The Australian Pavilion at the New York World’s Fair, 1939, photographed by Robert E Coates, New York. Powerhouse Collection.
The Australian Pavilion at the New York World’s Fair, 1939, photographed by Robert E Coates, New York. Powerhouse Collection

Dr Catherine De Lorenzo

Research Fellowship Project

January – March 2020

Project Title: Australia at the 1937 Paris Exhibition

Studio portrait of Dr Catherine De Lorenzo.
Studio portrait of Dr Catherine De Lorenzo.

Dr Catherine De Lorenzo’s fellowship project brings together research on the collection and reception of Australian photographs in France from the late 1850s to today. Each of the three central stories, covering almost a hundred and fifty years, is inherently cross-disciplinary and cross-cultural. The archival research draws on discourses from art history as well the social sciences, especially ethnography and geography. The Powerhouse Museum’s archives expand on the Australian pavilion at the Paris International Exhibition, when Australia shifted from presenting itself as a primary producer to a nation proud of its art and design. Whereas completed research has drawn on national archives in Australia and France, the focus at the Powerhouse Museum is on the archives of individual practitioners, especially: photographer Russell Roberts, and contributing or visiting designers including Douglas Annand, Richard Haughton James, Dahl Collings, Geoffrey Collings and Michael O’Connell.

De Lorenzo is an art historian who worked for many years in Built Environment, UNSW, and is now affiliated with MADA at Monash University. Her numerous publications on the histories and historiographies of Australian art, photography and exhibitions, Australian and European photographic exchange, contemporary public art and architectural photography can be found in leading national and international journals on Australian and Aboriginal studies, literature, visual anthropology, urban and visual studies, histories of photography, architecture and landscape architecture, as well as art history and art historiography. Her most recent publications are J. Mendelssohn, C. De Lorenzo, A. Inglis and C. Speck, Australian Art Exhibitions: Opening Our Eyes, Port Melbourne: Thames and Hudson, 2018; and ‘An “Architect’s delight”: Dupain and Rickard,’ in Bruce Rickard: A Life in Architecture, eds. J. Cracknell, P. Lonergan, S. Rickard, pp 117-195, NewSouth Books, Sydney, 2018. De Lorenzo received the 2009 Australian Institute of Architect’s Marion Mahony Griffin Award; has curated several exhibitions; and has served on the editorial boards of national and international journals.