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Douglas Annand

1903 – 1976

Douglas Annand (1903-1976) moved to Sydney from Brisbane, where he had worked in a bank, in 1930. In 1932 he was joint winner of a competition to design a poster commemorating the opening of the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Before long he was Australia’s most celebrated advertising designer, his projects including the ceiling of the Australian Pavilion at the Paris exposition in 1937, and the overall design of the Australian pavilion at the New York World’s Fair in 1938-1939. From 1941 to 1944 he worked as an RAAF camouflage artist in Queensland and the Northern Territory; in 1944 he held his first solo exhibition at David Jones’s Gallery in Sydney. He created textile and mural designs for Jantzen and Holeproof, covers for Meanjin and the Home, scarves and the Australian ‘kangaroo’ penny, and advised on the design of the new decimal currency in the early 1970s. He made murals for the P&O headquarters in Sydney, the office of radio station 2UE radio station, Wilson Hall at the University of Melbourne and the Mildura Base Hospital; in 1966, he moved into more architectural forms with large glass structures for CSR in Sydney. In 1970 he made a 16-metre ‘comet’ mural for the Arrivals Hall at Sydney International Airport. Annand won the Sir John Sulman Award for his work in 1941, 1947 and 1951. Many of his murals have been demolished, but those that have been preserved, such as the Dalton Building Café mural at the University of New South Wales (1958) are recognised as essential expressions of Australian modernism.

Updated 2018