Talk: Communal Luxury in the Designs of Lucien Henry

IMAGE: ‘Public Park Fountain; Hippocampus and waratah’ (cropped), from unpublished book, ‘Australian Decorative Arts’, watercolour over pencil, made by Lucien Henry, Australia / France, 1889-1891. Collection: Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences.

Presented in collaboration with Institute for the Study of French-Australian Relations (ISFAR) by Dr Angela Giovanangeli (Senior Lecturer, International Studies Program).

Lucien Henry, Paris Communard and Australian artist, has been described by art historians as the most productive and influential artist working in Sydney from 1879 to 1891. He was hailed one of the first artists to advocate a national art through his use of motifs, symbols and patterns found in the local fauna and flora. Meanwhile, the influence of the Commune, the popular Paris rising is present in some of the work that Henry completed during his time in Sydney.

This presentation examines some of the ideology and designs of Henry, notably through the letters and articles written by the artist in journals and letters during his period in Australia to illustrate how Henry’s artistic and teaching practices in Australia are influenced by his experience in France during the Paris Commune.

Angela Giovanangeli studied at the University of La Sorbonne, Paris and  the University of Sorbonne Nouvelle, Paris. She completed her doctoral thesis in French Studies at the University of Sydney. The thesis examined national unity in contemporary France within the context of European Union. Angela's research interests focus on French language policy, creative city studies and intercultural learning. 

Glass of wine is included upon arrival.