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Betzy Dinesen

Term applied to an architectural and interior design style prevalent in the late 19th and early 20th centuries in the USA and Australia, countries formerly colonized by Britain. The style, used mostly for domestic architecture, was based on buildings of early colonial periods and had much in common with the contemporary Neo-Georgian tendency in Britain (e.g. Annie Longfellow Thorp House, 1887); later developments on the west coast of the USA drew on Spanish styles. It became popular in response to a reaction against the ornate eclecticism of late 19th-century architecture and the search for a new aesthetic: Colonial Revival was promoted as a ‘national’ style, rooted in the foundations of the nations and suited to their environment and culture. A similar stimulus produced revivals of colonial styles in other countries, such as South Africa, where the Cape Dutch style was revived in work by Herbert Baker around the end of the 19th century, and Brazil, where features of Portuguese colonial architecture appeared in the work of ...

Article

Rodney Hayward

(b Lahore, Jan 1, 1940).

British furniture-designer and teacher, also active in Australia. Ingham was educated as a designer at the Huddersfield School of Art (1957–9), Leeds College of Art (1959–61) and the Royal College of Art (RCA), London (1961–4). A Royal Scholar at the RCA, in his final year he won several scholarships that gave him the freedom to travel. He consequently spent a year as design assistant to Antti Nurmesneimi (b 1927) in Helsinki (1964–5). Ingham’s identity as a furniture-designer and educator was well established in England by the 1970s and early 1980s, through his own work, a partnership with his designer-maker brother, Robert (1971–5) and through industry associations. Before coming to Australia he had taught at the Hornsley College of Art (1966–8) and Middlesex Polytechnic (1968–72). Between 1977 and 1982 he was a Visiting Lecturer at Rycote School for Furniture Making, the London College of Furniture and the John Makepeace School for Furniture Making....

Article

M. Stapleton

(b Lismore, 1887; d Sydney, 1957).

Australian architect. He was the son of a timber merchant and furniture maker and was apprenticed to the furniture trade before practising as an architect. His technical knowledge of timber detailing was combined with a romantic design approach to produce individualistic interpretations of the Californian bungalow style. His most important work was Belvedere (1919), a spreading bungalow in Cranbrook Avenue, Cremorne, Sydney, with a low, pitched roof and deep, shady verandahs on three sides defined by heavily timbered eaves with hefty pylon supports. It has been likened to Frank Lloyd Wright’s prairie houses and contained a revolving, labour-saving servery between kitchen and dining room, built-in furniture and simple timber detailing throughout. In the 1930s Jolly retired from architectural practice to speculate in land subdivision on the Palm Beach peninsula north of Sydney. There he designed a series of whimsical, organic, stone and timber houses incorporating natural rocks, tree trunks and forked branches; some resembled animal forms, such as the Elephant House (...

Article

New Zealander, 20th century, male.

Active in Britain from the late 1930s or early 1940s; also active in the USA.

Born 1916, in New Zealand; died 3 July 1994, in Devonshire, England.

Painter, illustrator, set designer, cartoonist, decorator. Landscapes with figures, seascapes, landscapes, murals.

Felix Kelly was born in New Zealand and came to Britain before World War II. He worked in advertising for a time, then took up painting seriously during the war. He also worked in the USA and became known as a painter of country houses in both countries. He painted in a Neo-Romantic style, depicting fantastic landscapes and buildings, both imagined ( ...

Article

Kevin Fahy

(b Seret, Bukovina [now in the Ukraine], July 28, 1893; d Melbourne, Aug 18, 1971).

Australian cabinetmaker of Austro-Hungarian birth. He was apprenticed in Seret as a cabinetmaker. After military service during World War I he worked in Vienna, Prague and other European cities as a furniture-maker before settling in Berlin in the 1920s. In 1935 he began work with the Berlin Umschichtungsstelle der Reichsvertretung der Juden in Deutschland, an organization for the retraining of Jews who wished to emigrate. In 1939 he moved to Melbourne. By the end of World War II he had established his own business and was regarded by a small but influential audience as Australia’s finest contemporary furniture-maker and designer. Krimper’s designs show the influence of the Biedermeier style, of Central European folk furniture and of the later Deutsche Werkstätten furniture. His work evolved from such pieces, in pine and hardwoods, as simple cupboards, bookcases and chairs in the post-war years to his later, more ambitious cabinets and sideboards in a variety of carefully chosen woods. All feature high quality construction and finishes. He made considerable use of indigenous Australian and South Pacific woods, the rich figure, grain and colour of which provide the principal surface decoration....

