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Florence Broadhurst
, 1975

by Lewis Morley

type C photograph (sheet: 45.0 cm x 39.5 cm, image: 35.2 cm x 39.5 cm)

Florence Broadhurst (1899-1977), designer, was born in Bundaberg, Queensland. A talented singer, in the early 1920s she travelled to southeast Asia and established a Performing Arts Academy in Shanghai. She married in England in 1929 and with her husband became co-director and designer for Pellier Ltd, a fashionable Mayfair dress salon. In 1949 she returned to Australia. After ten years of painting and exhibiting, she established a wallpaper business in Sydney. Finding the monochromatic, muted tonings that Australians favoured for interiors insufficiently vigorous to 'withstand modern living', she began producing vibrant oversized prints. The Broadhurst Design Collection had grown to some 800 patterns when Broadhurst was murdered in October 1977 (the case has never been solved). More than 500 examples have been revived by Signature Prints, a Sydney business marketing Broadhurst wallpaper, textiles and art, and the designs have been archived by the Powerhouse Museum.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Gift of the artist 2003
Donated through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program
Accession number: 2003.51