Rose Seidler collection display
Designed for his parents, Rose and Max, Rose Seidler House (1948-50) was Harry Seidler’s first commission in Australia.
Harry Seidler brought with him boxes of the very latest modern furniture from New York and purchased crockery and cutlery by American designer Russel Wright for his parents to use in the house. When Rose and Max moved in, in late 1950, Rose was forced to auction her beloved Viennese dining room suite – seen by her son as the antithesis of modern furniture.
Rose was by all accounts ambitious, determined and interested in the arts prior coming to Australia and her son recalled fondly ‘…I remember her fastidiousness, and absolutely down to the last minute detail of perfection.’ Harry later acknowledged that ‘I wouldn’t allow my poor mother to have anything in the house not consistent with the religion – modernism.’
Rose held her nerve – holding onto her beloved set of silver cutlery and a Rosenthal tea service – going as far as to insist that Harry design a traymobile for the tea set and provide purpose-built kitchen drawers for her cutlery.
‘Well that’s the one thing that Viennese of course take great pride in, is knives, forks, cutlery... and when I came for dinner she knew that I would prefer to eat with those (Wright) implements rather than her beloved 19th century European design. But she of course loved it – and we inherited that cutlery and... We love using it now!’
Harry Seidler, 2003
A selection of Rose's cutlery and crockery are currently on display in the house. SLM is indebted to Penelope Seidler for this generous loan.