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In Her Own Right: Marion Mahony Griffin 7 October 2016 - 12 March 2017

Elmhurst History Museum, 120 E. Park Ave. Elmhurst, USA

Marion Mahony Griffin’s story is now being brought to light with a new exhibition presented by the Elmhurst History Museum entitled In Her Own Right: Marion Mahony Griffin. The exhibition brings Mahony Griffin’s own story out of the shadows as a brilliant architect, talented artist, avid environmentalist, and social activist. In Her Own Right traces Mahony Griffin’s early life, her personal and professional partnership with her husband on three continents, her final years in Chicago where she died in obscurity and penniless, and considers the legacy of a Chicagoan of immense but often overlooked importance, shedding light on the unheralded Prairie School innovator and Illinois’ first woman architect

The Griffins are perhaps better known in Australia than they are in the U.S. due to the years they spent there working on the elaborate Plan for Canberra, an impressive international contest-winning design created for the country’s capital city, and the suburb of Castlecrag, an idyllic community in Sydney that assimilated architecture into the natural landscape. So it is fitting that the Elmhurst History Museum turned to Dr. Anna Rubbo, PhD, an Australian and an adjunct senior scholar at the Center for Sustainable Urban Development at Columbia University and a former Associate Professor of Architecture, Design and Planning at the University of Sydney, for development of the exhibition content.

Lance Tawzer, Elmhurst History Museum’s curator of exhibits, shared his rationale for telling Marion’s story now explaining that “Anna Rubbo brings a special perspective to this story as a scholar, an architect and an Australian”.

Opening hours: Sunday, Tuesday through Friday from 1 to 5 p.m. and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
For information about exhibit-related programs with visiting scholars, authors and interesting tours visit: www.elmhursthistory.org

In Her Own Right: Marion Mahony Griffin 7 October 2016 - 12 March 2017 |

Marion Mahony, Elmhurst History Museum website

Pholiota Unlocked 7 October to 23 October 2016

(see website below for times)
Melbourne School of Design, University of Melbourne

This amazing project by the Melbourne School of Design’s Master of Architecture students led by Philip Goad at the University of Melbourne, is open until 23 October 2016. The students have manufactured over 2300 full-size Knitlock tiles in plaster of paris for this 1:1 reconstruction of the Griffins’ own tiny Eaglemont home.

https://www.festival.melbourne/2016/events/pholiota-unlocked/#.V9FbJyN97ax

View video clips (one in fast motion) of the students assembling the tiles to build the replica https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tlSo-qW0QDw

The Pholiota Unlocked exhibition is on the ground floor (actually down steps to a lower level) of the Melbourne School of Design, located a few buildings away from Newman College. FREE exhibition.

Pholiota Unlocked 7 October to 23 October 2016 |

‘Pholiota’, the Griffins own house, Heidelberg, Victoria. Photograph c 1925 – 1930. Eric Milton Nicholls Collection. National Library of Australia.

Ethereal Eye 15 and 16 October 2016

(see website below for times)
Newman College Dining Hall, University of Melbourne

Jonathan Mills’ musical homage to the Griffins to be performed in their Newman College Dining Hall along with stunning projections onto the hall’s magnificent domed interior. Projection artist Ian de Gruchy, plus dancing by Leigh Warren and Delia Silvan. Tickets are $28 and can be booked at https://www.festival.melbourne/2016/events/ethereal-eye/#.V_t7tiN97aw

Inside the Ethereal Eye 14, 15,16, 21, 22, 23 October 2016

(see website below for times)
The Arts West Atrium, Professors Walk, University of Melbourne

Immersive projections exploring Newman College Dining Hall and the ceiling of the Capitol Theatre on an ultra-high-resolution 6 metre wide projection dome, by two of the world’s leading new-media artists, Sarah Kenderdine and Jeffrey Shaw in collaboration with the University of Melbourne’s Transformative Technologies Research Unit. FREE exhibition.

https://www.festival.melbourne/2016/events/inside-the-ethereal-eye/#.V_uFACN97aw

Inside the Ethereal Eye 14, 15,16, 21, 22, 23 October 2016 |

Image: Sarah Kenderdine. Melbourne Festival 2016 website.

