Lecture - 'Alexander North: an architectural free spirit' - Sunday 16 September
Sunday 16 September 2012, Museum opens at 1.00pm, lecture from 2.00pm
Grainger Museum, near Gate 13, Royal Parade, University of Melbourne
Admission free. Please book ahead as numbers are limited. Bookings: http://graingerrnorth.eventbrite.com.au
This illustrated lecture by John Maidment examines the career of Alexander North (1858–1945), a highly accomplished British-born Australian architect and contemporary of John Harry Grainger. He became one of Australia’s leading architects in the Arts and Crafts idiom.
North’s designs are in several Australian states, New Zealand and Fiji. He built in timber, brick, stone and reinforced concrete, of which he was an early exponent. He was an architectural free spirit – his buildings have a great sense of individuality and often make a profound statement, with a constantly evolving sense of style. He built up an amazing vocabulary of recurrent details and motifs. North collected and identified many indigenous botanical specimens, sources for the carved detailing on his buildings and furniture. He actively encouraged local craftspeople to contribute to his buildings’ decoration in many media. He was also an eloquent architectural writer and we are fortunate that a large number of his original designs survive. North worked on designs for more than 200 buildings during his Australian career.
At the conclusion of the talk, we will visit Trinity College Chapel, close to the Grainger Museum, which was designed by North and opened in 1916, a building at the peak of the Australian Arts and Crafts Movement and showing enormous inventiveness.More than 40 years ago, John Maidment was greatly taken by North’s architecture, impressed particularly by his buildings’ striking lines and wonderful style and their splendid acoustics for music. Since then he has researched North’s background and visited the majority of the buildings he constructed. Maidment has written accounts of his work in journals and encyclopaedias. John Maidment is co-author of the National Trust of Australia (Victoria) publication Victorian Churches (1991), and was for a number of years architecture and planning librarian at the University of Melbourne. He has published widely on the history of pipe organs in Australia and is chairman of the Organ Historical Trust of Australia, for which he was awarded the OAM in 1999.
Contact: Grainger Museum
Phone: 8344 5270