Item #127206 'Roseworthy,' S. Aust. 1940. Robert Emerson CURTIS.
CURTIS, Robert Emerson (1898-1996)

'Roseworthy,' S. Aust. 1940

An original drawing in black and red pencil, mounted and matted (visible image size 332 × 197 mm); in fine condition, signed and captioned in pencil along the bottom edge.

The drawing features the central portion of the facade of Roseworthy Agricultural College Hall, 'the most impressive building on campus. It was built between 1883-1884 to a design by Edward J Woods, Chief Architect from the Department of Public Works, and constructed of Tarlee stone and red brick with freestone mouldings and brick quoins and chimneys. It cost £7,625 and contained accommodation for residential students, a lecture room, dining hall, reading room, staff room and offices.... In front of the College Hall stands a bust of John Ridley (1806-1887), the man who invented the Ridley Stripper which was hugely important to the wheat industry. The bust was sculpted by Barsanti of Pisa, Italy' (Aussie Towns, online).

Robert Emerson Curtis (1898-1996), English-born Australian artist, architectural draftsman, camouflage officer, and official war artist, emigrated to Queensland in 1914. In 1922 he 'travelled to the USA with his great friend, the pioneer filmmaker, Charles Chauvel. There he developed what was to become a lifelong interest in industrial modernism and on returning to Sydney in 1928 he set about documenting the construction of the Sydney Harbour Bridge.... He painted murals and did industrial illustration in 1932-38, including the series "Australia at Work", which was syndicated in Australian newspapers.... During WWII Curtis recorded working life in the Commonwealth Munition factories (1939-41), worked as Camouflage Officer in Australia and with the RAAF in New Guinea (1941-43), until he was finally appointed an official war artist to record the nation's industrial war-time production (1943-45). More than 200 works are in the Australian War Memorial (AWM) collection' (Design & Art Australia Online).

Item #127206

Price (AUD): $350.00