Groupies

Adrian Feint - 1894 - 1971

We were in Sydney for Christmas and we decided to pop into the wonderful Art Gallery of New South Wales. We like, among other things, to seek out the AGNSW's collection of one of our favourite Australian artists, Adrian Feint.

I won't regurgitate his biography here, but the Australian Dictionary of Biography has a nice summary and there's a short (and not particularly helpful) mention on Wikipedia. He was known for his woodblock prints (he studied under Thea Proctor and Margaret Preston) and his commercial work (some wonderful covers and content in Home and Art in Australia magazines). But it is his post war paintings (oil and watercolour) from the 1940s and 1950s which we find especially appealing.

We were happy to see that the AGNSW has acquired a new work:

Adrian Feint - The Striped Petunia (1939)

Adrian Feint - The Striped Petunia (1939)

We didn't find many of his other works on display, as it happened, but we know that the collection includes this painting:

(courtesy of the Art Gallery of New South Wales) Adrian Feint - Flowers in Sunlight (1940)

(courtesy of the Art Gallery of New South Wales) Adrian Feint - Flowers in Sunlight (1940)

While in Sydney, we were staying in Elizabeth Bay, a picturesque part of Sydney near Potts Point and heavily populated with beautiful art deco apartments. We found that Adrian Feint lived in Elizabeth Bay for some time and so we put on our deer stalker hats and tweed capes and went to find out where.

The AGNSW also has in its collection the following painting, which provided us with a clue because we could see this building from our apartment:

(courtesy of the Art Gallery of New South Wales) Adrian Feint - Del Rio, Elizabeth Bay (1944)

(courtesy of the Art Gallery of New South Wales) Adrian Feint - Del Rio, Elizabeth Bay (1944)

The Del Rio apartments are glamorous, in an old Hollywood way, and sit nestled on the hill looking down to the bay. It turns out that Adrian Feint lived near the building and we think we pinpointed the address, but we weren't able to confirm this. There is a beautiful park opposite Del Rio, which we understand was vacant at the time the painting was completed. Here are the apartments now:

Glamour lives here.

Glamour lives here.

We understand that Mr Feint moved at some stage to another apartment in Elizabeth Bay, on Elizabeth Bay Road, so we tracked this down too:

Ashdown

Ashdown

We suspect Mr Feint lived in one of the rear apartments as these would have had the view of the bay, which is often featured in his paintings.

So, there you have it, some pleasant and diverting detective work from our holiday.  We hope your break was relaxing too, and we both wish you all the best of the new year!

A taste of Sydney life in the 1950s - Milk Bars and Espresso Bars

Located on the corner of New South Head Road and Cross Street in Double Bay, the One Two Three Milk Bar was designed by F.J. Zipfinger and catered to the teens of well-heeled Sydneysiders.  The ceiling was multi-coloured and the counter and fittings were in pink and black.


While the kids enjoyed the pink and black fun of the One Two Three, their parents may have slinked into the risque venue, The Latin Quarter.  Located at 250 Pitt Street, The Latin Quarter was designed by Henry Kurzer in the 1950s.   The espresso bar featured a mural by M. Pretzel and had a very special ivory coloured acoustic ceiling, recessed with star lights. 


The Latin Quarter also had a restaurant - you can see the entrance at the rear of the espresso bar in the above photo.  The restaurant/supper club had floor shows nightly.  The restaurant was one of the businesses owned and operated by the colourful Sydney identity, Sammy Lee in conjunction with Reg Boom.   The pair also opened a restaurant in the 60s in Kings Cross called "Les Girls Restaurant".  I bet you'd never guess what went on there!

Here is a photo souvenir of The Latin Quarter from the 1960s.  It shows the front cover of the folder advertising The Latin Quarter, the photo within of a couple being entertained in the restaurant, and on the rear, an advertisement for the Les Girls Restaurant, "where every night is New Year's Eve"!




Photos of One Two Three Milk Bar and The Latin Quarter from "Impact of Design" by Clive Carney (1959).  The photo souvenir is from the collection of Shanghai Lil & The Scarlet Fez.