The Ideal Home

1 December 2018 – 24 March 2019

For much of the 20th century Australia enjoyed one of the highest rates of home ownership in the world. This situation emerged following the landmark ‘Harvester Judgement’ of 1907, which enshrined a ‘living wage’, and enabled ordinary workers to purchase a home and support a family.

Post war affluence, technology, mass manufacturing and the ready availability of goods, created both a consumer base and desire. In this setting, suburbs grew and homes became our castles. Australians enthusiastically adopted international trends in architecture, interior furnishings and design. Labour saving devices liberated us from domestic drudgery and increased the time available for leisure. Indoors and outdoors Australians aspired to a lifestyle centred upon the comfort, style, amenity and function of the home.

The Ideal Home presents a history of the 20th century Australian home told through household objects, furniture and design classics from the MAAS Collection. See more of The Ideal Home including modernist design and artworks at MAAS Powerhouse, Ultimo.

The Ideal Home is a partnership between the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences and Penrith Regional Gallery & The Lewers Bequest.

Also showing at Lewers House Gallery – Home is where the heart is

Lewers House Gallery was once a home. Children and their parents lived in these simple spaces. Here they cooked, slept, played, laughed, loved, argued and cried. Here was an everyday site of human messy rowdiness.

Homes are where our most intimate encounters take place. They are where we might be held safe and cherished by those we love. In these four rooms and the bathroom adjacent, home is shown also to be a place of dark secrets, of violence and trauma. Artists have taken the serene domestic and set it on fire: Home and relationships in crisis, warring intimates, crushed hopes, families held together by threads. Wrapped and bound in our extravagant materialism, we are suffocating.

Image: eX de Medici, I killed her with my club, 2017, watercolour and egg tempera on paper, Courtesy of the artist and Private Collection

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