‘Opera House Festival’ poster

Made by Coburn, John in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, 1973.

This poster celebrates the opening of the Sydney Opera House and features the Sydney Opera House ‘Curtain of the Sun’ design by John Coburn (1925 - 2006) with large golden sun above a graphic illustration of the Sydney Opera House, one of Australia’s most vibrant and internationally recognisable symbols.

The poster is one of, if not the first produced, to feature the building as a significant graphic icon, albeit still small at this point in the building’s budding and oft times controversal his...


Poster, 'Australia / Opera House Festival', opening of the Sydney Opera House, colour lithograph on paper, designed by Allan Grant of the NSW Department of Tourism for the Opera House Opening Committee, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, 1973

Poster in portrait format features the Opera House 'Curtain of the Sun' tapestry design by John Coburn with a graphic yellow sun on a striped pink, black, brown and maroon stripe background. On a black bar below the graphic in black and white is a graphic of the Sydney Opera House and the text 'SYDNEY OPERA HOUSE FESTIVAL CURTAIN RISES 20TH OCTOBER 1973'. On a white bar below this on white in red is the text 'Australia'.


970 mm
635 mm


This poster was produced by the NSW Department of Tourism for the Opera House Opening Committee. Designed by Allan Grant, Manager of the Department's Advertising and Publicity Division, the poster features a section of the Sun Curtain by John Coburn which hung in the main concert hall of the Opera House. The poster was printed in eight colours and available in three sizes - 25"x39", 15 1/2" x 25" and 9"x14". The first printing was of 40,000 copies.

(Notes/reference: email correspondence from Karina Borg-Olivier, Tourism NSW to Gara Baldwin, Powerhouse Museum on 23 June 2005 relating to reference found in Tourism NSW papers in SLNSW)
Coburn, John 1973


Purchased 2000
29 November, 2000

Cite this Object

'Opera House Festival' poster 2015, Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, accessed 23 November 2017, <https://ma.as/8681>
{{cite web |url=https://ma.as/8681 |title='Opera House Festival' poster |author=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences |access-date=23 November 2017 |publisher=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, Australia}}
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