The Dream of a Century: the Griffins in Australia’s Capital

8 March – 10 June 2013

Many hands have shaped Australia’s national capital – but none more important than those of Canberra’s original authors, Walter Burley Griffin and Marion Mahony Griffin. The Griffins won the international competition to design Australia’s federal capital, taking them from their native Chicago to Australia in 1914.

The Dream of a Century exhibition focuses on their design enterprise in Canberra, showcasing materials drawn from the office records in the United States, Australia and India. The National Library acquired these documents from descendants of the Griffins’ Australian partner, Eric Milton Nicholls in 2006 – with much of the material never displayed in public before.

The Dream of a Century: the Griffins in Australia’s Capital opens on 8 March and runs until 10 June 2013. Free exhibition. Open 10 am to 5pm daily.

NOTE: All images are in high resolution JPEG format approximately A4 @ 300dpi

National Library of Australia, Exhibition Gallery
10 am-5 pm, free
Inquiries: 02 6262 1111

Marion Mahony Griffin (1871–1961)
Eucalyptus urnigera c. 1919
charcoal coloured lithograph on buff silk; 125.0 x 63.0 x 1.5 cm
Private Collection

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Marion Mahony Griffin and Walter Burley Griffin gardening in the backyard of ‘Pholiota’, Heidelberg, Victoria. 1918
Sepia toned photograph; 10.3 x 6 cm
National Library of Australia

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Portrait of Marion Mahony Griffin (1871-1961)
Circa 1935
Sepia tone photograph; 14.7 x 10.1 cm
National Library of Australia

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Portrait of Walter Burley Griffin, designer of Canberra
Circa 1912
Sepia tone photograph; image 27.5 x 20.2 cm; in mount 45.5 x 32.9 cm
National Library of Australia

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The birth of a continent’s capital, 1912
Black and white photograph; 19.2 x 24.2 cm on sheet 30.4 x 37.4 cm
National Library of Australia

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Walter Burley Griffin, 1876-1937
Competitor no 29, Walter Burley Griffin
Federal Capital Design Competition premiated designs
Map of contour survey of the site for the Federal Capital of Australia.
1913. Map
National Library of Australia

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Griffin, Walter Burley, 1876-1937.
Canberra Federal Capital of Australia preliminary plan
1914. Map.
National Library of Australia

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Fairfax and Roberts
Trowel used by the Hon King O’Malley to lay a foundation stone of the commencement column of the Federal Capital city in 1913.
Copper with gold and ivory handle; length 32.9 cm
National Library of Australia

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Sargents Ltd
Presentation box of a cigar, cigarettes and matches inscribed Federal Capital of Australia, March 12, 1913.
Box: tobacco, paper and wood; size 1.9 x 12.3 x 5.1 cm
National Library of Australia

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Walter Burley Griffin (1876-1937) The dwelling of Reverend Cheok Hong Cheong, Castlecrag, Sydney, NSW Circa 1921 Architectural drawing: lithograph, black ink, watercolour and gouache on silk sateen; image 107.5 x 52.9 cm; on sheet 119 x 52.9 cm. National Library of Australia

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Download all of the above images in one zip file

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