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Photograph Album - Girl Bar Fitout, 1990s Object Reg. No: HT 25037

Summary:
Gold-covered 50-page photograph album with plaque on front featuring fawn and brown floral pattern. Contains 75 colour images, 103 x 153, recording the fitout of Girl Bar in the 1990s.

Girl Bar was established in 1993 by Kira Seymour and Julie Jeong. Its stated aim at the time was 'to encourage live queer performances, entertainment, fun, and coalition politics'. Girl Bar has operated from several Melbourne venues - the first at the Commerce Club in Flinders Lane, then to South Melbourne and later St Kilda. In 2010 it is operating at the Prince of Wales Hotel, 29 Fitzroy Street, St Kilda.
Description:
Gold-covered 50-page photograph album, hard covers, covered with clear plastic sleeve. Small plaque on front with fawn and brown floral pattern. Album has pockets into which coloured photographs have been placed. Inscription on front page. Album has torn away partly from its binding. 22 pages contain photos - a total of 75 colour images, 103 x 153, recording the fit-out of a venue. Kira and Julie, who established the Girl Bar, appear to be in some of the photographs.
Statement Of Significance:
The Girl Bar collection is significant for several reasons. It provides rare documentation of a lesbian social venue from the 1990s to the recent past, illustrating how the venue promoted itself and the messages it conveyed to its target audience, and how patrons interacted with the venue. The collection includes several key objects and documents, from entry tags and ID cards carried by patrons to a scrapbook with flyers, advertisements and newspaper clippings about the venue and the lesbian scene in Melbourne more broadly. It is contextualized with material such as an album of photographs showing the fit-out of one of their venues, a whistle (for safety and attention), t-shirts and drink coasters, and a personal artwork that remembers an event at the Girl Bar. The collection fills part of the gap in major Victorian collecting institutions, identified in Kate Davison?s 2006 report ?Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Material Survey?.

At a broader level, the Girl Bar scrapbook documents the techniques used by venues of this sort ? and indeed, a whole range of social contexts, including bands ? to promote themselves in a cost-effective, grass-roots manner. It includes original artwork, showing the simple techniques (such as line drawings and cutting and pasting) that were used to create flyers for photocopying onto coloured paper. The photo album documents the physical set-up of a business, providing an insight into a rarely-documented part of commercial life.
Acquisition Information:
Donation from Kira Seymour, 2005
Discipline: History
Dimensions: 220 mm (Height), 250 mm (Width)
Dimension Comment: Photos 103 x 153

More information

Tagged with: lesbian gay, making history - gay lesbian collection
Themes this item is part of: Cultural Diversity Collection
Primary Classification: CULTURAL IDENTITY
Secondary Classification: Sexuality
Tertiary Classification: venues
Inscriptions: Written in biro on front page: 'FOR JULIE AND KIRA / I HOPE THIS PROVIDES YOU / WITH A RECORD AND A / REMINDER OF THE TRANSFORMATION / YOU CREATED. / IN RECOGNITION OF ALL THE / COMBINED HARD WORK, CREATIVE / INPUT AND ENERGY, I GIVE TO U / THE RENOVATIONS...[heart shape] ANDI [female symbol]'.
Date Created: Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, 1993-1999

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