Latest News

Emails clarify UTS influences on Snelling thesis failure

Posted by Davina Jackson 18 August 2014


Two senior research leaders at the University of Technology, Sydney, have emerged as persuasive figures in RMIT's late 2000s processes of sabotaging its scholarship PhD thesis on Douglas Snelling, written by Davina Jackson (author of this blog).

RMIT's own-goal decisions wasted its $56,000 (approx) in scholarship funds and cost it the $90,000 subsidy that Australia's Department of Industry, Innovation, Science and Research would have paid for Jackson's successful PhD 'research training'.

Emails ..... Read More

New book and Paris exhibition: Tiki Pop

Posted by Davina Jackson 8 July 2014


An accidental archaeologist with family roots in chilly Hamburg, Los Angeles-based cinematographer Sven Kirsten is the world's foremost expert on tropical tiki style and 'Polynesian pop'.

Tiki Pop, his third book exploring pseudo-Pacific and Caribbean lifestyle themes among outré followers of mid-20th century American modernity, is out now from Taschen.

Compared with Kirsten's earlier volumes, The Book of Tiki (2003) and Tiki Modern: And the Wild World of Witco (2007), Tiki Pop (subtitled ..... Read More

Relevant book: Arts and Architecture 1945-1949

Posted by Davina Jackson 20 June 2014


German publisher Benedikt Taschen – lascivious promoter of the sexiest aspects of California modern culture – has released a new book of his preferred pages from the legendary mid-20th century design periodical, Arts & Architecture.

His retro volume, Arts & Architecture 1945-49, reboots interest in the Los Angeles magazine's pervasively influential graphic design and typography strategies, supervised by its longest-serving publisher, John Entenza, and art director, Alvin Lustig.

Fans ..... Read More

Snelling furniture highlighted at NGV mid-century show

Posted by Davina Jackson 17 June 2014


For the past several decades, Douglas Snelling's reputation has depended on a questionable view that he was one of Australia's great designers of mid-century modern furniture.

Examples of his 1946 'the Snelling line' chairs are held by all of Australia's major public archives of historic furniture (the National Gallery of Australia, Powerhouse Museum and National Gallery of Victoria) and are always included in serious furniture survey shows.

Another exhibition, Mid-Century Modern: Australian ..... Read More

Iconic Australian Houses at Museum of Sydney

Posted by Davina Jackson 31 March 2014


Projects by Douglas Snelling are accidentally absent from design editor Karen McCartney's two popular illustrated books on Iconic Australian Houses. But her selection of 29 architect-designed residences from the 1950s to the 1990s is worth inspecting at the Museum of Sydney from 12 April 2014.

McCartney, a former editor of InsideOut magazine and current editorial director of online retailer Temple&Webster, is a co-owner of Bruce Rickard's 1967 Marshall house, a small (160 sq m) exposed ..... Read More

The Seidlers’ main moves to marginalise Snelling in Sydney

Posted by Davina Jackson 30 March 2014


Harry Seidler and Douglas Snelling were both in Los Angeles (separately) in 1948, before opening their architectural practices in Sydney later that year.

Some years afterwards, Austrian-Jewish refugee Seidler began a campaign to quietly discredit Snelling as 'not a real modernist'. Since Seidler's death in 2006, that campaign has been continued by his Sydney-born widow, Penelope Seidler, and supporters controlling key architecture, arts, history and academic institutions. Davina Jackson (Snelling's ..... Read More