Queering the interior: London, New York, Sydney, 1882–1929
This display highlights the design practices of five figures from queer history: Irish playwright and poet Oscar Wilde (1854–1900), American actress and interior designer Elsie de Wolfe (1859–1950), and Australian artists Eirene Mort (1879–1977), Roy de Maistre (1894–1968) and Adrian Feint (1894–1971).
Oscar Wilde’s American literary agent, Elisabeth Marbury, was Elsie de Wolfe’s partner, and the trio developed an enduring friendship. Eirene Mort, along with her partner, Nora Weston, lauded the theories of the Arts and Crafts Movement, advocating for traditional craftsmanship in all they did. Roy de Maistre and Adrian Feint helped bring the ideas of modernism to 1920s Australia.
This diverse group of people are connected not only by a lived expression of queerness but also through their shared belief that one’s individuality, and even essence, could be conveyed through design. While each figure had a significant impact on interior design across Britain, America and Australia, queerness as a lens through which to study design history is yet to be fully explored
Caroline Simpson LibraryThe Mint, 10 Macquarie Street, Sydney NSW 2000. Phone +61 2 8239 2233
- Wheelchair accessible
21 February - 16 June 2023