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Ian Porter commercial art archive

Made by Porter, Ian in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, 1930-1960.

The collection consists of a small amount of contextual biographical material including a business card in a modernist design for ‘Ian Porter (TIP) Commercial Artist, 195 Elizabeth St, Sydney, Phone MA3652’ and Christmas cards (2) for 1931 ‘Keep Your Pecker Up’ and 1935 ‘The Seasons Greetings from Ian Porter’.

Material relating to Hardie Rubber Company Ltd, trading both as a North British and Australian company including
Original [gouche] artwork (1) for ‘Hardie Garden Hose signed ‘Porter’ in l...

Summary

Object No.

96/405/1

Physical Description

The collection consists of a small amount of contextual biographical material including a business card in a modernist design for 'Ian Porter (TIP) Commercial Artist, 195 Elizabeth St, Sydney, Phone MA3652' and Christmas cards (2) for 1931 'Keep Your Pecker Up' and 1935 'The Seasons Greetings from Ian Porter'.

Material relating to Hardie Rubber Company Ltd, trading both as a North British and Australian company including
Original [gouche] artwork (1) for 'Hardie Garden Hose signed 'Porter' in lower left corner above frieze, n.d.;
Letterhead (1), 'Hardie Rubber Company Limited/ Tyre Department, Ashwood Chambers', n.d.;
Annual Reports and Balance Sheets (3) for June 1951, 1953, 1954;
Catalogues (3) including one for rubber footwear range for 1933-34, printed both sides and folds out to poster format;
Price lists (2) for footwear and rubber footwear;
Pamphlets (4) for tennis shoes, raincoats and tyres and tubes, n.d.;
Leaflet (1) for Rabbit Poison 'Rabbo-Phos' stocked by James Hardie Trading Coy Ltd, n.d.;
Posters (5), small, for tennis, bowls and leather casual shoes, garden hoses, kiddies shoes;
Posters (14), large, two for 'Hardie Garden Hose', one with two kookaburras catching a hose (rather than a worm) which adopts imagery first used by May Gibbs in the 1920s, the second depicts a glamorous woman using a Hardie hose in a garden setting, annotated with 'Brings beauty to the Garden', c. 1939; remaining 12 are for 'Hardie North British Rubber Footwear' and are catalogue-type displays for seamless backed sportshoes, date range 1934-39,

Another small collection of leaflets (9) relate to Rega Products Ltd - possibly based in Marrickville, NSW between the years 1943-8, when Porter was doing this work. 'Oil Can Catalogue', 'Oil fillers and syringes', 'Bucket Spray Pumps', Agricultural Catalogue', 'Engineers' oil cans', 'Valve connectors', 'Motor trade catalogue', Pneumatic sprayer' and 'Valves and cocks', none are dated.

A miscellaneous (gouache) artwork for the magazine 'The World. Your Story Must be Told. Use the World', n.d., may relate to the first Rega leaflet listed above as the image but not the lettering is reproduced.

Production

Notes

Ian Porter was born early this century (ca 1905) and attended Newington College in Petersham, Sydney, at least during the years 1919-1922. His commercial art work was wide-ranging including work for Hardie (North British) Rubber Company Ltd, Canada Dry, Rega Products Ltd, Repo, Metters, Liberty, Newback Foundation Garments, David Jones Limited Sydney, Nylcraft Sheers, Mona Vale District Hospital, Lyndoch Wines, Coles and Mum. The museum has only acquired work for the Hardie Rubber Company and Rega Products Ltd and a small amount of contextual biographical material.

The strength of the collection lies in the comprehensive selection of posters, original artwork and other material for the Hardie Rubber Company Ltd and (a smaller selection) for Rega, and in Porter's representative 1930s graphic style. Although Porter was not amongst the most innovative or cutting-edge of his generation; he appears not to have travelled overseas for experience or training and he never broke away from a conventional and fairly static approach to graphic design, he is interesting as his work expressed the basic design tenets of its day.

His best work, such as the poster for the 'Kookaburra' brand of the Hardie Garden Hose depicting two laughing kookaburras, one with a hose in its mouth (rather than a worm), draws design strength from reference to well-established idiosyncratic Australiana motifs. His posters for Hardie's tennis shoes with automated-style men and women supporting giant shoes with one hand are stylish, quirky and avant-garde for the 1930s.

Ian Porter was based in Sydney and did work for local subsidiaries of overseas companies as well as Australian companies.

Made

Porter, Ian 1930-1960

History

Notes

Posters, catalogues and leaflets were used by the Hardie Rubber Company Pty Ltd and Rega Products to promote their products in various ways. He obviously had a very large account with Hardie's.

The vendor, Gene Makim, discovered the collection in an art folder on the local tip!. She then contacted the Powerhouse Museum hoping we may be interested.

Source

Credit Line

Purchased 1996

Acquisition Date

15 January 1997

Cite this Object

Harvard

Ian Porter commercial art archive 2018, Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, accessed 19 November 2018, <https://ma.as/153565>

Wikipedia

{{cite web |url=https://ma.as/153565 |title=Ian Porter commercial art archive |author=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences |access-date=19 November 2018 |publisher=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, Australia}}

Incomplete

This object record is currently incomplete. Other information may exist in a non-digital form. The Museum continues to update and add new research to collection records.

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