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Mid–Century Modern: Australian Furniture Design

Dates: 30 May 2014 - 19 Oct 2014

Address: NGV Australia: Ian Potter Centre, 2 Seasnton Street, Melbourne, Victoria 3000

Phone: 03 8620 2222  

Web: ngv.vic.gov.au/whats-on/exhibitions/exhibitions/mid-century-modern-australian-furniture-design

Mid-Century Modern: Australian Furniture Design is the first major exhibition dedicated to Australian furniture of the 1940s to the 1970s; a period of dynamic social change as Australians embraced modern ideals to encapsulate a new, cosmopolitan mode of living characterised by innovative and flexible furniture design.

From Grant Featherston's plywood Contour range and Clement Meadmore's welded steel corded chairs, so distinctive of the 1950s, to Gordon Andrews' elegant 1960s designs for home and office, mid-century furniture design turned its back on the overstuffed and ornate examples of previous decades and, in doing so, revolutionised the contemporary Australian interior.

Mid-Century Modern will showcase more than 100 iconic pieces by these significant figures along with other key designers such as Douglas Snelling, Fred Lowen and Schulim Krimper, and present recreated interior vignettes including a full-scale living room based on the 1955 Age Dream Home.

New methods of furniture design took hold in Australia after World War Two, prompted in part by the availability of new materials, and sometimes the shortages of others, the development of new production techniques and the influx of European immigrants who were skilled in the traditions of fine furniture making. Taking their cue from international trends in furniture, local designers adopted the pared-back language of modernism to create stylish and sculptural pieces, which found the ideal setting in the architecture of the period.

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