Caroline Simpson Collection

A window to the past

The private collection of photographer Alan Spearman Evans reveals an exceptional photographic record of an average middle-class couple celebrating their life in suburban Sydney in the early to mid 20th century

A chair with curved timber arms that bend to become legs with a white abolstered seat.

An extraordinary collection

The Caroline Simpson Collection has become Australia’s leading source of information on the history of houses, interiors, furnishings, gardens and domestic life

First SIDA exhibition brochure

Finding aid: SIDA collection

The Society of Interior Designers of Australia (SIDA) was a professional body, founded in 1951, to represent the interests of interior designers in Australia. It promoted interior design to the general public and also set standards of practice for the profession

Objects on table in the morning room, Elizabeth Bay House

Here and there: music at home in Sydney and London, 1830–1845

On the 28th of March 2017, concert goers at Elizabeth Bay House experienced a magical evening contrasting two different musical worlds

Cover of book, with title Home Plans. Illustration of man sitting at desk drawing plans.

Post-war Sydney home plans 1945 to 1959

For architects and prospective homeowners alike, the most seductive promise of the immediate postwar years was the prospect of a clean slate, an opportunity to build new, light-filled, houses appropriate to Australian conditions

Walford

Rooms on view: SIDA’s exhibitions, 1953-1986

From its inception, the Society of Interior Designers of Australia (SIDA) used exhibition rooms as an effective marketing and education tool. The ‘rooms’ were each designed by an individual SIDA member as an idealised space often for a named personality.

A room for Miss Merle Oberon

SIDA exhibitions: a full listing of designers and their display rooms

Between 1953 and 1986, the Society of Interior Designers of Australia (SIDA) staged nine exhibitions of model rooms, each room designed by an interior designer.

An indoor-outdoor room with Oriental overtones for Mr Bill Northam

SIDA: advocate and caretaker for a new profession

The Society of Interior Designers of Australian (SIDA) was a local expression of an international movement. The label ‘designer’ rather than decorator was used by a professional body as early as 1936 and SIDA saw itself as advancing the new profession