A new photo from the Powerhouse Museum every day
My first impressions on entering the Expo were the vastness. With camera at the ready, I walked and walked. Visual experiences fascinated and delighted me at each blink of my eyes. There was so much mental nourishment. So many new, different, innovative expressions of human creativity.
Gordon Andrews, A Designer’s Life, University of New South Wales Press, 1993. p.26
The photograph of the Belgian pavilion is one of the images captured by designer Gordon Andrews during his visit to the 1937 International Exposition in Paris. In this image Andrews has contrasted the scale of the tiny figures with the immense abstract shapes of the building to convey a sense of the vastness of which he wrote.
While in Paris Andrews also spent time with friends and embraced the night life with enthusiasm:
My heart missed a beat when Josephine Baker materialised, centre- stage, swathed in a voluminous, transluscent black veil…Nothing had ever seemed so seductive.To a boy from Ashfield, the evening was better than a dream and certainly nothing I’ve seen since has had the same impact.
I left Paris with a hangover but with a fierce glow and an enthusiasm for life and for design. I had not realised before the extent of work to be done, the vast fields of creative possibilities to explore.
The photograph is from the Gordon Andrews design archive, which documents Andrews’ prolific career across a broad range of disciplines, including his interiors for the Australian Pavilion of the Comptoire Suisse trade fair in 1960 and his designs for the New South Wales and the New Zealand Government Tourist Bureaus, in 1961 and 1965 respectively. The archive also contains quite a few remarkable photographs such as this one. A second archive, also assembled by the designer, was acquired by the museum in 1992. It documents Andrews’ designs for Australia’s first decimal currency banknotes.
To view another photograph by Gordon Andrews, see Photo of the Day, March 4, 2011.
Post by Kathy Hackett, Photo Librarian
Photography by Gordon Andrews, Collection: Powerhouse Museum 89/735-13/2
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