Modernist interior designer Marion Hall Best is being celebrated with an exhibition of her avant-garde work at the Museum of Sydney.
Marion Hall Best, known for her love of bright designs and adventurous style, is regarded as Australia's first and most influential independent interior designer.
Her ability to incorporate bold colors and striking patterns to transform the ordinary setting into the extraordinary from the 1930s to the early 80s, has given her credit for bringing modernism to Australia.
Michael Lech, the curator of this exhibition, commented on her talent.
"She helped people realize that there were alternate ways to decorate your home, and she continued to push the idea of how good design could improve and enhance your life, and it could stimulate your creativity. That was an important part of the reason she designed the way she did," Lech said.
Hall Best amazed people with her innovative use of color. Glazed and colored walls were part of her signature commissioned work. During her career, she imported local and international furniture designs and materials into her colorful shops on Rowe Street Sydney and Woolahra, which traded from 1938 to 1974.
"Her work reached a larger audience through popular magazines like the Australian House and Garden, and there were some special exhibitions of interior designers work where they would mock up a room. She did that on a few occasions and they were open to the public who could come and have a look.
"Through both of those things her work became more well-known, and certainly when anyone wanted a comment on modern design or modern furniture they would often go to her."
According to Lech, Hall Best was certainly ahead of her time.
"At the time, I think people were quite struck by her choice of design and colors, it was not what a typical person would have in their homes."
Lech said the exhibition features the most prominent works of Hall Best from her four-decade long career, including original furniture, fabrics, furnishings and design schemes of local and international imports.
"A lot of them are made internationally, pieces of mid-century modernism work, some people would recognise these days because mid-century modernism has become so popular, but these are the original pieces going back to the 50s, 60s and 70s."
The audience should expect to see plenty of unique patterns and flamboyant colour.
The showcase is part of Sydney Living Museums’ series A Modernist Season, which will celebrate the renewed interest in modernist design with a variety of exhibitions, talks and tours, that will run until early November.