Ornament, aluminium, d. Douglas Annand, m. Firsthand Australia, Sydney, 1969-1972
Douglas Annand (1903-1976) is primarily associated with the design arts, and in particular with large public murals. His early career was based on graphic design in Brisbane and then Sydney, producing magazine covers and advertisements, designing labels, wrapping papers, and textiles for various corporate clients. His most significant graphic art appeared between 1935-1939 while designing for Sydney Ure Smith's publications, "The Home", "Art in Australia", and the "National Journal Australia". During World War II, Annand was a camouflage artist with the Royal Australian Air Force. Stationed for two years in North Queensland, he painted and drew regularly, and exhibited water-colours in Sydney and Melbourne. Annand received his first mural commissions shortly before the WWII, receiving international recognition for murals designed for the Australia Pavillion at the New York's World Fair of 1939. He also completed major murals for the Peninsular and Oriental (P&O) Steam Navigation Company, the office of radio station 2UE, and the University of Melbourne's Wilson Hall. Annand won the Sulman prize for his murals on three occasions - 1941, 1947, 1951. From the mid-1950s, Annand developed an interest in architectural work, like the large glass structures he completed in 1966 for the Colonial Sugar Refining (CSR) Co., in Sydney. In his later years, Annand also produced small household objects, ashtrays, paperweights, and such things.
"Australian Dictionary of Biography, Vol 13, 1940-1980, A-De," 1993, p.60.
"Douglas Annand Watercolours 1935-50, exhibition catalogue, Perc Tucker Regional Gallery, Townsville, 1988.
Firsthand Australia was established by Marie Opie and Rosemary Spittle in Sydney in the spring of 1969. Described in early publicity as "a marketing agency for designers", the partnership was in fact much more than that. During its fourteen years of operation, Firsthand commissioned, produced and packaged, as well as marketed, the work of Australian designers and craftspeople such as Douglas Annand, Verney Watts, Ruth Julius, Ingrid Osborn and Phyllis Shave. Its specialisation was high quality souvenir and gift items, which ranged from printed silk scarves to aluminium paperknives and ceramic ashtrays. Firsthand ranges were sold in shops in most Australian states and through an outlet in New York.