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Settee #1999-0879-3Office of the President of the Senate, President of the Senate’s Suite, North Wing, Main Floor

Three-seater square form settee upholstered in brown vinyl, with fitted brown velvet back and seat cushions, on timber plinth base; part of a set comprised of two armchairs and a three-seater settee.

History

This settee was not designed for the Provisional Parliament House in the 1920s, but was manufactured at a later date. It has been used in a variety of capacities around the building, including in the President of the Senate’s suite.

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This settee was used in the Presidents of the Senate’s suite prior to 1988, associating it with important political people in Australian history including Justin O’Byrne, Sir Condor Laucke, Sir Harold Young, and Douglas McClelland.

This settee is also significant in representing a change of style in furnishing the President of the Senate’s Suite: rather than the bespoke furniture designed by the architect to fit out the building in the 1920s, the furniture supplied for new suites such as this and that of the Prime Minister’s tended to be standard factory-produced executive office furniture. The combination of this plain, utilitarian and unornamented furniture with the richly textured walls of the suite made a strong but minimalist style statement.

This settee is significant as a component of the Heritage Collection, which comprises those pieces of furniture which were used in the Provisional Parliament House between 1924 and 1988. The collection has associations with the process of government, the ceremonial, administrative, promotional and recreational functions conducted within the building, and with the individuals who governed Australia between 1927 and 1988. The Old Parliament House building has a richness of internal fabric and collections that convey the way in which parliamentary functions were conducted, the everyday use of the building, and the hierarchical nature of parliamentary staffing practices.

Details

Width 2240mm
Height 800mm
Depth 850mm
Medium Timber; vinyl; velvet; metal
Creator’s name Unknown
Date created Unknown