Griffin Houses Open Day Saturday 17 September from 10am-3pm Castlecrag

With the assistance of a Willoughby City Council grant the Walter Burley Griffin Society is organising an open day of four Griffin houses with guided walks going between the houses. This is a rare opportunity to see the interior design features of some of the Griffin houses at Castlecrag built in the 1920s and early 30s.

Bookings essential – see the “Events” webpage for further information.

Tickets: www.trybooking.com/212476

Griffin Houses Open Day Saturday 17 September from 10am-3pm Castlecrag |

Griffin Talks Saturday 17 September 2016 at 4pm

Marion Mahony Griffin Hall, Castlecrag

With the assistance of a Willoughby City Council grant the Walter Burley Griffin Society has organised two illustrated talks in the nearby Marion Mahony Griffin Hall. The first talk The Melson House Revealed: An Owner’s Perspective will be given by visiting American art historian and author Peggy Bang, from Mason City, who is owner of the Melson house.

This will be followed by a talk about Marion Mahony Griffin by senior journalist Glenda Korporaal author of the recently published book titled Making Magic: the Marion Mahony Griffin Story.

Bookings essential – see the “Events” webpage for further information.
Tickets: www.trybooking.com/212489

Griffin Talks Saturday 17 September 2016 at 4pm |

Melson house, Mason City, USA the subject of visiting American Professor Peggy Bang’s talk. Photographed by Adrienne Kabos, 2014

Canberra and the Five Year ACT Heritage Strategy 2016-2021

Walter Burley Griffin responded to the idealism of the Australian brief for the design competition for the nation’s capital with an ‘Ideal City’ with the potential to capture the imagination of the world.

Early in 2016 the ACT Minister for Planning and Land Management put on exhibition for comment the Five Year ACT Heritage Strategy 2016-2021 Discussion Paper.

The WBGS made a submission with recommendations aimed at the retention of the Griffin vision. The Society recommended that the ACT Heritage Council:-
1. support the extant nominations for Canberra to be placed on the National Heritage List;
2. advocate an integrated sustainability approach to the formation of development proposals and management policies; and
3. enlarge the Heritage Strategy to include re- imagined ‘whole of Canberra’ heritage criteria on the basis of central Canberra’s fundamental DNA in the enduring vision, plans, principles and values provided by Walter Burley Griffin. Reference can be made to outstanding vistas, outcropping hills, the natural landscape, Lake Burley Griffin, its foreshores and the magnificent three-dimensional spatial planning, NCDC district plans and landscape architecture, as well as significant public and domestic architecture. Other ‘whole-of-Canberra’ candidates for the Heritage Strategy would be City Hill, West Basin, Pialligo Estate, Majura Valley rural farm buildings, Hall and Tharwa Villages, Weston and Pryor tree stands and parks, Canberra Nature Park and most starkly, the Manuka precinct.

WBGS letter to the ACT Minister for Planning and Land Management 3/4/2016

Canberra and the Five Year ACT Heritage Strategy 2016-2021 |

View from Black Mountain, photographed by Robert Stephenson, 1965

National Trust Heritage Award for Visionaries in Suburbia

The Society’s book Visionaries in Suburbia: Griffin Houses in the Sydney Landscape has been awarded the winner of the National Trust Heritage Awards 2016 in the Heritage Publications category.

The 22nd Annual National Trust Heritage Awards took place on Friday 6 May 2016 at the Heritage listed, Doltone House, Jones Bay Wharf, Pyrmont, Sydney. This prestigious event which is highly regarded in the industry, had Quentin Dempster as the Master of Ceremonies, and the Minister of Environment and Heritage, Hon. Mark Speakman as the keynote speaker. The event is the highlight of the National Trust Heritage Festival and was attended by 400 guests including Jack Mundey, and the Society’s Patron John McInerney, President Akky van Ogtrop, Vice President Michael Thomson, and the book’s editor and contributing author Dr Anne Watson.

In announcing the award the National Trust’s President Dr Clive Lucas OBE stated that “This is a beautifully presented book about 22 Sydney houses designed by Marion Mahony and Walter Burley Griffin in the ’20s and ’30s with significant research of some of the lesser known Griffin houses. This book makes a substantial contribution to understanding the legacy of this amazing couple and is a visual feast”.

National Trust Heritage Award for Visionaries in Suburbia |

Dr Anne Watson, the book’s editor and contributing author accepts the Heritage Award from the President of the National Trust Dr Clive Lucas OBE. Photographer Jonathon May