Article

Kevin Fahy

(b Sligo, ?1805; d Sydney, Feb 21, 1886).

Australian cabinetmaker of Irish birth. He arrived in Sydney a free settler in 1835 and started his own business in 1841 as a cabinetmaker, upholsterer and undertaker. His billhead, decorated with the royal coat of arms (indicative of vice-regal patronage), describes him as a ‘Designer and Manufacturer of Superior Furniture’. His workshop was one of the most extensive mid-19th-century furniture manufactories in Sydney and attracted both official and private custom. In addition to being a prominent retailer of imported furniture, Lenehan produced a considerable amount of locally made furniture in both indigenous and imported woods. His designs drew heavily on contemporary British furniture pattern books and catalogues. Apart from extant documented work at Government House, Sydney, examples can be found at Old Government House, Parramatta, NSW, identified by his impressed punch mark or one of several trade labels. Furniture from his workshop was exhibited in Sydney in 1854 and 1861...

Article

(b Bowral, NSW, March 27, 1894; d London, March 1, 1968).

Australian painter and designer. From 1913 to c. 1915 he studied art with Dattilo Rubbo (1870–1955) and music in Sydney. In 1919 he devised a colour–music theory that allied the colours of the spectrum to musical scales and, with fellow artist Roland Wakelin, held an exhibition of eleven paintings and five room designs based on this theory. The paintings, such as Boat Sheds, Berry’s Bay (1919; priv. col., see Johnson, 1988, p. 33), are characterized by simplified forms, large areas of flat paint and heightened, non-representational colour. De Maistre was influenced by international art, but these works are a unique Australian hybrid of Post-Impressionism. Further experiments in 1919 led de Maistre to produce Australia’s first abstract paintings: only one documented example is known—Rhythmic Composition in Yellow Green Minor (1919; Sydney, A.G. NSW). From 1923 to 1925 he was in Europe on a travelling scholarship. On his return to Sydney he held two solo exhibitions at the Macquarie Galleries (...

Article

Geoffrey R. Edwards

(b Melbourne, Feb 9, 1929; d New York, April 19, 2005).

Australian sculptor and designer, active in the USA. He studied aeronautical engineering and later industrial design at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, but left without finishing the course. From 1949 to 1953 he worked as an industrial designer, specializing in furniture. Marketed widely in Australia during these years, his furniture was distinguished by its simplicity. It was constructed with plain, undisguised materials such as steel rods, timber laminates, and cord; his tables, chairs, and shelving systems exercised a delight in linear and open structure that conveyed an impression of virtual weightlessness.

In his free time Meadmore began to produce sculptures, carving wooden shapes whose forms were similar to those of tensioned strings, and from 1950 to 1953 experimenting with mobiles. After extensive travel in 1953 in Europe, where he was particularly impressed by modern sculptures that he saw in Belgium, he produced his first large abstract sculptures in welded steel. Some of these, for example ...

Article

Australian, 20th century, female.

Born 14 September 1876, in Hokitika, New Zealand; died 24 August 1968, in Perth.

Painter, fabric designer. Still-lifes, interiors with figures, portraits.

Kathleen O'Connor attended Perth Technical School under James Linton. She travelled to Europe with her mother and sister in ...

Article

Australian, 20th century, female.

Born 2 October 1879, in Armidale (New South Wales); died 29 July 1966, in Potts Point, Sydney.

Watercolourist, engraver (wood), designer, interior designer. Figures, interiors with figures, flowers.

Contemporary Group.

Thea Proctor attended Julian Ashton's Art School from 1896. Here she met George Lambert and Sydney Long and together they produced the short-lived ...

Article

Gordon Campbell

Article

Australian, 20th century, male.

Born 1923, in Narrabni (New South Wales).

Painter. Wall decorations.

Tom Thompson studied at East Sydney Technical College from 1947 to 1950. He went abroad in 1951 and studied the works of the Italian Renaissance artists. He is mainly known for his wall paintings....