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Library Easy Chair #2001-2230Parliamentary Library, North Wing, Main Floor

Blackwood library easy chair with a high padded back, arms and sprung seat cushion, upholstered in blue leather; the arms with moulded pilasters with square cresting, and panelled sides on a block platform base.

History

This easy chair was initially located in the Parliamentary Library where it was used in the Provisional Parliament House between 1927 and 1988. It was designed in 1926 by the Architects Department of the Federal Capital Commission, led by principal architect John Smith Murdoch, specifically for Provisional Parliament House. The official colour of the library was blue and this easy chair was consequently constructed using blue leather.

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Statement of values

This easy chair is a significant item of furniture through its association with the Parliamentary Library. The design of the building and its layout, its curtilage and its interior rooms all demonstrate the customs and functions of the Commonwealth Parliament. This easy chair was used in the Parliamentary Library which, as demonstrated by its position within the building (particularly in relation to King’s Hall and the Chambers), held an important function for Parliament.

This library easy chair 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 House, and with the individuals who governed Australia between 1927 and 1988. The building is a primary example of the Inter War Stripped Classical style of architecture prominent in Canberra’s government architecture of the 1920s to 1940s. The characteristic expression of the building’s style is due to the design work of the Commonwealth’s first government architect, John Smith Murdoch. The Old Parliament House building has a richness of internal fabric and collections, which include the purpose designed furniture and furnishings, that convey the way in which parliamentary functions were conducted, the everyday use of the building, and the hierarchical nature of parliamentary staffing practices. This furniture is significant as it has remained within the building for which it was designed.

  • Library Easy Chair - Image from the Old Parliament House CollectionLibrary Easy Chair - Image from the Old Parliament House Collection
  • Library Easy Chair (plans) - Old Parliament House CollectionLibrary Easy Chair (plans) - Old Parliament House Collection

Details

Width 895mm
Height 1185mm
Depth 920mm
Medium Blackwood; leather; timber
Creator’s name John Smith Murdoch
Date created Circa 1927