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'Opera House Festival' poster, 1973
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Object statement
Poster, 'Australia / Opera House Festival', opening of the Sydney Opera House, colour lithograph on paper, designed by Allan Grant of the NSW Department of Tourism for the Opera House Opening Committee, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, 1973
This poster celebrates the opening of the Sydney Opera House and features the Sydney Opera House 'Curtain of the Sun' design by John Coburn (1925 - 2006) with large golden sun above a graphic illustration of the Sydney Opera House, one of Australia's most vibrant and internationally recognisable symbols.

The poster is one of, if not the first produced, to feature the building as a significant graphic icon, albeit still small at this point in the building's budding and oft times controversal history. The Sydney Opera House is one of Australia's most significant symbols of national identity and the poster commemmorates the momentous occassion of its opening. This poster has an important place in the history of Australian graphic design and the holdings of the Powerhouse Museum's collection.

Coburn's tapestry design contributes significantly to the poster's pulsating rhythm - its vibrant energy characteristing Australia's natural and cultural life. When Sydney Opera House opened in 1973, CoburnĀ?s Curtain of the Sun was hung in the proscenium of the Opera Theatre. (The Curtain of the Moon hung similarly in the Drama Theatre.) The curtains were commissioned in 1970 and woven in Aubusson, France. They are reagrded as major works by this leading Australian painter.

This poster celebrates the cultural heart of Sydney, Australia and promotes this city as a cosmopolitan and culturally sophisticated city within an effervescent natural environment.
This poster was produced by the NSW Department of Tourism for the Opera House Opening Committee. Designed by Allan Grant, Manager of the Department's Advertising and Publicity Division, the poster features a section of the Sun Curtain by John Coburn which hung in the main concert hall of the Opera House. The poster was printed in eight colours and available in three sizes - 25"x39", 15 1/2" x 25" and 9"x14". The first printing was of 40,000 copies.

(Notes/reference: email correspondence from Karina Borg-Olivier, Tourism NSW to Gara Baldwin, Powerhouse Museum on 23 June 2005 relating to reference found in Tourism NSW papers in SLNSW)
Vendor has developed his collection of Australian posters over many years purchasing through auction, private vendors, international dealers etc. This poster was included in the Josef Lebovic Gallery 'Travel & Advertising Posters' exhibition of August-October 2000

 This text content licensed under CC BY-NC.

Description
Poster, 'Australia / Opera House Festival', opening of the Sydney Opera House, colour lithograph on paper, designed by Allan Grant of the NSW Department of Tourism for the Opera House Opening Committee, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, 1973

Poster in portrait format features the Opera House 'Curtain of the Sun' tapestry design by John Coburn with a graphic yellow sun on a striped pink, black, brown and maroon stripe background. On a black bar below the graphic in black and white is a graphic of the Sydney Opera House and the text 'SYDNEY OPERA HOUSE FESTIVAL CURTAIN RISES 20TH OCTOBER 1973'. On a white bar below this on white in red is the text 'Australia'.

Designed: Grant, Allan; Sydney; 1973

Designed: Coburn, John; Sydney; 1973
Marks
See description.
2000/132/3
Production date
1973
Height
970 mm
Width
635 mm

 This text content licensed under CC BY-SA.
Acquisition credit line
Purchased 2000
Subjects
+ Sydney Opera House
+ Coburn, John
Short persistent URL
Concise link back to this object: http://from.ph/8681
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{{cite web |url=http://from.ph/8681 |title='Opera House Festival' poster |author=Powerhouse Museum |accessdate=23 July 2014 |publisher=Powerhouse Museum, Australia}}


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