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Art and Design

Architecture

The Bridge: the arch that cut the sky

The journey to build the Sydney Harbour Bridge would take almost 100 years. In this 5-part series, travel through history to experience the story of realising a city’s dream. 

Architecture: arrival of modernism

Architectural modernism was a revolutionary rejection of past styles and the use of architectural ornament.

Architect of the screen

Eric Thompson’s career as an architect, artist and filmmaker highlights the close connection between architecture and design in the development of the film industry.

Harry Seidler collection

Designs and photographs from Australia's best known modernist architect.

Decoration and Glass magazine

Decoration and Glass, a magazine for home builders, architects and decorators has been digitised in colour as part of the Library’s Digital Excellence Program. 

Francis Greenway: convict architect

Francis Greenway (1777- 1837) produced some of the finest colonial buildings in Australia.

The Garden Palace

Sydney’s Garden Palace was a magnificent building with a grandeur that dominated the skyline and captivated society from its opening in 1879. Three years later it was destroyed in a devastating fire.

Drawings and paintings

The Wallis album

The discovery and acquisition of a fascinating album compiled by Captain James Wallis reveals the artistic collaborations between a commandant and a convict.

The TAL & Dai-ichi Life Derby Collection

This extraordinary collection of natural history illustrations contains 745 watercolours in six volumes, the collection conveys Europe’s naïve yet genuine sense of wonder at Australia’s unique natural history.

Convict artists in the time of Governor Macquarie

Many used their art to record and interpret the landscape and people of the early settlement.

Conrad Martens and George Edwards Peacock: Sydney artists

Artists have always been attracted to the natural beauty of Sydney Harbour and its foreshores.

Papua New Guinea (PNG): Forty years of independence

Although European navigators visited and explored the Papua New Guinea islands for 170 years, little was known of the Papua New Guinea inhabitants until the late 19th century.

The story of May Gibbs

May Gibbs, author, illustrator and cartoonist, has captured the hearts and imaginations of generations of Australians with her lovable bush characters and fairytale landscapes.

A French sailor-artist on the South Seas

An enquiry from France brings to light a gem of nineteenth century travel illustration.

Graphic design

We tell the world

The Library’s collection offers glimpses into Sydney signwriting and decorating firm Althouse & Geiger that once boasted, 'We tell the world everything it wants to know'.

Australian Inspiration

This is the story of Julie Paterson, one of Australia’s best known contemporary textile designers, and her design journey of drawing inspiration from the collection.

 

Endgame

Hundreds of delightful and intriguing endpapers can be found in the State Library of NSW collection.

The Bowman flag

Our first coat of arms? The first recorded use of the kangaroo and emu supporting a shield is found on the Bowman Flag of 1806.