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Marion Hall Best sitting on lawn with nine chairs by designers Andrews, Arnio, Saarinen, Colombo, Eames and Bertoia at The Grove, Woollhara.

Marion Hall Best sitting on lawn with nine chairs by designers Andrews, Arnio, Saarinen, Colombo, Eames and Bertoia at The Grove, Woollhara. Image: Caroline Simpson Library and Research Collection, Sydney Living Museums

A program of exhibitions, talks and tours that explore and celebrate some of Sydney’s most exceptional examples of modernist architecture is currently underway.

At the Museum of Sydney until November, The Moderns: European Designers in Sydney explores the architectural ties between Australia and Central Europe by looking at the transformative influence immigrant architects and designers from cities like Vienna, Berlin and Budapest had on the spread of modernism in Australia.

The exhibition’s organizers said that they aimed to provide exposure to lesser-known architects who practiced at a time heavily associated with the more high-profile, Austrian-born Australian modernist architect Harry Seidler. Among the architects included are Henry Epstein, Hugh and Eva Buhrich, Hans Peter Oser and Hugo Stossel.

From 5 August, a separate exhibition dedicated to the life and work of interior designer Marion Hall Best will run concurrently with The Moderns. Over a four decade-long career, Marion Hall Best was one of Australia’s first independent interior designers and played an instrumental role in introducing modernist furniture to Australian homes.

On 27 August, a day-long “mini festival” of talks and tours “celebrating all aspects of modernism” will take place at Harry Seidler’s Rose Seidler House. Tours of four of Seidler’s houses, including the Harry and Penelope Seidler House and the Jack House, are also being run.

For more information on the events in Sydney Living Museums’ Modernist Season, go here.


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