Four ‘Bring Utzon Back’ posters

Made by Herrle, Karen in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, 1967.

These posters are part of a rare collection documenting an important and highly controversial event in the dramatic story of the construction of the Sydney Opera House. Jorn Utzon won the competition to design the Opera House on 29 January 1957. Construction commenced in 1959 but was beset by problems relating to its complex, pioneering engineering and to its ever-escalating cost. The defeat of the New South Wales State Labor Party in May 1965 saw Norman Ryan, an Utzon supporter, supplanted by D...


Object No.


Physical Description

Four square format posters [screen printed] in red and black, with two red circles at centre creating an 'O' and the letters 'UTZ' in black converging from near the four corners of the poster and meeting at the 'O', the 'Z' on its side forming an 'N'; the central area framed in black on four sides with 'Bring Back' and the whole surrounded in black printing with ' The outstanding Sydney Opera House can only be successful [sic] completed by Utzon himself. The destiny of this important work lies in your hand. The undersigned ask you to reconsider your decision. Appeal to the Australian Government by the world's most famous architects. The world is deeply concerned that Jorn Utzon be dismissed as architect in charge.' on four sides and with names and country of origin of various well-known architects printed in red and black on four sides within the outer statement.



The posters were printed from [silk screens] designed and made by John Kinstler, an architect in the Government Architects office, and Karen Herrle, an interior designer also with the Government Architect. The posters were printed at Kinstler's home in Paddington or at Bill Turner's home in Balmain by a group of architects including Kinstler, Turner as well as May Watson and Ted Mack. The font style of the central letters was based on printing blocks salvaged from the Government Printing Office when it closed down.


Herrle, Karen 1967



The posters were devised, printed and distributed by a group of architects and interior designers working in the Government Architects office, Sydney, early 1967, as part of the movement to have Jorn Utzon returned as architect of the Sydney Opera House following his 'forced' resignation in February 1966. The donors were both architects in the Government Architect's office at the time and assisted with poster printing and distribution.




Credit Line

Gift of May Watson and Bill Turner, 2007

Acquisition Date

22 January 2007

Cite this Object


Four 'Bring Utzon Back' posters 2018, Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, accessed 19 August 2018, <>


{{cite web |url= |title=Four 'Bring Utzon Back' posters |author=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences |access-date=19 August 2018 |publisher=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, Australia}}

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