John Rodriquez – Textile Designer

Past Event: 17 September 2010 to 18 September 2011

Wall hanging, 1965-1975, by John Rodriquez
Wall hanging, 1965-1975, by John Rodriquez
Source: Museum Victoria

Discover the unique style of John Rodriquez, one of Australia’s most innovative textile designers.

From the 1940s to the 1980s John Rodriquez designed everything from dress fabrics to tea towels, contributing to the emergence of a new and colourful Australian style. Some of Rodriquez’s most innovative designs as well as his tools and sketches feature in a new display at Melbourne Museum, John Rodriquez – Textile Designer.

Many of Rodriquez’s designs drew on a growing sense of Australian identity. He featured Australian motifs including Aboriginal imagery and native flora and fauna, fashionable during the 1940s and 50s.

When Rodriquez was young his grandmother encouraged him to draw and paint. After his finished school he won a scholarship to RMIT where he studied to be an art teacher before moving into industrial design. Starting at his kitchen table in the early 1950s, mixing dyes in a blender, Rodriquez built up his own business. He quickly moved from the kitchen to a rented garage and in 1957 into his own factory in Highett.

Rodriquez Textiles follows the development and context of Rodriquez’s designs. The display features original works including a selection of skirt fabric designs produced exclusively for Melbourne designer shops; a checkerboard tablecloth with individually designed squares; and original artwork for fabric celebrating the1956 Melbourne Olympic Games.

Comments (13)

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Amanda 27 August, 2015 12:09
A message for the ladies trying to find out about Vida Turner, my mother worked for her as a young girl in the mid 50's also worked with Ninon,she is currently married to Vida's son Micheal and is in regular contact with her other children, and those that are left from the studio days.She would be happy to share her stories (her memory is extremely good) message me if interested. Amanda
Sharon Joseph Thomas 2 April, 2013 02:06
Hi there, I work for a recycling company, CRAFT, in Aberystwyth, Wales, UK. Last week while searching through a box of donations I came across a 1970s wall hanging calendar by John Rodriquez in excellent condition. Would the museum be interested in this?. If so, we would like to donate it to you. I can send you a pic and from what I have seen I dont think you have this one. Kind regards Sharon
Discovery Centre 2 April, 2013 11:06

Hi Sharon,

Thank you for considering Museum Vicotria with your kind donation offer. The best way to submit your offer is via our Donations Online form, you can submit images with the form.

Researcher 20 January, 2013 10:26
As a person researching Australian textile artists, is it possible to see items made by John Rodriquez by appointment. Have any been photographed as digitised images?
Jodie Cox 1 July, 2015 09:11
I am looking for information regarding Ninon Phillips. Ninon was a designer for Vida Turner. Thank you.
Jane M N 16 January, 2015 12:15
I am also researching Vida Turner, may be able to help. Contact thru'
Vicki Moss 14 November, 2014 17:45
Researcher - I am looking for information about Vida Turner, a textile designer in Melbourne in 1940s & 1950s. Do you have any information about Vida Turner? what I really need is some images of her work, preferably from the late 1940s 7 early 1950s.
Discovery Centre 21 November, 2011 09:39
Hello Nicola, I am sorry to confirm this, but as stated in the above, this exhibition ended on September 18.
Nicola 20 November, 2011 19:45
Hi Just confirming that the john rodriquez exhibition is over. I had planned to see it - is it too late?
Discovery Centre 9 October, 2010 14:58
Dawn Green 8 October, 2010 12:54
Hi My husband and I have 10 tea towels by John Rodriquez 8 bearing Australian flora/fauna designs, that is: Blue Wrens, Robin Redbreast, Nice Sepia tone Kookaburras, Pelican, Wattle, Boronia, bottlebrush and 2 with farm animals, geese & merino sheep. Eight of them are unused, whilst 2 appear to have been used/washed but are still in excellent condition. We were wondering if the museum would be interested in them for the current Rodriguez exhibition exhibition, either on loan or purchase. Regards Dawn Green
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Discovery Centre 4 October, 2010 13:34
Hi Mary, The dates for the exhibition can be found just above under 'Event Details'.
mary zbierski-west 4 October, 2010 12:55
are you able to tell me if the john rodriquez exhibition which was advertised in the age on saturday for 2/10 and 3/10 is still on this week.