Were you part of ‘Max’s Modernism’?
This three-hour walking tour in Sydney’s CBD led by Emma McGirr, GML Heritage Consultant, was listed by ArchitectureAU.com as one of the ‘top picks’ of the Australian Heritage Festival 2018. More than 35 people came along, all with a keen interest in modernist architecture and eagerness to learn more about 1960s and 1970s Sydney as photographed by Max Dupain AC OBE (22 April 1911 to 27 July 1992).
Participants could see through Dupain’s eyes with the help of custom View-Masters, loaded with Dupain’s photographs of each tour stop. The View-Masters—a mid-century innovation—were a fun way to experience Dupain’s point of view in Sydney today. Emma talked about Dupain’s life and work in the context of modernity and urban development in the postwar period, as well as his longstanding commercial relationship with Harry Seidler and brief marriage to fellow photographer Olive Cotton.
The tour started at the MLC Building in Martin Place before moving on to Australia Square. Next stop was the former Qantas House at 1 Chifley Square and Sydney’s first high-rise at 33 Alfred Street. The tour concluded at the State Library of NSW. There was a curator-led viewing of the Library’s photographic prints, including an album from the 1940s compiled by Cotton, which provided intimate glimpses of Dupain’s life beyond the lens.
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(Photo credit: Portrait of Max Dupain, c1940, attributed to Olive Cotton. Image courtesy State Library of NSW)