Digitising the Rose Seidler House Collection

The Rose Seidler House Collection is largely un-digitised. As the collection is mostly on display in the house, photography has been limited to a sampling of interiors and objects. Existing digitisation is far from comprehensive and has been focused on a small number of key items.

Designed and built from 1948 to 1950, Rose Seidler House was the first house Harry Seidler designed in Australia, showcasing his talents and introducing many Sydneysiders to modernist architecture and a new way of thinking about design and living in the modern world. Seidler believed that there was little difference between designing the interior and the exterior of a building, and a considerable amount of the Rose Seidler House Collection was either designed by Seidler himself or purchased by him for a specific purpose. Digitising the full collection will document individual pieces and built-in fixtures and furniture, thereby capturing the significance of Harry Seidler’s design legacy.

The digitisation project will create new photographic records and updated catalogue descriptions for collection items as well as improved preservation for key pieces. The digitised content will be published to MHNSW’s online catalogue and will provide access for a wider audience to view and explore the collection. Linking the Rose Seidler House book collection to the Caroline Simpson Library catalogue will also improve accessibility to the collection and Seidler’s design legacy.

Highlights of the Rose Seidler House Collection include

  • Eames chairs designed by Charles and Ray Eames
  • Womb chair designed by Eero Saarinen and made by Knoll International
  • Cutlery and dinnerware sets designed by Russel Wright
  • Built-in furniture designed by Harry Seidler and made locally by Paul Kafka
  • Grasshopper chair designed by Eero Saarinen and made by Knoll International

The work involves

  • Collection care activities, including reupholstering a Grasshopper chair and other repairs and cleaning
  • Studio photo shoot with a professional cultural heritage photographer
  • In situ photo shoot at Rose Seidler House
  • Post-production of images
  • Descriptive enhancement of catalogue records
  • Addition of image metadata
  • Publishing catalogue records and photographs on the MHNSW website
  • Adding Rose Seidler House books to the Caroline Simpson Library catalogue
Original glass plate negatives from the NSW Police Forensic Photography Archive arranged on a lightbox.

2023 Annual Appeal: Preserving our Past

Funds raised will assist us to continue our work to digitise the significant collections in our care.

Latest News

Digitising the Rose Seidler House Collection

Over the past week, our Collection Digitisation Team has been facilitating an in-situ photoshoot at Rose Seidler House

Exterior of Rose Seidler House

Rose Seidler House

A new way of living