Lecture Abstract: Situated between international modernism on the one hand and local debates about “Australian” architecture and design propounded by Robin Boyd and others on the other, Viennese designers negotiated the values of domestic design they had absorbed in the cities of Europe within a fast-changing postwar Australian environment. In this lecture Harriet Edquist will show how personal histories of émigré and refugee Viennese designers throw into question Australian design history’s often limited definition of design as a purely modernist professional practice beholden to a national agenda. It will argue that on the contrary, geographical and cultural boundaries are fluid, that learning never stops, that memory was often central to the émigré expression of “home” and that the ideology of the avant-garde could be avoided.

Inaugurated in 1986 the Annual Duldig Lecture on Sculpture commemorates the life and work of the artists Karl Duldig and Slawa Horowitz Duldig. This year, the annual lecture coincides with Slawa: Modernist Art + Design, an exhibition at the Duldig Studio that provides a survey of Slawa Horowitz-Duldig’s paintings, drawings, sculptures, textiles and designs for her magical umbrella.

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This lecture is supported by the Duldig Studio, museum + sculpture garden