Chair, 'Michael Hirst' chair, plastic-coated steel, designed by Clement Meadmore (1959), made by Michael Hirst Pty Ltd, Melbourne, 1959-1965
During the 1950s, Clement Meadmore was known as one of Australia's most prominent young designers. He later became an internationally renowned sculptor.
In the fifties, his designs for furniture and lighting were promoted nationally through journals and magazines such as 'Architecture and Arts'. Stools form part of Meadmore's line of steel rod furniture, which included chairs, at least one table, bookshelves and lamps.
Clement Meadmore was an important Australian furniture and interior designer of the 1950s. He worked as a sculptor in New York in the late 1980s.
A collection of these Clement Meadmore 'Michael Hirst' chairs were purchased for use in The Embers nightclub in Melbourne around 1960. They appear in Bruno Benini fashion photographs of time (2009/43/-5) and also in the Crestknit 'Modern fashion trio' fashion advertisements published in Vogue Australia Summer 1960 (p34) and Vogue Australia Spring 1960 (p21).
In these publicity shots, The Embers Nighclub chairs appear to be painted black and they have soft dusty pink cushions.
The Embers Nightclub (formerly known as Claridges) was on Toorak Road, South Yarra. In the intimate environment of this nightclub, proprietor Jimmy Noel hosted leading American jazz musicians like Ella Fitzgerald, Billy Eckstine and Oscar Peterson, who performed with Ray Brown on brass and Ed Thigpen on drums. Australian musicians were also invited to perform in this venue, including pianist Peter (Chet) Clark who was engaged as the opener for many of these legendary American performances.
Anne-Marie Van de Ven, Curator, 2013
Alex Hutchinson, 'Nostalgia', The Fab Fifties Musos Group, The Jazz Archiv
http://www.jazzlegend.com/fab50s/jazzArchives.html (Accessed 19 August 2013)
Biography, Peter Clark. http://www.artjazz88.com/pages/bio-1.html (Accessed 19 August 2013)