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Art and design: 1930s Australia: the art deco designs ushering in a brave new world – in pictures

Art and design

We normally try to find an author for our posts. No luck this time, but we’ll still give this one a guernsey: a great Guardian plug for what looks like a fascinating exhibition, ‘Brave New World: Australia 1930s‘, opened just today at the Ian Potter Centre at the National Gallery of Victoria. Rapid modernisation, depicted in photography, painting, sculpture, design, architecture and fashion by Arthur Boyd, Albert Tucker, Grace Cossington Smith, Max Dupain, Albert Namatjira and others. The Guardian‘s article features travel posters, advertisements and magazine covers (cluttered by an advert for today’s BHP) but the NGV’s blurb suggests there’s a lot more besides. Far enough back in time, the 1930s, to be ‘historical’ but still presenting artefacts and lifestyles not beyond living memory: those bathing suits with the modesty skirts at the front were still vogue in the 1960s, even for little boys and little girls. And milk coffee. What were we thinking?

See also: Myles Russell Cook, ‘Friday essay: painting “The Last Victorian Aborigines”‘, from the catalogue of the exhibition.

David Stephens