Fifties Fair and fifties fare with fifties flair!

The kitchen at Rose Seidler House.

The kitchen at Rose Seidler House. Photo © Justin Mackintosh

There’s quite a buzz in the air as we count down towards one of Sydney Living Museums’ most colourful and much-anticipated events of the year – the Fifties Fair at Rose Seidler House, on August 25.

Designed in 1948 and completed in 1950, Rose Seidler House brought modernism to Australia. Its designer, Austrian-born architect Harry Seidler built the house for his parents Rose & Max, who had recently settled in Australia after WWII. Everything about the house screamed modernism – building materials and finishing fabrics, the elevated structure, open-plan layout and the state-of-the-art appliances.

Rose Seidler was an avid entertainer, a gracious host and an accomplished cook. She hosted many dinners and social events for family and friends, but also for media people and those from the architect and design community who were inspired by this innovative home.

All the mod cons

A home like Rose Seidler House was well out of reach for most Australians, and its suite of kitchen appliances which included an electric fridge & freezer, waste disposal unit and dishwasher – all standard household conveniences now – were on many Australian householders wish lists for decades to come!

Homemakers’ dreams

The Seidlers and their house sparked great interest and were often featured in homemaker magazines such as The Australian Home Beautiful.

Included in Sydney Living Museums’ Caroline Simpson Library and Research Collection are The Australian Home Beautiful magazines from 1925 to the current day. Feature articles and advertisements give us a wonderful insight into domestic life in Australia, its ideals and aspirations – and a few reality checks as well!

Our project intern Elizabeth McKinnon has been researching 1950s issues for our Eat Your History project, and has found lots of fun and quirky recipes and dining  suggestions, which you’ll see examples of in the next few posts.

In the meantime, scour the vintage shops for a cheerful frock and get your tickets for this year’s Fifties Fair!

Couples dancing at the Fifties Fair at Rose Seidler House.

The Fifties Fair at Rose Seidler House, 2012. Photo © James Horan