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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


The National Library of Australia (NLA) has begun a process to archive the website via its PANDORA system to capture online information for access by future researchers.

The NLA uses a robotic online 'spider' system to scoop site data and metadata that allows digital reproduction of a 'snapshot' for reading even if/when the site is closed. The PANDORA system can be programmed to update site snapshots at regular intervals and the archive is accessible from Australia's state ..... Read More

Snelling barriers at the NSW Architects Registration Board

Posted by Davina Jackson 24 March 2014


From 1952 until the 1980s, Douglas Snelling was registered to practice as an architect in New South Wales. But recent leaders of the NSW Architects Registration Board (ARB) seem to be supporting the campaign to block recognition of Davina Jackson's PhD research on Snelling's contributions to Sydney's architectural history.

Board Registrar Ms Kate Doyle, who co-managed the NSW Chapter of the (Royal) Australian Institute of Architects during the late 1990s and early 2000s, was helpful during Jackson's ..... Read More

California rejections of Snelling: was Seidler involved?

Posted by Davina Jackson 8 March 2014


On his quest for high status (as the elegant child of English working class parents in provincial New Zealand), Douglas Snelling desired friendships with California's leaders of modern culture.

His glamour and creativity naturally were appreciated by those he met in image-conscious Los Angeles – yet he was rejected by at least three influential LA architects between the late 1940s and the late 1950s. This was the critical first decade of his attempts to establish credibility as an architect.

Why ..... Read More