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‘Sydney Night’ waistcoat

Made 1990-2000
Ken Done (b. Sydney 1940), the artist/designer behind the painting which appears on the front of this men's waistcoat, has a unique place in the history and development of Australian design and popular culture as he developed a unique, rather fresh, child-like yet painterly, graphic style to capture iconic Sydney and Australian flora, fauna and sites, like Sydney Harbour and the Great Barrier Reef. This style appealed enormously to the late 20th century tourist market, and Done retail outlets, where the majority of Done products were sold, became popular shopping destinations for international tourists from the late 1980s onwards.

Done's indisputable contribution to Australian identity is well documented. He was made a member of the Order of Australia for services to art, design and tourism in 1992.

The waistcoat features 'Sydney Night', a painting in which Done has captured Sydney's much celebrated New Year's Eve fireworks over the Sydney Opera House with the city in the background. The waistcoat was acquired as part of a larger Ken Done archive in 2001 following a retrospective exhibition of the artist's work.

Anne-Marie Van de Ven, Curator, 2001


Object No.


Object Statement

Waistcoat, part of collection, 'Sydney Night', mens, silk / polyester / plastic, designed by Ken Done, made by Done Art and Design, Australia, 1990-2001

Physical Description

Sleeveless men's waistcoat made of silk and polyester with V-neckline. The front is of colour printed silk featuring the Ken Done design 'Sydney Night'. On a black ground there is the Sydney Opera House, the Sydney Harbour Bridge, boats bobbing on the water and fireworks going off in the sky. The back of the waistcoat is of black polyester and has an adjustable strap with a metal buckle at the waist. The centre front opening fastens with four black plastic buttons. The waistcoat is machine sewn and fully lined with black polyester.



440 mm





The design on this waistcoat was painted by Ken Done in Australia.

This waistcoat was made by Done Art and Design in Australia.

This waiscoat was made 1990-2001.



Done Art & Design company, made Ken Done a marketing success story of the 1980s and 1990s. During his career, Done's work spanned television and graphic advertising campaigns through to painting, product, graphic, textile and fashion design. His many projects include his Australia flag design commissioned by the AUSFLAG committee (1995), Kosta Boda glass (1987), Suntory Beer cans (1991), Hanako magazine covers, Tokyo (1988 to 2000) and a BMW art car (1989), the Australian Pavilion identity at World Expo '88 (1988), World Design Congress graphics (1999) and the programs for the Opening and Closing ceremonies of the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games.

Cite this Object


'Sydney Night' waistcoat 2020, Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, accessed 4 August 2020, <>


{{cite web |url= |title='Sydney Night' waistcoat |author=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences |access-date=4 August 2020 |publisher=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, Australia}}

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