of the train racing an aeroplane. I just love the styling of the engine; it’s just a facade over a conventional steam engine, but it looks great. And it was fast — even today, the trip from Melbourne to Albury is just 17 minutes faster than it was in 1937.
PS. Some of the carriages from the Spirit of Progress are actually still in use! (They were pulled out of service in 2006, but I understand have since been re-introduced due to overcrowding on V/Line.)