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Greeting Card - Human Figures with Headdresses & Shield, Brown & Grey, No. A0068, circa 1949-1955 Object Reg. No: HT 24667

Summary:
Off-white greeting card printed in brown and grey, featuring image of three people wearing body paint, with panels extending above their heads forming exaggerated headdresses, each topped with a star. The figure on the right holds a shield. The image referrences Indigenous style. The headdress resembles that of a Indigenous ceremonial headdress - for example, of Mornington Island, Queensland, made from bark, human hair and feathers; or rainmaking ceremonies in Central Australia, such as those seen in the Musuem Victoria photograph XP 9298.

Made by John Rodriquez, probably around the late 1940s to early 1950s, when he began printing cards and handkerchiefs on his kitchen table.Museum Victoria has acquired a representative sample of the card series: 0052, 0053, 0055, 0057, 0065, 0066, A0068, A0070, A0071, A0073, A0076, A0078, A0085, 0088, plus four unnumbered cards. Only card A0076 - HT 24673 - is dated on the card: 'printed 1954'.

John Rodriquez studied art and design at RMIT in the late 1940s and became well known for his screen-printed textile designs in the early 1950s. From 1950 to 1980 he was one of a handful of Australian textile designers who developed a new contemporary style with innovative use of colour. His designs in the early 1950s were mostly of Aboriginal or geometric style. Later he turned to more abstract designs in the Scandinavian style. Later still he made bold use of colour. Rodriquez introduced unique Australian styles which have been imitated often since. He always stressed the importance of innovation. Many homes in Australia and overseas still have his art works in the linen cupboard.

John Rodriquez retired in 1988, handing the Rodriquez company to his son Rimian, who has computerised the screen printing and mostly employs other designers for the products, but still uses a few of his father's most popular designs. Rodriquez passed away in 2000.
Description:
Off-white printed card, hinged at side. Printed with image of three people in grey, wearing body paint, with panels extending above their heads forming exaggerated headdresses, each topped with a star. The figure on the right holds a shield; the figure on the left holds a curved object that may be a shield side-on. The background is mid-brown, with dotted decoration.
Acquisition Information:
Donation from Ms Patricia Rodriquez, 2010
Discipline: History
Dimensions: 153 mm (Height), 127 mm (Width)

More information

Tagged with: screen printing, handcrafts, artworks, aboriginal art
Themes this item is part of: John Rodriquez Textile Collection, Clothing & Textiles Collection, Domestic & Community Life Collection
Primary Classification: MANUFACTURING & INDUSTRY
Secondary Classification: Printmaking
Tertiary Classification: paper products
Inscriptions: Stamped on back: 'A0068'. Sticker on back: 'Designed & Printed by / E. John Rodriquez'.
Artist: John Rodriquez, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, circa 1949-1955
Place & Date Manufactured: Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, circa 1949-1955

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