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97/308/1 Light fitting, from the Capitol Theatre in Melbourne, wood / plaster / glass / metal, designed by Marion Mahony Griffin / Walter Burley Griffin, maker unknown, Australia, 1921-1924. Click to enlarge.

Light fitting from the Capitol Theatre in Melbourne

Designed
Six-point star-shaped light in the 'art deco' style. Composed of small triangular panels of leaded coloured glass in reds and yellows; supported by a complex geometric framework of routed wood and plaster with a gilt finish.

Summary

Object No.

97/308/1

Object Statement

Light fitting, from the Capitol Theatre in Melbourne, wood / plaster / glass / metal, designed by Marion Mahony Griffin / Walter Burley Griffin, maker unknown, Australia, 1921-1924

Physical Description

Six-point star-shaped light in the 'art deco' style. Composed of small triangular panels of leaded coloured glass in reds and yellows; supported by a complex geometric framework of routed wood and plaster with a gilt finish.

Dimensions

Height

350 mm

Width

1350 mm

Production

Notes

The 'art deco' style of this light did not become fashionable in Australia until almost a decade after the light was designed. The design, using three-dimensional interplay of abstract shapes, reveals the Griffins' awareness of the latest in overseas trends - long before they were popular in Australia.

The Capitol light also reflects the Griffins design philosophy and their abiding concern for extending the design of buildings to include interior spaces, fixtures and fittings. The Capitol Theatre was designed by the Griffins in 1921-24 as part of the Capitol House shop and office complex, 109 Collins Street, Melbourne.

The maker of the light is unknown; the manufacturer may yet be revealed by examining the Capitol Theatre Company minute books held at the Latrobe Library, Melbourne. As documented in the minute books, the Melbourne-based Stucoid Plaster Art Co. was responsible for the theatre's extraordinary ceiling decorations.

History

Notes

The star-shaped ceiling lights were inset into the lowered ceiling of the Capitol Theatre, around the perimeter of the theatre stalls. The lights were removed from the Capitol when it was remodelled in the mid-1960s and subsequently dispersed by the demolition contractors. Two lights were bought by the Melbourne dealer John Wolfram (now deceased) who sold one to Micky Wolfson (Wolfsonian Collection, Miami) and one to the present Melbourne owner who wishes to remain anonymous. All dealings were through Tony Palmer Pty Ltd, Art Dealer and Valuer.

Source

Credit Line

Purchased 1997

Acquisition Date

19 November 1997

Cite this Object

Harvard

Light fitting from the Capitol Theatre in Melbourne 2021, Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, accessed 27 September 2021, <https://ma.as/158184>

Wikipedia

{{cite web |url=https://ma.as/158184 |title=Light fitting from the Capitol Theatre in Melbourne |author=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences |access-date=27 September 2021 |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.